Our People | McKenna Institute | UNB

Meet the team

Digital transformation is about more than technology: at its core, it’s about people. The McKenna Institute team works on behalf of New Brunswickers to help our province succeed.

Frank McKenna, Benefactor

“We need to dream big dreams.”

Frank McKenna

Frank McKenna is a politician, ambassador, lawyer and businessman whose relentless pursuit of New Brunswick’s best interests has been a constant across the remarkable trajectory of his life and career.

As premier of New Brunswick from 1987 to 1997, he advanced a contemporary vision for New Brunswick predicated on state-of-the-art technology, progressive programs and pride. New Brunswick became a global leader in e-government and achieved national acclaim for its technology prowess.

Frank was the first premier in Canada to have an email address and a computer in his office. An early adopter, he has long understood the power of technology to make us more connected, successful and contemporary. During his three terms in office, he advanced a revolutionary vision of moving New Brunswick to a knowledge-based economy based on “bandwidth and brain-width.”

Following three whirlwind terms, Frank kept his promise to step down after ten years. He went on to influential roles outside of his home province, first as Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. in 2005. The following year, TD Bank named him deputy chairman, a position created for Frank that he still holds.

Frank McKenna holds 15 honorary degrees, an Order of Canada, an Order of New Brunswick, a QC, is a Privy Counsellor, a Vanier Award recipient and a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is a former Chancellor of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

He holds degrees from St. Francis Xavier University and University of New Brunswick Faculty of Law, where he earned a prestigious Lord Beaverbrook scholarship and graduated second in his class.

Through it all, Frank has never lost his abiding connection and commitment to his home province, where he lives in Cap Pele with his wife, Julie. The McKennas have three children and seven grandchildren.

Adrienne O’Pray, Executive Director

“New Brunswick has tremendous strengths to build on for us to succeed in a digital world...by bringing together those who share this excitement about our potential, the McKenna Institute will play a key role in driving our economy toward a bright future.”

Adrienne O’Pray

Adrienne brings deep leadership experience and a passion for economic and social development in New Brunswick to her role at the helm of the McKenna Institute.

Over more than 25 years in senior management positions in the public and private sectors, she has served as president and CEO of the New Brunswick Business Council and COO of Atlantic Lottery Corp., among other roles.

Adrienne serves on the Board of Assumption Life and is the Chair of the UNB Faculty of Management Advisory Board. She regularly volunteers to facilitate strategic planning engagements with local community organizations.

Adrienne holds an MBA from the University of New Brunswick and a BSc from Dalhousie University. She has also completed several programs through the Institute of Corporate Directors and Queen’s University’s Executive Education Program.

In 2018, Adrienne was recognized by the Ottawa-based Public Policy Forum with the Frank McKenna Award for Public Policy, presented to distinguished Atlantic Canadians who have built bridges between sectors, contributed to public policy and shown exceptional leadership. UNB’s Faculty of Business Administration has awarded her the Certificate of Achievement.