Introducing Marco Pagani


Following upon a long, illustrious career as a senior executive in Ottawa’s high-tech sector, Marco Pagani became President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Ottawa in January 2014. A seasoned and respected leader in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, Marco Pagani began his career with Nortel Networks in 1985 (then Bell-Northern Research), progressively working his way through the ranks over close to two decades to President of a number of Nortel Business Units. From managing more than 2,000 employees and over $1-billion in revenue in that capacity, to serving as Chair and CEO of various successful start-ups, Pagani has also led the boards of several local charitable organizations.

Most notable of these was his 4-year tenure as President of Villa Marconi, during which time he oversaw a remarkable economic turnaround and drove a “Residents First” philosophy. Marco has also worked closely with such organizations as the Canadian Cancer Society, Knights of Columbus, St Anthony’s Church, the Terry Fox Run, School Box, and Foundations for Farming. Along with playing a governance role, he has developed strategies, run fundraising campaigns, and acted as a long-time weekly volunteer with both the Ottawa Food Bank and the Ottawa Hospital’s Cancer Centre.

Known as a passionate and energetic leader, Marco is recognized as a strategic thinker who has consistently guided companies and organizations through difficult but critically necessary turnarounds, leading to significant economic gains for stakeholders. Moreover, he is respected for placing a strong emphasis on ethics and corporate governance in building the corporate culture of the organizations he leads and advises.

Since taking over the helm of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, Marco has set and met a series of ambitious targets for the organization, including bringing in close to $25 million in his first year, as well as improving the Foundation’s brand profile and reputation for innovation. Under his leadership, it launched the city’s first New Leaf Community Challenge, providing a $125 thousand grant to address critical issues around food security and access to healthy, affordable food in the capital. He has also become a key player in a variety of community development and city-building initiatives that will help shape the Ottawa of the future.