Ms. Helen Polatajko

BMath, ICD.D

Ms. Polatajko joined the CDSPI Board of Directors in October 2016, in an Observer capacity. In that capacity, she has participated as a member of both the Governance Committee and Risk Management Committee. She was officially elected as a Director at CDSPI’s AGM in 2017 and is currently serving as a member of the Human Resources Committee, Nominating/Governance Committee and is Chair of the Risk Management Committee.

Helen is an accomplished independent board director, for over 10 years, in the financial services, energy, health care, education and arts sectors, serving as chair, risk, governance, and audit committee member. She has over 35 years of executive experience in both the private and the public sectors, and has been responsible for the overall strategic direction, organizational transformation and management of information technology functions while being a contributing member of company executive committees.

Additional Experience

Helen’s career spans the technology services field most recently as a consultant to The Bank of Canada and Payments Canada for their Modernization Program to replace the national clearing and settlement system for Canada and the Canadian Financial Institutions. She held CIO positions at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in Ottawa, at CIBC Mellon in Toronto, and at Mellon Financial Mortgage subsidiary in Houston, Texas.

She was featured on the cover of CIO Canada magazine for an article titled “Fusing Business and Technology, served on the judging panel of the Canadian Information Productivity Awards (CIPA), the Canadian Advisory Board, of the CIO Executive Council and the Advisory Committee of the Conference Board of Canada, Council of CIOs.

Helen is currently on the boards of WSIB, the Board of Governors for York University and The Salvation Army and has served as director on an Ontario Crown Corporation and as a former board chair of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir.

Helen has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Women in Computing, acknowledging her achievements and contributions to information services and technology, and was the Executive Sponsor of WIN (Women’s Initiative Network) at CIBC Mellon.

She received her education from The University of Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, attaining a Bachelor’s in Science in Mathematics and Psychology degree, and graduated from The Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Delaware. Helen also holds the certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors.