Photo of Gail Garland

Gail Garland

Bioscience Innovator


Carleton alumnus Gail Garland is the founder and CEO of the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO), a not-for-profit that champions the development of an integrated health innovation economy.

“A robust health science industry is a key pillar of any thriving knowledge-based economy,” says Garland.

“In Canada, a stronger health science industry would provide a solution to both demographic and economic challenges. But without critical policy changes, Canadian bioscience companies will lack global competitiveness, losing the opportunity to create jobs and health-care solutions that could bridge the divide between economic development and health-care demands.”

Garland established the OBIO in 2009 in partnership with dozens of like-minded industry CEOs to advance the goal of providing Ontario with a world-leading health innovation sector and turning it into a global leader in providing health technology products and services to the international marketplace.

Raised in Ottawa, Garland earned a BSc in Biology from Carleton in 1978, then went on to obtain an MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She also holds a Chartered Director designation in governance from McMaster University. Before starting the OBIO, Garland held senior roles in banking, pharmaceuticals, biotech and the medical devices sector.

“My time at Carleton opened the door to a world of opportunities,” says Garland, “and laid the groundwork for a science-based business career.”

Beyond helming the OBIO, Garland serves on several university advisory councils and committees, including the University of Waterloo’s Advisory Board for the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology. She sits on the Conference Board of Canada’s Council for Innovation Procurement in Healthcare. She has advocated for the future of the health science industry on national television and has also written extensively on the topic for publications such as the Globe and Mail.