Phone: 519.853.8082        Fax: 519.853.8935

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Dr. Debra Brown

DMin, MDiv, Pro.Dir.
President & CEO

Debra Brown is the founder, President and CEO of Governance Solutions Inc.  Since founding GSI in 1991, Debra has developed it into a full-service firm providing governance consulting, research, training and tools on both a customized (organizational) and public basis (including on-line.)

Under Debra’s leadership, GSI has developed and tested a comprehensive, principles-based governance system that has been adopted and adapted by award-winning, leading governance organizations including The Conference Board and BMO Financial Group (Bank of Montreal) in Canada’s private sector, federal and provincial governments in the public sector, and numerous not-for-profit organizations and associations.  It is also the foundation on which GSI created the program and curriculum for The Directors College, and The Professional Director Certification Program™ and other governance education and university accredited certification programs for the Health, Colleges and Universities, School Board, Cooperative and Indigenous sectors.  

Comfortable and confident with both boards and executives, Debra’s mix of experiential and conceptual insights uniquely qualify her to advise organizations on their governance.  She has served twice as a CEO, reporting to boards, and as a board member of several organizations, including as Board Chair and Governance Committee Chair, and so she is able to see governance issues from both sides of the boardroom table.

Debra’s doctoral thesis topic Using Governance as a Tool to Transform Organizational Culture, enabled her to develop a proprietary, leading edge diagnostic tool by which boards and executive teams can identify their dominant culture, and work on steps to capitalize on cultural enablers and mitigate cultural challenges.

Currently, Debra serves on major international non-profit corporation boards, and has worked in corporate governance as far afield as Malaysia, Bahrain, Indonesia, Cuba and Guatemala.  

Author of Governance Solutions: The Ultimate Guide to Competence and Confidence in the Boardroom, she is an acknowledged and sought-after thought leader in corporate governance, also authoring over two dozen major research articles published in Canada and internationally.

Prior to forming Governance Solutions, Debra spent several years in the Canadian financial sector, working most recently as CEO.  Debra holds a Doctor of Ministry and a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where she graduated magma cum laude.