Jan De Silva, President and CEO
Jan De Silva is President & CEO of Toronto Region Board of Trade, a role she assumed in January 2015. As President & CEO Ms. De Silva leads the chamber of commerce for Canada’s largest urban centre, representing the business interest of 12,000 members and 200,000 business professionals across the Toronto region.
Prior to joining the Board, Ms. De Silva was Dean of Ivey Asia, leading the Hong Kong campus and Mainland China operations of Ivey Business School, with responsibility for the school’s programs, overall development and expansion in Asia.
For 14 years Ms. De Silva has led businesses internationally as CEO of Sun Life Financial’s business in Hong Kong and its Mainland China joint venture. Under her leadership Sun Life Everbright光大永明人寿 expanded its China operations from 2 to 15 cities, grew to a workforce of more than 4,000, and delivered triple digit revenue growth. In 2007, Ms. De Silva co-founded and was CEO of Retail China Limited, a company that worked with international retail brands operating their retail stores and managing franchises in China. The company was acquired in 2010, but she remained active in capital advisory and investment projects.
Highly respected in the business community, Ms. De Silva has served terms as both Chair and President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Chair of Canada China Business Council, Beijing. In 2007, she was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. In 2006 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Thompson Rivers University in Canada and a guest professor designation by Tianjin University of Science and Technology in China. Ms. De Silva was named Asian Business Executive in the 2006 Stevie Awards for International Business. And, in 2012, was recognized d by the South China Morning Post as a “Woman of our Time” for her contributions to education.
She holds an MBA from Ivey Business School of Western University in Canada and served on its Asian Advisory Board for 10 years before assuming the role of Dean, Ivey Asia in 2011. In 2012, the Canadian Board Diversity Council named Ms. De Silva to their inaugural Diversity 50 List of board ready candidates. She is presently a non-executive director on the boards of Intact Financial Corporation (TSX:IFC) a Canadian-listed company offering home, auto and business insurance and Blue Umbrella Limited, an Asian based due diligence and risk management service provider. She has previously served on the boards of Asian Corporate Governance Association, the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Canadian International School of Hong Kong.