Board of Advisors
Dr. Pradeep Merchant
Dr. Pradeep Merchant is a well-known and respected individual in the Indo-Canadian community and in the City of Ottawa. Currently, he is the Site Chief of the Division of Neonatology at the Civic Campus and Assistant Professor in Dept. of Paediatrics at University of Ottawa.
He has played an active role in building strong professional and business organization in Ottawa. Dr. Merchant has worked tirelessly with the private and political sectors to improve educational, economical and cultural ties between India and Canada.
He served on the Advisory Board of the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Council of Ottawa. The council brought Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in the Nation’s Capital at the Carleton University. He served on the Board of Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation as an active community representative in helping health care institutions. Dr. Merchant received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding Canadians in 2013 from Governor General of Canada. Dr. Merchant serves on the board of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation since 2015.
Dr. Merchant has been appointed as an Advisor to the CIS Council In 2018.
Dr. Harpreet Singh Kochhar
Dr. Harpreet Singh Kochhar was appointed as Assistant Deputy Minister of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada in summer 2017. Before this he served in the public service as Associate Vice-President, Operations, in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. He also held the position of Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) for Canada.
Dr. Kochhar is a veterinarian by training having received his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Veterinary Science from Punjab, India. He then came to Canada to pursue his doctoral studies (Ph.D.) in Biotechnology from the University of Guelph in 1995. He worked as a veterinarian in private practice after completing his PhD. In 2001, Dr. Kochhar joined the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College where he was an assistant professor with research interests in animal biotechnology.
Following that, he joined the Canadian Public Service as Senior Animal Biotechnology Policy Specialist in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency(CFIA). He has since held a number of senior-level positions within the CFIA.
He is an expert on animal biotechnology for the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and has worked internationally with such organizations as the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
He has been conferred with various public service awards and is also a recipient of Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012.
Dr. Kochhar is married to Kanwal and together they have a son (Harman) and a daughter (Annahat). Harpreet likes to volunteer in the community and at the Sikh temple of Ottawa. His family raises funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) regularly and he contributes to various charities and participates in such activities. On a more personal front, he enjoys cooking, playing Golf, Volleyball and downhill skiing.