Dr. Maurice Bitran
University of Toronto
Dr. Maurice Bitran is a scientist, educator, public policy expert and former public-sector executive. He is currently an assistant professor in the teaching stream at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. Prior to that, from 2014 to 2019, Bitran was CEO and Chief Science Officer at the Ontario Science Centre.
Before taking on the leadership role at the Ontario Science Centre, Bitran held various roles in the Ontario Public Service. They included, among others, assistant deputy minister in the Ministry of Environment, assistant deputy minister in the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, chief negotiator for Ontario in the Canada-European Union trade agreement, director of the Occupational Health and Safety Branch in the Ministry of Labour, and director of Research and Innovation at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Bitran has held academic appointments in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, the Astronomy Department of the University of Florida, the Astronomy Department of the University of Chile, and at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. He has served on the boards of Ontario Genomics, Tourism Toronto, Association of Science and Technology Centres, and Canadian Association of Science Centres.
A native of Chile, Bitran received a leadership award from the Transformation Institute for Leadership Innovation in 2019, received a public service award from Life Sciences Ontario in 2013, and was selected as one of the 10 most influential Hispanic-Canadians in 2012 by the Canadian Hispanic Business Alliance. He holds a PhD in astronomy from the University of Florida and a master's in physics and astronomy from the University of Chile.