Board of Directors

Meet our supportive directors.

Dr. Stan Blade

Dean, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences

On August 1, 2014 Dr. Blade became Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES) at the University of Alberta. ALES is focused on teaching, research and community service in its departments and schools: Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Sciences, Renewable Resources, Human Ecology, Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology as well as the Devonian Botanic Garden and the Alberta School of Forest Science and Management. 

Dr. Blade is a 2012 graduate of the Wharton Business School’s Executive Development Program (University of Pennsylvania). He currently serves as Vice-Chair on the Board of Trustees of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (, a Nairobi-based agency supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2012 Dr. Blade was named by Alberta Venture as one of “Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People”. In 2013 Dr. Blade was appointed by the Minister of International Cooperation (Government of Canada) to the governing body of the Canada International Food Security Research Fund. 

Dr. Stan Blade just finished serving as Chief Executive Officer of the Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions Corporation (AI Bio). Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions is a provincial government agency that leads and coordinates science and innovation to grow prosperity in Alberta’s agriculture, food and forestry sectors. During his tenure as CEO, Dr. Blade led AI Bio’s five priorities: 1) sustainable production, 2) quality food for health, 3) prion diseases, 4) ecosystem services, and 5) building the bioeconomy. Dr. Blade also led the management and disbursement of the Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions investment portfolio worth $75 million, supporting projects totaling $250 million. 

Dr. Blade previously served as the Deputy Director General (Research) for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). IITA is a world-class research organization that is part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research ( Dr. Blade was a member of the Alliance Deputy Executive of the CGIAR.

Dr. Blade has published over 90 research articles, ten book chapters, upwards of 170 conference abstracts and has edited four books. He has been the winner of several awards from the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America. Dr. Blade is a member of several professional societies and international committees, and has served on the editorial boards of several international journals. Dr. Blade has worked and traveled in more than 80 countries. 

Dr. Blade was born in Alberta, Canada where he was raised on a dairy and grain farm. He attended the University of Alberta for his first degree (B.Sc.) in genetics. He obtained his M.Sc. (Crop Science) from the University of Saskatchewan for a breeding/physiology study on wheat. Dr. Blade’s doctorate was awarded by McGill University (Montreal, Canada) for work done at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture on a Canadian International Development Agency Ph.D. Scholarship. The thesis topic was a plant breeding/farming systems approach to improving an indigenous grain legume (Vigna unguiculata L.) for use within the complex cereal-legume cropping systems of the West African savanna. 

Dr. Blade has served as an elected member of the University of Alberta Senate, and participated as a senior judge at both the Canadian and Alberta Science Fairs. Dr. Blade’s expertise has been recognized through his invitations to participate in research reviews conducted by the European Union, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, Food and Agriculture Organization, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. Dr. Blade has served on the Boards of the TELUS World of Science, the Edmonton Public Library and CHF – Partners in Rural Development (an international NGO). Dr. Blade currently serves on the Community Advisory Board of the Edmonton Journal. 

Dr. Blade lives in Edmonton, Alberta with his wife Linda and children, Daniel and Savanna. 

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