CCI announces new roles to reflect ongoing expansion

Today, the Council of Canadian Innovators announced changes to the roles and responsibilities of its leadership team as part of the organization’s expansion.

Starting this month, Benjamin Bergen assumes the role of CCI President. Benjamin has served as executive director since the inception of CCI, when co-chairs Jim Balsillie and John Ruffolo co-founded the organization alongside a small group of scale-up technology CEOs.

Dana O’Born assumes the role of Vice-President of Strategy and Advocacy. Dana has been CCI’s longtime lead in policy and government relations efforts, with a primary focus on the federal government. She will continue to oversee CCI’s advocacy work, which has expanded in recent years to include government relations professionals based in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. CCI is also currently seeking a government relations professional whose job will be solely focused on the federal government, and we expect to add a new member to our team in the first half of 2022.

Patrick Searle assumes the role of Vice-President of Corporate Affairs. Patrick has previously served as CCI’s director of communications. In 2021, Patrick’s role expanded as he oversaw CCI’s Innovation Governance Program (iGP) aimed at training a new generation of future directors with the skills they need to sit on scale-up company boards.

The idea for the Council of Canadian Innovators was born out of a meeting among a small group of CEOs, back in the fall of 2015. Today, the organization is composed of 150 member companies supported by a team of dedicated professionals working nationally and provincially across the country to advance the conversation about Canada’s prosperity and economic security. “Technology used to be a segment of the economy, but now it is the economy, which means Canadian scale-ups have become significant prosperity engines that need to constantly relate to policymakers,” said Jim Balsillie, chair of the Council.

“Ben, Dana and Patrick have done tremendous work to bring together CEOs to speak with one voice, and educating politicians and policymakers about how our country needs to update policies to reflect the economic dynamics of the 21st century digital economy,” said John Ruffolo. “CCI membership has grown exclusively through word of mouth and without a marketing campaign which speaks to the unique value the organization brings to the ecosystem.”

To learn more about CCI, contact Benjamin Bergen directly at, or visit us at

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Council of Canadian Innovators

CCI is Canada’s 21st century business council, advocating for our country’s high-growth, innovative companies. Visit to learn more.