Alumnus to lead Canadian research organization
By Anne Craig, Communications Officer
Queen’s alumnus Mario Pinto has been named the new president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
“I really wanted to do something for Canada. I want Canada to occupy a more prominent place on the world research stage,” says Dr. Pinto (Artsci’75, PhD’80).
A Toronto native, Dr. Pinto has strong ties to Kingston. Along with earning two degrees at Queen’s, he met his wife Linda (Artsci’75, MSc’78) while registering at the Jock Harty Arena in 1971 and, as a graduate student, helped establish the Grad Club as a meeting and socialization space.
After receiving his PhD, Dr. Pinto did his postdoctoral work at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France and the National Research Council Canada in Ottawa before moving to Simon Fraser University (SFU) in 1983. He started his academic career as an assistant professor then became the Chair of Chemistry for five years before becoming Vice-President, Research, a position he held for 10 years.
With a busy career at SFU, Dr. Pinto says the decision to become the NSERC president wasn’t taken lightly. The presidency is a five-year term and Dr. Pinto has goals and objectives he wants to reach during that time.
“I want to ensure that our researchers are better supported to make a greater scholarly impact. It’s time to stand back and ask how we can be more efficient and more effective in supporting the entire ecosystem from ideas to innovation.”
“On behalf of everyone here at Queen’s, I’d like to congratulate Dr. Pinto on his new role with NSERC,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “The council will surely benefit from his leadership and expertise in research administration, and I look forward to working with him in his new capacity.”
The appointment comes into effect this fall.