Announcing Keynote Speaker Wayne Smith

The Information Without Borders Conference committee is thrilled to announce Wayne Smith as a keynote speaker for the 2017 conference.

Wayne Smith

Wayne Smith holds Honours Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Economics from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

After a number of years working in the library and academic sectors, Wayne Smith joined Statistics Canada in 1981. During his 35-year career at Statistics Canada he served as Director of Communications, Director of Special Surveys, Director General of Regional Operations, Assistant Chief Statistician for Communications and Operations, and Assistant Chief Statistician for Business and Trade Statistics. In 2010, following the resignation of his predecessor, Wayne Smith became interim Chief Statistician of Canada and, in January 2011, was confirmed as Chief Statistician. He presided over a period of unusual external turbulence and internal dynamism for Statistics Canada, embracing the government’s imposition of a voluntary long-form census for 2011 and the return to fully mandatory census in 2016. Other major thrusts of his tenure include: removing all charges for Statistics Canada data products and services, and all restrictions on their use and redissemination; opening up of researcher access to the Agency’s information holdings; and exploration of alternative data sources for statistical use including government administrative data and private sector “big data”.

Internationally, Wayne Smith has served as the Chair of the Conference of European Statisticians and the Vice-Chair of the OECD’s Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy. In 2014, he served on the United Nations Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development. The Expert Group’s report, A World That Counts, touches on many issues of digital governance.

On September 17, 2016, Wayne Smith resigned from the position of Chief Statistician of Canada due to his concerns regarding intrusions on the independence of Statistics Canada and on the Agency’s ability to protect the confidentiality of identifiable respondent information.

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