Skip to main content
Career Profile

Mona Nemer

Chief Science Advisor of Canada
Mona Nemer | Conseillère scientifique en chef du Canada
Mona Nemer | Conseillère scientifique en chef du Canada
Location Now
Education Pathway
School Subject

Mona Nemer is the Chief Science Advisor of Canada, located in Ottawa, Ontario.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Beirut, Lebanon

I now live in: Ottawa, Canada

I completed my training/education at: American University in Beirut, Wichita State University in Kansas, McGill University in Montreal

What I do at work

I work with scientists and policy people to develop good ways for the government to use science to make decisions for our society. I also work to promote science to the public. So I collaborate with science and research organizations and the media to help people understand the importance of science.

I am an educator at heart! I could not forget about my students just because I have a new job as Canada’s Chief Science Advisor. So I still regularly see my students at the Molecular Genetics and Cardiac Regeneration Laboratory at the University of Ottawa and I oversee their research and studies.

My career path is

I am a curious person, so I have always let my curiosity guide me. I ask a lot of questions about the world, and I have never let myself be pigeonholed into one area of study. For example, I started out as a chemist, but I ended up branching out into the life sciences because I was interested in how these two areas of science could complement each other. It’s important to always challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone—do and learn new things. This is how we grow.

I have also tried very hard to always remember that failure leads to success. When you fail at something, you can learn so much from that, and that is how we grow and develop. I have never been the type of person to be pessimistic if things don’t turn out the way I expected. Being nimble often means finding opportunities that you didn’t previously know existed.

I have also tried very hard to always remember that failure leads to success. When you fail at something, you can learn so much from that, and that is how we grow and develop. I have never been the type of person to be pessimistic if things don’t turn out the way I expected. Being nimble often means finding opportunities that you didn’t previously know existed.

I am motivated by

I want to make the world a better place. I like to make things better for people, institutions and Canada.

I get very excited when I learn something new, or make a new discovery. I also very much enjoy seeing other people learn new things. It demonstrates to me that we grow and develop through science. I get to speak to a lot of scientists from many different fields, and to me, learning from them is one of the most interesting parts of my job. I am a teacher at heart, and in fact I still teach whenever I can. I enjoy explaining science to people, and I think I'm pretty good at taking complicated ideas and making them easy to understand. So in a way, the job of Chief Science Advisor is a good one for me, because I still get to explain science—just to a wider audience that now includes the government.

How I affect peoples’ lives

I really enjoy explaining science to people—both young and old—and helping them to understand how important science is in our everyday lives. How we use science to make decisions for our society is very important in today’s world. This is because science affects the everyday lives of people—from how we live in our environment, to taking care of our health, to choosing the food we eat. By helping people understand science, we are ensuring that more people will make good decisions for their lives. When the government uses science and evidence to make decisions, this helps to ensure we have good policies and laws for Canadians.

Outside of work I

I enjoy reading novels and biographies. I like hiking, outdoor activities and dancing. I also have a research laboratory at the University of Ottawa, where I have students whom I am mentoring through graduate studies. It is important to me to keep a strong connection to my students, because not only do I enjoy teaching them but I am constantly learning from them too.

My advice to others

Do what you love and go where the opportunities are. You do not need to know right away exactly where you will end up in your career. In fact, your career will likely change several times in your life, so you may as well be doing what you love and what really strikes your curiosity.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • History
  • Literature and Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Organized activities for my friends
  • Played on a sports team
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Liked reading
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do

Related Topics


Canada 2067 Logo
Canada 2067

Let’s Talk Science recognizes and thanks Mona Nemer for her contribution to Canada 2067.

Explore Career Profiles

  • Winston Campeau headshot

    Winston Campeau

    Researcher - Evolutionary Processes

    I use computer simulations and math to research how animals' behavior changes when their environment changes.
  • Kim TallBear headshot

    Kim TallBear

    Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience and Society, Faculty of Native Studies

    I teach university and do research on science and technology from an Indigenous perspective.
  • Mahesh Rachamalla in his lab wearing white lab coat

    Mahesh Rachamalla (he/him)

    Graduate Student (Toxicology)

    My research will help find solutions for protecting aquatic species from the effects of heavy metals.
  • Dr. Molly Shoichet headshot

    Molly Shoichet (she/her)

    Professor and Research Team Lead

    I teach undergraduate students in engineering and I lead a research team in biomedical and chemical engineering.
  • Kaitlin Guitard working on site of an aquaculture setting.

    Kaitlin Guitard

    Water Quality Technician

    I monitor the sea water at salmon farms for harmful plankton and jellyfish.
  • Portrait de Devon Hardy

    Devon Hardy (she/her/elle)

    Program Director

    I run a non-profit program that supports environmental sustainability in the arts.
  • Mike Bryan on walkway over fish tank

    Mike Bryan (he/him)

    Hatchery Technician

    I work at a fish hatchery in the aquaculture industry.
  • Megan Coles headshot with blurred buildings and landscape in the background

    Megan Coles

    Pediatric Nurse

    I care for the inpatients admitted to the medical-surgical units at my local children's hospital.
  • Nicole Redvers headshot

    Nicole Redvers (she/her)

    Associate Professor and Director of Planetary Health

    I carry out Indigenous health research and support Indigenous communities and organizations in their health research needs.
  • Portrait de Gabriel Hould Gosselin

    Gabriel Hould Gosselin

    Research Associate

    I support teams that collect data on the melting permafrost layer in the arctic.
  • Rhiannon Cooper headshot taken outside with trees and plans in the background

    Rhiannon Cooper


    I monitor the patterns and trends of infectious diseases across the province.
  • Khashayar Farzam headshot

    Khashayar Farzam (he/him)

    Emergency Medicine Doctor

    As an ER doctor, I take care of any patient who comes through the hospital door for literally anything!
  • Peter Vlasveld headshot

    Peter Vlasveld

    Intermediate Software Developer

    I write backend code for web apps that help in Cyclica's drug discovery efforts.
  • Andrea Brack recycling at work

    Andrea Brack

    Environmental and Regulatory Team Coordinator

    I lead a team of environmental professionals at a large petrochemical manufacturing facility.
  • Pamela Power photo taken outside in winter with trees in background

    Pamela Power (she/her)

    Water Resources Specialist

    I provide technical review of projects that may affect water resources to ensure your community’s rights and interests are being considered and protected.
  • Sara Knox headshot

    Sara Knox (she/her)

    Assistant Professor (biometeorology)

    I study ways to restore and protect ecosystems to help fight climate change.
  • Samantha Yammine

    Samantha Yammine (she/her)

    Science Communicator

    I create and share engaging science content on social media.
  • Corey Nislow headshot

    Corey Nislow (he/him)

    Professor and Genomics Research Chair

    I study how drugs work and how an individual’s genetic makeup can affect their response to drug treatment.
  • L. Creighton Avery looking at specimen using a microscope in her lab.

    L. Creighton Avery


    I examine human skeletal remains from archaeological sites to learn about their lives.
  • Yetong Dong headshot wearing lab coat

    Yetong Dong

    Research Assistant/Graduate Student

    I am studying to become a scientific researcher.