Michel Kelly-Gagnon

President and CEO • Director

Michel was one of the cofounders of the Amis de la Liberté (Friends of Liberty) in the mid-1990s, and helped relaunch the MEI as of 1997, notably thanks to his skills as a fundraiser. After having been head of the MEI from 1999 to 2006, Michel was president of the Quebec Employers Council from March 2006 to December 2008. Early in his career, he practised law and then became an entrepreneur in the field of specialized business training. He served on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Quebec Workers Compensation Board (CSST) from 2006 to 2009. He was one of six Quebecers honoured in Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ 2008 awards. The winners were chosen from among 1,100 nominees.

Over the years, Mr. Kelly-Gagnon has served on several boards of directors, including that of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, which disburses several hundred million dollars a year in order to finance Canada’s scientific research infrastructure. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Atlas Network and a member of the board of directors of The John Dobson Foundation, which supports the teaching of entrepreneurial and free enterprise thinking to the general public. Michel is back at the helm of the MEI since January 2009. When he is at home, he loves petting his beloved Pablo (an adorable English Cocker Spaniel), drinking fine wine, and expanding his general knowledge.

A lover of liberty, he likes to declare, “We will triumph!” even if he sometimes doubts the veracity of this statement. Married for 24 years to a South American woman with panache, he is convinced that his son, an exceptionally mature teenager, will one day be the saviour of the free world. He constantly checks his emails while on vacation, a decades-long bad habit that he plans to stop “soon.”

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