Canada's brain drain stops at Chaviva Hošek's desk. As president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR), her mandate consists of retaining the very best and brightest in this country. Made up of members selected for their outstanding talent and promise, CIAR challenges these individuals with some of the most ambitious, far-reaching research projects in the world. The subject matter covers such topics as the biochemical history of life on earth and the health of entire societies.
Hošek taught at the University of Toronto for 13 years as a professor of English literature. Under her guidance, the university's courses in women's studies became a full program. In the early 1980s, this long-time champion of Canadian education and human rights joined the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and, in 1984, became its president.
During the federal election of 1984, she lobbied to have the three main political parties address the issue of women's rights. Her foray into political life continued into provincial parliament, where she served as Ontario's minister of housing. In the 1990s, she moved to the federal Liberal party, where she quickly rose to prominence behind the scenes as a senior policy advisor. Before joining CIAR, she was the director of policy and research for Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.