Biography: Chris Johnstone

Chris Johnstone

Director General

As Director General, National Programs and Business Services, Chris Johnstone leads the NRC's new National Program Office, which oversees and coordinates the new Challenge Programs and Supercluster Support Programs. He is also responsible for the NRC's intellectual property strategy and its business management teams, which work to connect stakeholders with the expertise in the NRC's research centres.

Before joining the NRC in 2018, Chris held various executive positions at Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada, and was most recently the Director General of the Clean Technology and Clean Growth Branch. He was responsible for clean technology policy and program coordination across the ISED portfolio, including oversight of Sustainable Technology Development Canada (SDTC), federal-provincial-territorial collaboration, and international engagement. He also co-founded, with Natural Resources Canada, the Clean Growth Hub, which is responsible for coordinating over $2 billion in federal support for clean technology development and commercialization.

He was previously the Senior Director of Wireless Telecommunications Policy at ISED, and the department's Director General of Strategic Policy. Before joining ISED, he was the Senior Departmental Liaison at Natural Resources Canada, and also led renewable fuels policy and programs.

Prior to joining the Government of Canada, Chris held management positions in software companies, including one that he co-founded, and consulted at Bain & Company. Chris earned an MBA from INSEAD and a BEng in Mechanical Engineering from Queen's University.