Executive Leadership Team
President and CEO
Alex Benay was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation (CSTMC) by the Minister of Canadian Heritage in July 2014. The CSTMC operates three national museums: Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, as well as the Canada Science and Technology Museum, and reached close to 14 million Canadians last year.
Prior to joining the Corporation, Mr Benay had been Vice-President, Government Affairs and Business Development at Open Text, Canada’s largest software company, since 2011. Over the years, he has played a leadership role in Canada’s digital industry as well as promoting global digitalism in organisations and groups such as the G20, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Olympics, etc. Prior to his time at OpenText, Mr. Benay managed various teams and programs at the Canadian International Development Agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Natural Resources Canada, as well as Library and Archives Canada.
A native of Quebec City, Mr Benay grew up in Ottawa and attended the University of Ottawa, where he studied history. Currently, Mr. Benay is completing his PhD in Museum Studies with the University of Leicester. Furthermore, he is a community volunteer and an active hockey coach for close to 20 years. In addition to his current position, Mr. Benay acts as Director on the Board of the Canadian Association of Science Centres, is an advisory board member on Algonquin College's Applied Museum Studies program, and is an active member of the International Council of Museums. Mr Benay lives in Ottawa with his wife and two children.
Director General, Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
Kerry-Leigh Burchill has served as Director General of the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum since 2009, having joined the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation in 1995. Before becoming Director General she worked for the Corporation in policy and strategic planning, internal communications, corporate development, and commercial operations. In 2013, Ms Burchill accepted to serve as a Vice-President for the International Association of Agricultural Museums (AIMA).
Ms Burchill has a degree in Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa, and continues to proactively cultivate collaborative opportunities for cultural celebrations, heritage preservation, and a greater appreciation for the role that agriculture plays in our quality of life. She lives with her husband and two children in the small, rural Ontario community of St-Pascal-Baylon.
Vice-President, Collection, Research and Corporate Governance
Monique Horth is Vice-President of Collection, Research and of Corporate Governance at the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation. With more than 25 years of museum experience, she oversees the Corporation’s Collection, Research, and Conservation divisions, as well as national outreach, strategic partnerships, and visitor evaluation and engagement. She also serves as Corporate Secretary to the Board of Trustees.
Before joining the Corporation, Ms Horth was the Canadian Museums Association’s Deputy Director for more than five years, and before that enjoyed success working at the Canadian Museum of Nature, the former Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the Centre for Exhibition Exchange, which specialized in traveling exhibitions and education.
She was Vice-Chair of the International Council of Museums’ (ICOM) International Committee for Exhibition Exchange for six years, and served two board terms on ICOM Canada.
She also served on the Board of Directors of the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Fund for International Understanding through Culture (Can4Culture).
With a Masters degree in Project Management, Ms Horth enjoys planning and developing dynamic, cross-cultural projects and exchanges for the arts and heritage sector.
Ms Horth is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) for her contributions to the Canadian museum community.
Vice-President, Business Development
Jacey Kennedy became Vice-President of Business Development for the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation in November 2014. Leading a team of 16 employees, she is responsible for increasing earned income and sponsorship revenues for the Corporation.
Jacey came to the Corporation from OpenText Corporation, where she was responsible for business development across Canada within the public sector. Prior professional experience in the private and public sectors includes customer relationship management, research and development, quality assurance, technical support, and work as a programmer and analyst.
Born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, Jacey graduated from St Lawrence College in 1996. Jacey enjoys new cultural and gastronomic experiences, having travelled to more than two dozen countries. Her passion for golf—including playing a PGA course in Dubai—expresses itself in her charity work, which includes hosting an annual golf tournament in support of sick children and underprivileged youth.
Director General, Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Chris Kitzan was appointed Director General, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, in November 2015.
An historian with more than 25 years in the cultural field authoring exhibitions, programs, and publications, Chris came to the Corporation from Library and Archives Canada, where he recently served as Chief of Staff to the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. He has also worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development, the Diefenbaker Canada Centre, and the former Canadian Museum of Civilization, where he was the curator responsible for both the Canada Hall and for Western Canadian History.
Originally from Saskatchewan, Chris lives in Aylmer, Quebec, with his wife and two sons.
Vice-President, Human Resources
Elizabeth Marcotte became Vice-President, Human Resources, for the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation in June 2013. She joined the Corporation in 1993 in the role of HR Planning Officer and subsequently held a number of Human Resources positions, including Manager of HR Planning, and Director of HR Operations. Liz’s responsibilities also include overseeing the Corporation’s extensive volunteer program, as well as its Protection Services team.
Prior to joining the Corporation, Liz worked 14 years at the Farm Credit Corporation, first joining the Research Department, before moving to Human Resources. In 1992, Liz played a major role leading the relocation of Farm Credit Corporation’s Ottawa Head Office personnel when operations were moved to Regina, Saskatchewan.
Liz graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. She also has held teaching certificates in classical ballet, jazz, and fitness. Liz and her two children live in Ottawa. Liz was an active volunteer for schools, associations, and sports teams during her children’s growing years.
Chief Operating Officer
Fern Proulx has been involved in the operations of several of Canada’s national museums for the past 25 years. As Chief Operating Officer of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation, he oversees the global finances of the Corporation’s three Museums, as well as the implementation of its strategic plan.
Prior to his career in museums, Fern spent seven formative years in the food industry with Loblaw’s and Sobeys subsidiaries in a variety of functions, including sales, logistics management, marketing, business planning, and finances. Fern also grew his business analysis skills in the chemical industry with Hercules Canada Inc., an international chemical manufacturing and sales corporation, where he developed production and inventory management models to increase overall profitability.
Fern received his Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1985 from the University of Windsor, and is an alumnus of the prestigious Getty Museum Leadership Institute program. Fern enjoys giving back to the community by mentoring with the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization, volunteering at St. Mark’s Parish, and sitting as a member of the Board of Directors of the Diefenbunker Cold War Museum. Fern is a sports enthusiast, and he and his wife reside in Gatineau, Quebec.
Director General, Canada Science and Technology Museum
Christina Tessier was appointed Director General of the Canada Science and Technology Museum in November 2014. She is currently leading the renewal of the exhibition galleries and visitor experience elements for the Museum’s reopening in the fall of 2017. Prior to her role as Director General, Christina was Director of Operations at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, a sister-site of the Canada Science and Technology Museum.
Christina has worked in the cultural field for close to 15 years at various institutions, including the Portrait Gallery of Canada, and Parks Canada, where her work focused on National Historic Sites. Also active at the local heritage level, she was the director of the Bytown Museum in downtown Ottawa for six years, served as President of the Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa, and was the founding Chair of the Ottawa Museum Network. Preceding her work in the cultural area, Christina worked in marketing and communication for the federal government and the private sector.
Christina is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, with a degree in Classical Studies, and she also holds a diploma in Applied Museum Studies from Algonquin College.