Guest Speaker

Mark O’Neill  |  Guest Speaker


Mark O’Neill is President and CEO of the federal Crown corporation that operates the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum, Canada’s national museums of human and military history. The corporation also operates the Canadian Children’s Museum, the Virtual Museum of New France and the Virtual Museum of Canada. It is Canada’s largest and most visited cultural institution and one of its oldest, with roots stretching back to 1852.


Mr. O’Neill has led the Museums since June 2011, when he was appointed President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. The corporation and its flagship museum were renamed the Canadian Museum of History in December 2013, reflecting a shift in their legislated mandate. Mr. O’Neill has since led the institution’s historic transformation.


Under his leadership, the Museums have placed new emphasis on telling the comprehensive story of Canada and its people from ancient times to the present day. As well, the Museums have expanded their public engagement and outreach activities throughout the country, fostered new collaborations and partnerships within Canada’s cultural sector, and secured greater sponsor and donor support from Canada’s corporate and philanthropic communities.


A native of Toronto, Mr. O’Neill grew up in Ottawa and attended Carleton University, where he studied political science and Canadian studies. He is a community volunteer and was presented with the Mayor’s City Builder Award in 2013 for his outstanding community service and public advocacy leading to the implementation of the 911 emergency phone number, advanced-care paramedic system and the adoption of mandatory CPR training in local schools in Ottawa. In 2012, he received the Diamond Jubilee Medal for his commitment to the Friends of the Canadian War Museum.