Canadian Urban Institute names new President and CEO

The Board of Directors of the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) announced today the appointment of Mary W. Rowe as its seventh President and Chief Executive Officer effective September 9, 2019.

Mary is a leading urban advocate and civil society leader who has worked in cities across Canada and the United States. Mary comes to CUI with several years of experience as a urban advocate and community leader, including serving as Executive Vice President of the Municipal Art Society of New York (MASNYC), one of America’s oldest civic advocacy organizations focused on the built environment. A mid-career fellowship with the US-based blue moon fund led her to New Orleans where she worked with national philanthropy, governments and local communities to support rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Prior, Mary was President of the Canadian platform Ideas That Matter, a convening and publishing program based on the work of renowned urbanist Jane Jacobs.

Mary has been a frequent contributor to national and international city-building programs, including UN Habitat and the World Urban Forum. She brings an extensive international network of practitioners from government, industry, community activism, and the city-building professions to strengthen CUI under her leadership.

“We are excited to have Mary leading CUI, as we head into our 30th anniversary” said Board Chair Andréa Calla. “Canada is one of the most urbanized countries in the world, and it’s a pivotal moment to make sure our cities are both livable for the residents of today and resilient to the economic, environmental and social challenges we anticipate for tomorrow.”

Commenting on her new role, Mary said, “CUI brings together all the crucial stakeholders – researchers, planning and design professionals, the development industry, local communities and their leaders and government – each important to ensuring Canada’s global leadership in building great cities. I’m delighted to be joining the staff team and look forward to working with the Board and our partners to advance Canada’s unique forms of urbanism’”.

Mary holds Senior Fellowships with Evergreen and Future Cities Canada, Shorefast, PlacemakingX and Massey College. She is lead facilitator with the Urban Project, an initiative of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Maytree. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Bentway (Toronto) and the Nature of Cities (New York City).

The Canadian Urban Institute is one of Canada’s foremost applied research organizations, focused on urban planning and development. Created in 1990, CUI continues to address the most pressing challenges in building livable and resilient cities, including affordable housing, planning for inclusive growth, fostering density, cultural and public spaces and the other components needed to create complete communities. In addition to projects across Canada, CUI has worked internationally with local partners in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Global South, providing research and technical assistance in city-building.


For more information, please contact:          

Andréa Calla, CUI Board Chair