Sylvia Ostry is Distinguished Research Fellow at the Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto. She has a Ph.D. in economics from McGill University and Cambridge. After teaching and doing research at a number of Canadian universities and at the University of Oxford Institute of Statistics, she joined the Federal Government in 1964. Among the posts she held were Chief Statistician, Deputy Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Chairman of the Economic Council of Canada, Deputy Minister of International Trade, Ambassador for Multilateral Trade Negotiations and the Prime Minister’s Personal Representative for the Economic Summit. From 1979 to 1983 she was Head of the Economics and Statistics Department of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. In 1989 she was Volvo Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, New York. From 1990 to 1997 she was Chairman, Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto.
Her work has been recognized with numerous honorary degrees from universities in Canada and abroad. In 1987, Dr. Ostry received the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Government of Canada. In December 1990, she was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. In June 1991, she was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She is a director of Power Financial Corporation and Power Corporation. She is an Expert Adviser to the Commission on Transnational Corporations of the United Nations and a member of the Board of Distinguished Advisors for the Center for the Study of Central Banks. Dr. Ostry is a member of the Group of Thirty in Washington and a founding member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. In 1992, the Sylvia Ostry Foundation annual lecture series was launched by Madam Sadako Ogata, then the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Dr. Ostry herself is a frequent speaker to diverse Canadian and international audiences. Dr. Ostry has written numerous books and articles on various aspects of the international economy, with a particular emphasis on the development and elaboration of the multilateral trading system as well as the impact of globalization.