Sylvia Ostry

Sylvia Ostry

Sylvia Ostry, CC, FRSC is a Canadian economist and public servant.

Born Sylvia Knelman in Winnipeg, Manitoba on June 3 1927, she received a Bachelor of Arts in economics from McGill University in 1948, a Master of Arts from McGill in 1950, and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University and McGill in 1954.

From 1952 to 1955 she was a lecturer at McGill, becoming an assistant professor from 1952 to 1955, and becoming Associate Professor at the Université de Montréal from 1962 to 1964.

From 1972 to 1975, Ostry was Chief Statistician of Canada at Statistics Canada. From 1975 to 1978, Ostry was Deputy Minister, Consumer and Corporate Affairs. From 1978 to 1979, she was Chairman, Economic Council of Canada. From 1979 to 1983, she was Head of the Department of Economics and Statistics of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris. From 1984 to 1985 she was Deputy Minister, International Trade, and Coordinator, International Economic Relations. Later, in 1986 Ostry became a member of the influential Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty.

From 1991 to 1996, she was Chancellor, University of Waterloo. In 1997 she was appointed Chancellor Emerita, University of Waterloo.

Since 1997, she has been the Distinguished Research Fellow at the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies.

She was married to the late Bernard Ostry, by whom she has two children.


* In 1978 she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada
* In 1987 she received the Government of Canada Outstanding Achievement Award
* In 1990 she was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada.
* In 1991 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada


* Ostry received honorary Doctorate of Laws degrees from:
** University of New Brunswick in 1971
** York University in 1971
** McGill University in 1972
** University of Western Ontario in 1973
** McMaster University in 1973
** University of British Columbia in 1973
** Queen's University in 1975
** Brock University in 1975
** Mount Allison University in 1975
** Acadia University in 1981
** American College of Switzerland in 1983
** University of Winnipeg in 1984
** University of Manitoba in 1986
** Concordia University in 1986
** University of Windsor in 1987
** University of Waterloo in 1997
** a Doctorate of Management Sciences from University of Ottawa in 1976
** a Doctorate of Letters from Laurentian University in 1977



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