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About us

The David & Sharon Johnston Centre is the Rotman's home for research and resources about boards of directors and corporate governance.

Our purpose is to support academic research and teaching, generate practical tools and insights and host events that improve the effectiveness of boards. We focus on under-served sectors such as family enterprise, both public and private, co-operatives, crown corporations and dual-class public issuers.

David & Sharon Johnston

The Centre is named in honour of the remarkable contributions to Canadian life, society and business of David and Sharon Johnston.

In a lengthy career in the university sector, The Right Honourable David Johnston served as principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University and president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. He also held teaching and leadership roles at Queen’s University, University of Toronto, and Western University. During his career, he served on the boards of a number of public companies as well as on boards of not-for-profit organizations and universities. He was the first non-U.S. citizen to be elected president of Harvard’s board of overseers. He is the author or co-author of 3 dozen books. In 2010, he was named as Canada’s 28th Governor General, a position he held until 2017. Together with Sharon Johnston, he focused his mandate on strengthening the pillars of learning and innovation, philanthropy and volunteerism and families and children.

Sharon Johnston holds a doctorate in rehabilitation medicine from McGill University and practised as a physio occupational therapist. Her first internship was in a children’s psychiatric ward and she has championed mental health throughout her career. While at Rideau Hall, she travelled across the country and abroad to advocate for mental health and eliminated stigma and helped families. She is an Honorary Capt(N) in the regiment whose focus is military families and mental health throughout the armed forces. She is a novelist whose second book of a trilogy is currently in press.

The Johnstons have 5 daughters and 14 grandchildren.

Academic Director:

Professor David R. Beatty C.M., O.B.E., MA, F.ICD, CFA

Director of the David and Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation and Professor of Strategic Management

David has served on 39 Boards of Directors of publicly traded companies in Canada, the USA, Australia the United Kingdom and Mexico. He has been Chairman of 9 publicly traded companies.

He is the Founder of the Directors Education Program, a joint venture between the Rotman School and the Institute of Corporate Directors. The 12 day course is delivered across Canada in partnership with 10 other Universities and has trained over 6,000 senior Canadians.

For his work in Corporate Governance he was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2014.

In 2018 the International Corporate Governance Network, representing 80 asset managers and pension funds from 15 nations with a total of $35 trillion of assets under management, awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was the founding Managing Director of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (2003-2008), an organization that now represents 50 Canadian institutional investors with ~C$3 trillion of assets under management.

At the Rotman School he teaches corporate strategy and corporate governance.

Executive Director:

Kelly D. Murumets


Throughout her career, Kelly Murumets has inspired employees and advised leaders from Canada, United States, South America and Europe on how to develop focused strategies and realize results within their organizations.  She is particularly expert at galvanizing disparate stakeholders with differing sets of objectives, helping them to identify commonality, and inspiring and motivating them to move in one direction.  

In 2021, Kelly joined the faculty at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, as an Adjunct Professor in the MBA program and Executive Director of the David & Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation. 

For three years, ending in 2016, Kelly was the President & CEO of Tennis Canada. She joined Tennis Canada after serving for seven years as President & CEO of ParticipACTION, the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Canada.  Prior to her role with ParticipACTION, Kelly was president of Acceris Communications, a then publicly traded US telecommunications company, where she oversaw the integration of four financially distressed companies into one thriving organization that, in 2004, ranked 7th in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 program.

Kelly is a motivating public speaker and speaks regularly to groups in Canada and around the world about her professional and personal experiences and her passion for people.

Kelly holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business at Western University, a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University (where she received the Gold Medal and the Governor General’s Academic Award), and a BA from Bishop’s University.

Among her many recognitions, Kelly was named as one of CAAWS Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016), Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 (2009), CBC’s 10 Most Influential Figures in Sport (2012) and is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013).

Kelly brings her love of sport and physical activity to her personal pursuits.  She enjoys tennis, golf, skiing, scuba diving and hiking, and has summitted Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Rainier.  She and her husband currently split their time between Toronto and Scottsdale. 


Lori Brotherton


Lori is the Manager of The David and Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation at the Rotman School of Management. She leads and oversees the execution of all activities at the Centre.

She has built a wealth of experience in corporate governance over the past several years. Before joining the Centre, she led an education portfolio at the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), researching and developing a curriculum on director and corporate governance issues. Subject areas included executive compensation, audit committees, human capital management, strategy, and enterprise risk. During her tenure, she developed and managed the ICD Custom Education program and led the digital transformation of director education short courses.
Lori's career, drawing on specialized expertise and training, focuses on equipping board directors and organizations with tools to embody good governance and effectiveness. Her professional portfolio includes leading stakeholder engagement initiatives to improve boardroom diversity and inclusion at OnBoard Canada (at Ryerson University) and launching advanced not-for-profit director education at the Canadian Board Diversity Council. 


Senior Research Officer:

Tony Spizzirri


Tony Spizzirri has been studying board effectiveness and corporate governance for 9 years. He is the Senior Research Officer at the David & Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation at the Rotman School of Management. Between 2010 and 2019, he was the Lead Researcher at the Clarkson Centre for Board Effectiveness (CCBE). Tony has been instrumental in the development and oversight of corporate governance research projects, including the Globe & Mail’s Board Games governance rankings, CEO compensation studies, Credit Union board research and studies on Family Enterprise governance.

Research Officer:

Eva Athanasiu


Eva is a Research Officer at the David and Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation. Prior to joining the Centre, she was a Librarian at Toronto Public Library, and worked in Collections Information, Rights and Reproductions at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Eva holds a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.


Dr. Andrew Szonyi

Dr. Andrew Szonyi’s career has spanned business finance, corporate governance, entrepreneurship, innovation, small business management, business planning, and operations management.

As a professional Corporate Director he has over 80 cumulative years of public company directorships and 170 cumulative years as a director. He has owned and operated several businesses across both the manufacturing and service industries. As a member of the Science Council of Canada (member of the Executive Committee) he contributed to shaping of the Canadian Government’s Science and Technology Policies. Andrew was also previously a Professor at the University of Toronto, cross appointed to the Faculties of Engineering and Management Studies and was Adjunct and Visiting Professor at Universities in several countries.

Andrew is a licensed P.Eng. and holds a M.A.Sc. and PhD in Chemical Engineering, an MBA and a GPLLM in International Business from the University of Toronto and is currently Advisor, Corporate Strategy & Governance of Alice Insights, a startup company which developed  a Global Climate Intelligence Platform for risk analysis due to climate change. He is currently an active independent  director of several publicly trading companies in Canada and overseas.