Diane Francis

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Diane Francis
Born Chicago, Illinois, USA
Nationality  Canada  United States
Occupation author, editor, journalist
Known for editor, Financial Post

Diane Francis is an American-Canadian journalist, author and editor-at-large for the National Post newspaper since 1998.[1] In addition she is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC within its Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. She is on the Advisory Council of the Hudson Institute's Kleptocracy Initiative and an Executive Committee Member on the Canada-US Law Institute in Cleveland. She is also Adjunct Faculty with Singularity University in Mountain View California and raised most of the funds, along with Deloitte Canada, to mount its first SU Canada Summit in October 2017. She is also a Distinguished Professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and was a Media Fellow for more than 15 years with the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland. In 1991, she became Editor of Canada’s Financial Post, the first woman editor of a national daily newspaper in Canada, a position she held until the paper was sold in 1998. She was previously the Editor of the Financial Post from 1991 to 1998, when it was taken over by the National Post and incorporated into it.[2] She has been a columnist with the Financial Post since 1987[2] and her columns are syndicated. She also a regular contributor to American Interest, the Atlantic Council Ukraine Monitor, the Kyiv Post, the Huffington Post, a broadcaster, and author of ten books on political, geopolitical, socio-economic and white-collar crime subjects.[1] She is currently working on a science fiction feature-length screenplay with Hollywood producers.


Francis was born in Chicago, Illinois.[3] She is married and has two adult children.[4] She is a high school graduate.


Francis is a self-taught journalist who began with a small daily newspaper, The Brampton Times in Ontario, then freelanced for newspapers and magazines around the world. She was a reporter and columnist with The Toronto Star from 1981 to 1987, then a columnist and director with the Toronto Sun, Maclean's and the Financial Post in 1987[2] and its editor from 1991 to 1998, when it was taken over by the National Post and incorporated into it.[2] She has been a columnist and editor-at-large at the National Post since then;[1] her columns are widely cited, quoted and republished. She also a regular contributor to the Atlantic Council, New York Post, the Huffington Post, Kyiv Post as well as newspapers around the world. She is a broadcaster, speaker and author of ten books on Canadian socio-economic subjects.[1]

Francis is Distinguished Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto.[5] She was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University's Shorenstein Center in autumn 2005[6] and has been a Media Fellow at the World Economic Forum.[5] In 2013 and 2015, she served as a media advisor to graduate student teams at Singularity University in the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley. In 2015, she became Adjunct Faculty with Singularity University and will participate in conferences and other projects such as mentoring teams in the institution's Global Challenges program.

She is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council specializing in the Ukraine-Russia relationship. She has contributed many articles and written a White Paper about the nexus in the region of white-collar crime and power that was published by the Council and Newsweek Magazine in 2016. She was named in June 2016 to the Advisory Council of the Hudson Institute's Kleptocracy Initiative, an extensive database about kleptocrats created for law enforcement, journalistic and research purposes.



Francis' 1986 book Controlling Interest: Who Owns Canada? produced "the startling fact that one-third of Canada’s wealth was in the hands of just 32 families and five conglomerates";[7] it featured in Canadian best-seller lists for over a year.[8] Her 2008 follow-up, Who Owns Canada Now: Old Money, New Money and The Future of Canadian Business showed that whilst much of the wealth covered in her earlier book had been inherited, 55 of the 75 wealthy families or individuals profiled were self-made.[9] 36 of these had never been interviewed before, including K. Rai Sahi, the CEO of ClubLink Enterprises Limited, Canada’s largest owner and operator of member golf clubs.

Her 1996 book titled Fighting for Canada was published in the French language as Maîtres Chanteurs Chez Nous!.[10] In it, she alleged subversive tactics and violations of human rights by members of the Quebec sovereignty movement during the 1995 Quebec referendum.[10]

In 2013, she published Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country, which argued for the economic and/or political union of Canada and the United States.[11]


Francis has interviewed, and written about, hundreds of CEOs, billionaires, heads of state, international criminals, Interpol officials, thinkers, and academics. These include Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, George Soros, Carlos Salinas, Christine Lagarde, Pervez Musharraf, Angel Gurria, Raghuram Rajan, Larry Summers, Clayton Christensen and dozens more. She has also been able to observe and interview the world’s political and thought leaders for 20 years at the World Economic Forum. She has traveled and covered major news events: the fall of the Berlin Wall; the dismantling of the Soviet Union; the restructuring of the former Soviet satellite nations; the reunification of Germany; the enfranchisement of blacks and election of Nelson Mandela in South Africa; the independence of Ukraine then its Orange Revolution; the events and elections leading to free trade and NAFTA; the corrupt elections and the 1994 assassination of Presidential candidate Colosio in Mexico; the 1994 Chiapas rebellion in Mexico by Mayans including an interview in the jungle with its guerrilla leader, Subcommandante Marcos; the dangers and dreams of Mexicans and their smugglers crossing “el bordo” illegally from Tijuana to San Diego; the battle in Colombia against cocaine smugglers; the Quebec referendum battle in 1995 on separation from Canada; how the world’s biggest boiler room stock fraud took place out of Amsterdam and how the world’s biggest gold swindle, Bre-X, was pulled off in Calgary, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

In her article in Financial Post, published a day after the 2013 The International Center for Investigative Journalists offshore tax haven US$32-trillion industry story broke, [notes 1] Diane Francis described her first job in Canada working for the tax lawyer of Canada's richest individual and industrialist, E. P. Taylor. At that time, Francis' employer created hundreds of new corporations dividing Taylor’s huge income so that he would pay the minimal small business income tax. She described K. C. Irving and E. P. Taylor as patrons and beneficiaries of the offshore tax haven industry. In 1959, Taylor created the world’s first exclusive gated tax haven, Lyford Cay, Bahamas where Arthur Hailey, Sean Connery, Henry Ford II, Aga Khan IV, Prince Rainier, Stavros Niarchos and Sir John Templeton also resided. In 1972 K. C. Irving established himself as a resident of Bermuda, "placed ownership of his empire into a series of tax-free Bermuda trusts" that have "never paid taxes to Canada."[12][13]

View on environmental problems and overpopulation[edit]

In a column which referred to the then current 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Francis wrote: "The 'inconvenient truth' overhanging the UN's Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world." She described various environmental issues related to overpopulation, and stated that: "A planetary law, such as China's one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days."[14][15]

Recognition and affiliations[edit]

Francis has been conferred with four honorary doctorates from universities, been the recipient of awards for her work in journalism from organizations, publications, and universities in Canada.[1][citation needed] She has served on the advisory board of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research and a member of the board of directors for CARE Canada, and as the volunteer chair for the fund-raising campaign for Ryerson University's community health center.[1]

Francis has been a director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2008, the Canada Ukraine Chamber of Commerce in 1989 and Ryerson Cabinet since 2011. Francis became a director of Lake Shore Gold Corp, listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges, in November 2013.

Francis became a Director of Aurizon Mines Ltd., listed on the Toronto and American Stock Exchanges September 2007.



  1. ^ In April 2013, The International Center for Investigative Journalists in Washington, D.C obtained two million emails and other documents regarding offshore tax havens, mainly the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Singapore revealing a booming offshore trade worth over US$32-trillion that thrives at the expense of national revenues. 450 Canadians were identified as holding offshore havens, not all of which are illegal.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Official biography". dianefrancis.com. Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d Financial Post, Diane Francis Archived 8 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine., accessed 18 December 2009
  3. ^ a b "Controlling interest : who owns Canada? / Diane Francis (ResAnet record)". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  4. ^ Diane Francis, dianefrancismylife blog, Diane Francis' Life, 4 February 2006
  5. ^ a b "Diane Francis - bio - CEO Outlook - Ryerson University". ryerson.ca. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Harvard University, Former Fellows and Visiting Faculty, accessed 24 August 2010
  7. ^ HarperCollins, Who Owns Canada Now: Old Money, New Money and The Future of Canadian Business
  8. ^ HarperCollins, Who Owns Canada Now: Old Money, New Money and the Future of Canadian Business
  9. ^ Vancouver Sun, 16 April 2008, Eight B.C. billionaires profiled in Diane Francis book Archived 7 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ a b "Fighting for Canada". archive.org, originally dianefrancis.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-21. Retrieved 2009-12-18. 
  11. ^ https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/2013/10/17/merger_of_the_century_by_diane_francis_review.html/
  12. ^ Francis, Diane (5 April 2013). "Tax avoidance becoming bigger than the U.S. economy". Financial Post. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Francis, Diane (6 April 2013). "Why Are We Letting Tax Cheats Rob Canada?". 
  14. ^ Financial Post, The real inconvenient truth
  15. ^ Columnist Proposes One-Child Policy to Battle Climate Change 14 December 2009 Interview Fox News

External links[edit]