In memoriam: John Brown

Posted on April 16, 2024 |

The Board and staff of the NRCB are deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of former NRCB CEO John Brown on March 24, 2024 after a fierce battle with cancer.

John Brown Obituary

John was CEO of the NRCB from October 2019 to April 2021. He took on the leadership of the NRCB after an accomplished career of more than 30 years with the Government of Alberta, beginning in Alberta Agriculture’s agronomy unit and moving up to hold senior management positions in the areas of food safety, crop diversification, industry development, the Alberta Grains Council, crop breeding, and livestock research. He later advanced to become assistant deputy minister with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and then with Alberta Economic Development, Trade, and Tourism.  

As CEO of the NRCB, John’s calm and resolute leadership was critical to the NRCB’s navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to the organization’s ability to pivot overnight to remote work while continuing to deliver on our mandates. But John’s greatest strength as a leader may have been his gift for paving the way for the success of his staff by quietly removing barriers they might face while supporting and empowering them to fulfill their roles to the utmost of their abilities.

A celebration of life will be held for John on April 21, 2024. As a tribute to John’s many contributions, the John S E Brown Memorial Fund has been established in his name at the University of Alberta Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, from which John graduated in 1986. Funds will be used for undergraduate scholarships. More information is available at the University of Alberta Memorial Tribute Giving site.