Joan Pennefather


Skilled in facilitation, consensus building and strategic planning, Joan Pennefather has an advanced certificate in mediation and a certificate in alternative dispute resolution from the Mediation Centre at Queens University. Her areas of expertise include media, health services, broadcasting, telecommunications, and the arts. Fluently bilingual in English and French, Joan has extensive experience in governance in the non-for-profit sector, the arts and in health services.

Joan’s 30 years of experience in leadership, management, and government relations includes heading the National Film Board of Canada, the National Arts Centre and, from 1998 to 2007, serving as a National Commissioner on the Canadian RadioTelevision Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Currently, she is an associate with the Institute on Governance’s Toronto office, as well as an adjudicator-at-large for the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

Joan has over 18 years of voluntary service in long term and palliative health care, including the Boards of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa Health Services, Perley Rideau Veterans Health Services, Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services in Ottawa.

Now residing in Prince Edward County Ontario, Joan chairs the Board of the Festival Players of Prince Edward County and is also President of the County Community Foundation. Both these activities have brought her in touch with the local community, local government and organizations, and rural issues.

Joan Pennefather’s extensive experience in national institutions includes expertise diversity in media and in employment equity. She established equity programs at the NFB, headed a joint staff-Commission committee on diversity and equity at the CRTC, and chaired international conferences on the employment and portrayal of women in film and television. Her career in media allows for a particular understanding of the balance of access to information and rigorous research and validity of documentation. Her years at the NFB gave her experience in the nature and importance of archives and their importance to education and heritage.