Julie Cafley

Executive Director of Catalyst Canada

Dr. Julie Cafley is a creative, strategic leader and an accomplished academic with expertise in equity and inclusion, public policy, governance, and higher-education leadership.  

Previously, she was the Vice-President, Communications and External Relations at the Digital Research Alliance of Canada where she helped to build the Alliance as a new non-profit organization and develop its brand and reputation 

Before that, she worked as the Executive Vice-President of the Public Policy Forum (PPF). Julie built bridges and enhanced the profile and visibility of the PPF while directing its communications, external partnerships, membership, and learning teams. In her previous role as Chief of Staff to two presidents at the University of Ottawa, Julie worked closely with the President and the senior executive team to develop and advance strategic initiatives.  

Julie holds a PhD in education leadership from the University of Ottawa with sought-after expertise in university presidential mandates. Her thesis focused on higher education leadership and governance through the lens of unfinished terms of Canadian university presidents. She is a frequent writer and speaker on higher education, leadership, and gender equity.  

Julie is an active community builder and a collaborative change-maker. Whether it is serving coffee and muffins to the region’s homeless people, on the board of Parkinson Canada, mentoring young policy wonks, or supporting her alma mater on its Campaign Cabinet and Dean’s advisory council, giving back is integral to who she is and a part of her every day.  

Julie is a committed advocate for women and leadership, a constant ally for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples, and an indefatigable champion for diversity initiatives.