Chair, Innovation & Programmes Committee
Dr. Diane Isabelle’s career spans the private, public and academic sectors. She has spent most of her career at the National Research Council (NRC), Canada’s premier science and technology organization, in particular with the NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program, supporting Canadian firms with strategic technology and business advice to compete on the global scene. Other roles involved positioning Canada in ‘big science’ in fields ranging from metrology, nanotechnology, emerging technologies and nuclear reactors, to astronomy and astrophysics.
Diane has extensive experience in strategic planning at the national and international levels, managing complex agreements and collaborative programs and projects. She started her career as a project engineer for several multinational firms including General Electric, Boeing Aerospace and Esso.
After obtaining her PhD, Diane made a career pivot to academia. She is currently an Associate Professor of International Business at Carleton University, teaching international business and international entrepreneurship to undergraduate and MBA students in Canada and abroad.
Her research focuses broadly on the areas of technology, innovation and techno-entrepreneurship within a global context. Her current research projects are organized around the following four themes: 1) Impacts of COVID-19 on small businesses, 2) International digital and tech-based firms and entrepreneurship ecosystems, 3) Research projects in sub-Saharan African countries related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and 4) International multi-disciplinary experiential learning in higher education.
“I saw first-hand the importance of water and its many impacts on families during a research trip to Tanzania to assess the impacts of Carleton community projects in Longido. I am elated to serve on the Operation Eyesight Board. Dealing with some visual impairments myself, I do not take eyesight for granted. I share Operation Eyesight’s values, and I am impressed by its innovative, sustainable and scalable business model.”
Diane is also the principal of Diane Isabelle & Associates Consultants, providing expert advice to Canadian government departments and private sector organizations on matters related to innovation and policy.
She holds a PhD from Carleton University, an MBA from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique (U de Montréal).
Diane’s eclectic hobbies include motorcycling, antique car restoration, outdoor sports and international travel. She has been playing flute in concert bands forever.