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Sylvia Ostry

Sylvia Ostry
Born Sylvia Knelman
(1927-06-03) June 3, 1927
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Occupation economist and public servant
Spouse(s) Bernard Ostry
Awards Order of Canada
Order of Manitoba

Sylvia Ostry, CC OM FRSC (born June 3, 1927) is a Canadian economist and public servant.


Born Sylvia Knelman in Winnipeg, Manitoba on June 3, 1927, she received a Bachelor of Arts in economics from McGill University in 1948, a Master of Arts from McGill in 1950, and a Ph.D. from Girton College, Cambridge and McGill in 1954.

From 1952 to 1955 she was a lecturer at McGill, becoming an assistant professor from 1952 to 1955, and becoming Associate Professor at the Université de Montréal from 1962 to 1964.

From 1972 to 1975, Ostry was Paris. From 1984 to 1985 she was Deputy Minister, International Trade, and Coordinator, International Economic Relations. Later, in 1986 Ostry became a member of the influential Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty.

From 1991 to 1996, she was Chancellor, University of Waterloo. In 1997 she was appointed Chancellor Emerita, University of Waterloo.

Since 1997, she has been the Distinguished Research Fellow at the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies.

She was married to the late Bernard Ostry, by whom she has two children, Adam Ostry (a senior federal civil servant himself) and Jonathan D. Ostry (Deputy Director, Research Department, International Monetary Fund).


  • In 1978 she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada
  • In 1987 she received the Government of Canada Outstanding Achievement Award
  • In 1990 she was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada.
  • In 1991 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
  • In 2009 she was made a Member of the Order of Manitoba.
  • In 2010 she was awarded the The Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership


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