With experience in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, David’s clients seek improved business outcomes through the delivery of effective public policy and by exceeding stakeholder expectations.
As corporate advisor, David’s clients seek his insight on climate finance, climate mitigation, and climate adaptation strategies. His practice provides management, financial, strategic, and business planning that engages boards and management with an organization’s internal and external stakeholders.
David founded Canadian Business for Climate Policy in 2020 to establish a business voice that would advocate for stable and effective climate policy with federal and provincial governments. He is a frequent speaker on climate risk and climate finance and has written on tax, regulatory and energy transition issues.
His financial sector expertise focused on policy, regulation, and business development in banking and insurance.
As SVP with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, flood risk, climate change and catastrophic risk were at the centre of the organization’s objectives. Those initiatives required broad engagement with provincial and federal policy, tax, and regulatory agencies.
At CIBC, he served as VP, Government and Regulatory Affairs, positively affecting the evolution of federal and provincial policy and regulatory initiatives. As VP, Corporate Development, he delivered due diligence initiatives for new retail banking, technology, and operation investments. He brings significant business, policy, and financial regulatory experience in Canadian and Caribbean markets.
David cut his political teeth as an economist and speechwriter with the Bill Davis government. He spent several years as an economist with the Department of Finance in Ottawa in its International Branch, then as Assistant to Michael Wilson when Minister of Finance and then as Assistant to Stanley Hartt, then Deputy Minister of Finance.
David serves as a member of the Program Advisory Committee for Toronto’s International Business University. He supported the capital campaign committee for the Kenojuak Cultural Centre in Cape Dorset. He has served as Board Chair for JAZZ.FM91 and was President of the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs. He served as a board member of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance and sat on the Advisory Board of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2013 for his volunteer activities.
David holds a BA from the University of Western Ontario and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is married to Rima Berns-McGown, has four grown children, and has two unruly dogs.