The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) provides a forum for Ontario’s universities to collaborate and advocate in support of their shared mission to the benefit and prosperity of students, communities and the province of Ontario.

President’s Bio

Steve Orsini - President and CEO
With more than 30 years of experience in government and health care, Steve Orsini brings a wealth of public sector experience. As Secretary of the Cabinet, Head of the Ontario Public Service (OPS) and Clerk of the Executive Council from 2014 to 2019, Steve reported to the Premier of Ontario and was responsible for more than 60,000 employees in the OPS. As Secretary, Steve championed the development of the OPS of the Future Action Plan, its Inclusion and Diversity Blueprint and the government’s first Anti-Racism Action Plan.

Steve also served as Ontario’s Deputy Minister of Finance and Secretary of the Treasury Board from 2011 to 2014. Prior to that, Steve was Deputy Minister of Revenue and Associate Deputy Minister for Taxation, Pensions and Agencies. Steve also held senior leadership positions at the Ontario Hospital Association, including Vice-President of Policy and Public Affairs.

Steve has a long history of working collaboratively with all levels of government, the broader public sector, NGOs, and industry associations on system transformation. For example, Steve Chaired the Premier’s Housing Development Approval Round Table, supported Ontario’s input into the Amazon bid, played a leadership role on behalf of Ontario in negotiating the HST and federal administration of Ontario’s corporate income tax, oversaw the policy design of the Ontario’s Child Tax Benefit, supported the province in comprehensive pension reform, and worked with the federal government and other provinces in reaching an historic agreement in creating the pan-Canadian Cooperative Capital Market Regulator.

Steve is currently the Co-Chair on the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Advisory Council on Ontario’s Economic Future and a member of the Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations Steering Committee reviewing Canada’s fiscal architecture. Steve previously served as Chair of the Ontario Financing Authority and Ontario Electricity Financial Corporation as well as a Member of the Public Policy Forum Board of Directors and Advisory Council of the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management at the Ivey Business School.

Steve has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Urban and Regional Planning, a Master’s in Environmental Studies and a Certificate in Public Administration. He has also completed the Canadian Securities Course, Parts I and II of the CICA In-Depth Tax Course and the Harvard University Health Care Leadership Program. Steve is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and a Senior Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute.