ORION is Ontario’s only provincial research and education network. Covering 6,000 kilometres with over 30 points of presence (PoPs), our private network connects regions and over a hundred institutions all over the province, including universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutions, as well as many of Ontario’s school boards. 1.7 million people in the research and education industry rely on ORION to share and communicate with each other and to connect to a global grid of similar networks across Canada and around the world.

Our long history of providing advanced network solutions has given us the expertise we need to fulfil the digital requirements of Ontario’s research and education community.

We also provide shared access to advanced technology that lowers institutional purchasing costs and reduces duplication in services.


ORION was originally created with the support of the Ontario Government. ORION is a self-sustaining not-for-profit organization kickstarted by the Ontario Government under Premier Harris. We were founded in 2001 (known then as The Optical Regional Advanced Network of Ontario, or ORANO) and our first connection — between Toronto and Sudbury — was completed and tested in 2003. Following that initial success, ORION and the Ontario Government invested $32.4 million. Since then, we’ve been a self-sustaining, not-for-profit organization.


At ORION, supporting our community comes first. As a not-for-profit organization, we’re focused on outcomes, re-investing in the network, and the success of our community, not corporate shareholders. Whether it’s ground-breaking researchers sharing huge amounts of data or students in a classroom using technology to learn, it’s all about Ontario’s progress and economic development.

ORION Board of Directors

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    Alfonso Licata CEO and President, ORION

    Alfonso has a strong track record in the design and launch of new and disruptive enterprises in the technology space and across multiple market segments. At ORION, Alfonso helps drive the organization’s strategy forward in a highly collaborative and strategic manner.

    He brings his unique blend of experience in user-first service, teamwork, and strategic alliance-building to bear on solving the complex problems faced by Ontario’s research, education, and innovation community.

    Alfonso sits on the board of ORION and OCAD University’s Digital Futures Advisory Board, serving as an Adjunct Professor in this graduate program. He serves as a Volunteer Mentor and Entrepreneur in Residence, supporting teams and companies at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), Communitech, and MaRS. He previously held a similar role at Deloitte, after co-founding several technology-based companies over the last 20 years.

  • Brad Strom
    Brad Strom Chief Information Officer at York University

    Brad brings over 25 years of IT & security experience across multiple industries and is passionate about establishing effective partnerships, developing high performing teams, and delivering meaningful change through them.  He has led significant business transformations through the establishment of new digital capabilities in areas that include customer channels, digital banking, and grid modernization.  Brad’s experience also includes leading cyber and physical security investments within critical infrastructure and highly regulated environments.  He joins York University from SaskPower after serving as the Vice-President and Chief Information Officer, Technology and Security for seven years. Before joining SaskPower, he served as Farm Credit Canada’s Vice-President of Development & Operations.

    Mr. Strom holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Systems from Carleton University.  Invested in his community, Brad served as previous Board Chair of The Caring Place which provides mental health services to communities in Saskatchewan.

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    David Drury General Manager, Global Technology Services, IBM Canada Limited

    David Drury leads the country’s technology solutions business to deliver an exceptional client experience. His focus on emerging technologies, emphasis on execution and collaborative leadership approach aid clients in elevating the role of IT in their own organizations – effectively moving technology solutions and planning out of the “back office” and into the boardroom.

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    Deborah MacLatchy President and Vice-Chancellor, Wilfrid Laurier University

    Since joining Laurier in 2007 as Dean of the Faculty of Science, she has played a lead role in many of the university’s significant initiatives. Some highlights include: the development of a new strategic academic plan; the establishment of innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees; the advancement of the university’s research agenda; the launch of the Laurier Institute of Water Science and the Laurier Centre for Women in Science; and the creation and expansion of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. Prior to her roles at Laurier, she was Dean of the Faculty of Science, Applied Science and Engineering and Director of the International Office at the University of New Brunswick.

    MacLatchy is past chair of the Board of Directors of the Balsillie School of International Affairs; a past president of the Canadian Society of Zoologists; a past chair of the Science Directors of the Canadian Rivers Institute; and a past chair of the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents (Council of Ontario Universities). She is also a past member of the Committee on Research Partnerships at NSERC (Natural Council of Articulation and Transfer) and a member of the Board of Directors of ORION.

    In addition to her role as a senior administor, MacLatchy is an active researcher and graduate-student supervisor with a focus on ecotoxicology and comparative endocrinology.

  • Doris Stamml Board Member

    Doris is a seasoned professional and executive with more than 30 years of experience working in a leading professional and consulting services organization. Doris recently retired from a lengthy career as Chief Legal Counsel and Executive Committee Member of Ernst & Young LLP (EY) and was honoured with a Canadian General Counsel Lifetime Achievement.

    Doris is a Certified Corporate Director (ICD.D) and has deep expertise in governance, risk management, legal and regulatory compliance, strategy and business planning and execution, and talent management.

    She is deeply passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion and has been recognized for her long track record of championing the next generation of female leaders. She is a past member of Cabinet of the United Way of Toronto and York Region where she co-chaired its Women United Initiative. She is a member of the board of directors of The Canadian Canoe Museum and the Board of Governors of Fleming College.

  • Hassan Assiri
    Hassan Assiri Director, Infrastructure Services, Seneca College

    Hassan is the Director of Infrastructure Services at Seneca College, and he has over 30 years of experience working in higher education.

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    Jim Garner Corporate Director and Independent Consultant

    Jim Garner joined the board of ORION in 2014 and was appointed Board Chair in October 2017.

    Recently retired, Jim is an experienced senior executive with broad experience in finance, healthcare/life sciences and the education sector. He has extensive board experience as a director and executive with public company, broader public sector, not-for-profit organizations.

    Jim is a CPA/CA and a Chartered Business Valuator and earned his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is a graduate from IMD (MBA) and Queen’s University (B. Comm.)

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    Ron McKerlie President, Mohawk College and Mohawk College Foundation

    Since 2014, Ron has served as President of Mohawk College and Mohawk College Foundation in Hamilton, Ontario. Previously Ron served 10 years in the Ontario Public Service as Deputy Minister Open Government, Interim President of Ornge Air Ambulance, Deputy Minister, Government Services, and Corporate CIO and Chief Strategist for Ontario.

    Prior to joining the Ontario Public Service, Ron’s career spanned 25 years in the private sector where he held senior executive positions with Rogers Communications and Bank of Montreal.
    Ron holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Dalhousie University, an ICD.D designation from Rotman, is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers and a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

    Mr. McKerlie is a member of the Board of Directors for World Vision Canada, World Vision International and ORION.

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    Dr. Steven N. Liss Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Toronto Metropolitan University

    Steven N. Liss is Toronto Metropolitan University’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and a professor of Chemistry and Biology in the Faculty of Science. His return to Toronto Metropolitan University in April 2017 follows a decade of distinguished service at the University of Guelph and at Queen’s University, where he served as Vice-Principal (Research) and a professor of Environmental Studies and Chemical Engineering.

    For his contributions to Canada’s research and innovation ecosystems, Steven was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

    He has also held positions on a number of boards and councils and he has played an important leadership role nationally in the advancement of support for digital infrastructure.

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