Catherine Swift

Chair, Board of Governors, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

Catherine Swift has been with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business since September 1987, initially as Chief Economist. She became Chair in June 1999 after being named Chief Executive Officer in July 1997 and President in May of 1995.  She stepped down as President & CEO in June 2012 but retains the role of CFIB Chair. Her various responsibilities include coordinating policy issues at federal, provincial and municipal levels of government, representing CFIB with politicians, government, business and other groups and chairing the CFIB Board of Governors.

Ms. Swift worked with the federal government in Ottawa from 1976 to 1983, holding several positions with the Departments of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Industry and Communications. Her areas of specialization included corporate and industrial analysis, international trade and computer communications.

From 1983 – 1987 Ms. Swift was Senior Economist with the Toronto-Dominion Bank in the Department of Economic Research. Her work included industrial analysis and forecasts, provincial economic and financial analysis, and special advisory projects with Bank clients.

Catherine Swift studied at the University of Toronto and Carleton University in Ottawa, obtaining a BA (Honors) in Economics in 1977 and an MA in Economics in 1980.

She has published numerous articles in journals, magazines and other media on such small business issues as free trade, finance, entrepreneurship and women small business owners.

Ms. Swift is a Past President of the Empire Club of Canada, a Director of the C.D. Howe Institute, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, and SOS Children’s Villages Canada, and is currently President of the International Small Business Congress. She sits on the advisory board of the Workplace Democracy Institute (WDI). She was cited in 2003 and again in 2012 as one of the top 100 most powerful women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network.