John R. McDougall

NRC President

Photo of John R. McDougall

Mr. John R. McDougall was appointed President of the National Research Council of Canada in April 2010 after 12 years as CEO of the Alberta Research Council.

Mr. McDougall began his career as a petroleum engineer with Imperial Oil Limited (1967 to 1975), participating in oil sands and heavy oil research, economics, frontier exploration and logistics, system development and conventional oil and gas production. He founded and served as senior executive of the DALCOR companies (1976 to 1998), providing services to very large construction, infrastructure and technology development projects such as oil sands, major pipelines, power stations, petrochemicals, the environment and transportation systems in Canada, the US and elsewhere. For more than 40 years, he was an officer of McDougall & Secord, Limited, Edmonton's oldest privately owned business (real estate and investment). As President of ARC, ARC's annual budget rose from $43 million in 1997 to $105 million – based primarily on increased contract work.

Always an active participant in professional and community affairs, Mr. McDougall has contributed to a number of prominent advisory boards and committees, both on the provincial and federal levels. He became the youngest president in the history of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta in 1980. He was elected president of Engineers Canada in 1990 immediately following a term as the centennial president of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce in 1989. He also served as Chair in Management for Engineers at the University of Alberta from 1991 to 1997. He was a key negotiator in the development of the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority and served as Canadian Chair of the NAFTA Panel on engineering services, reaching a tri-national agreement in 1996. He was a member of NRC's Industrial Research Assistance Program Advisory Board from 2002 to 2006, and also contributed to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC); the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence; the Edmonton Space & Science Foundation; the Environmental Protection Advisory Committee, and was founding Chair and President of Innoventures Canada.

A fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers and Engineers Canada, Mr. McDougall has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Alberta, with a number of postgraduate courses in Environmental Engineering to his credit.