Pari Johnston

Vice-President, Policy and Public Affairs, Genome Canada

Pari Johnston joined Genome Canada as Vice-President, Policy and Public Affairs in March 2020. She provides expertise and leadership that shapes and supports the strategic direction of Genome Canada, while raising awareness of the organization, its mission and impact with Parliamentarians, federal policymakers and community partners. As a member of the executive team, Pari plays a key role in putting genomics into the hands of those who are at the forefront of addressing critical challenges in health, the environment, agriculture and the economy. She is a strong advocate for coalition-building to ensure broad reach and impact across sectors and borders. 

Pari is recognized as a Canadian higher education and research leader, having held increasingly senior positions at Universities Canada for 20 years. She served as Vice-President, Policy and Public Affairs, providing strategic direction to the organization’s federal advocacy agenda. Prior, she served as the first Director of Member Relations, transforming the association into the premiere national forum for Canada’s 96 university presidents. Initially at Universities Canada, she worked as Director of International Relations, delivering on Canadian universities’ global mission.

Pari was a founding Board member of The Conversation Canada/La Conversation Canada, the national digital media organization for academic journalism. She also served on the Advisory Committee for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Canada Research Chairs Program.

She is a passionate community volunteer, driving several initiatives to improve mental health and housing for Autistic youth and adults. She sat on the Family Advisory Council at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, and now serves on the Board of Trustees. She is a member of the National Advisory Group to the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health and York University for their project to create the first Canadian literacy guide for Autism and mental health. 

Fluently bilingual, Pari has an M.A. in International Affairs from Carleton University and a B.A. in French Literature from the University of Regina.