About us text with an image of the uOttawa Desmarais building



The University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (The Institute), originally branded the Centre for Continuing Education, was established over 25 years ago to offer higher learning opportunities to private and public-sector professionals and the community at large in Ottawa.  Over the years, we developed and nurtured expertise, growing significantly in both course offerings and new specialty knowledge areas, outgrowing its original mandate. 

In late 2018, our organization was rebranded as the Professional Development Institute. The previous designation no longer encapsulated the breadth and depth of current and future offerings nor did it reflect our expanded mandate and reach.


          Our Mission

The Institute has been recognized as mission critical to the University of Ottawa and at the forefront of professional development in Ottawa and beyond. We have greatly diversified our programming, developed strategic partnerships with both government and private industry, offered event-based learning and conferences, established co-designed programs with key government sectors, and more.

The highly sought-after “Institute” designation is rarely granted by the University administration, and done so only after very careful consideration. A rigorous approval process, involving the President, the Provost and the Vice-Presidents, must validate the rationale and justification for the use of the ‘Institute’ label.  The fact that we have been granted this distinguished designation is testimony to our organization, its accomplishments and its potential, and to the dedication and engagement of our staff and expert instructors.


Our Dedicated Team 



Serge Blais
Anne-Chantal Soucie
Associate Director


Customized (In-house and Group) Training


Brian Peever
Manager, Training Projects and Partnerships
613-562-5800 ext. 6527

Renée Mercier
Project Manager, Training Projects and Special Programs 
613-562-5800 ext. 6529


Elder Gomes-Pereira
Program Officer


Programs & Courses


Nathalie Martel
Programming Coordinator
613-562-5800, ext 3361

Élissa Blake
Specialty Programming Coordinator
613-562-5800, ext. 6104


Aurore Lemarinier
Information Officer,
Operations Support

Jessica Lackie
Operations and Client
Services Coordinator
613-562-5800, ext. 2108

Tristan McIntosh
Technical and logistics
officer - e-learning
613-562-5800, ext. 2108


Marketing and Strategy


Paul Grenon
Manager, Marketing & External Relations 
613-562-5800 ext. 8986
Jennifer Cavanagh
Marketing & Communications Strategist 
613-562-5800 ext. 2503


Marie Dickinson
Events Planner
613-562-5800 ext. 5272                     

Bethsaïda Georges
Web and Multimedia Designer 


Finance and Administration


Edgar Xavier Mendoza
Chief, Financial Operations
613-562-5800 ext. 6842 
Joelle Brodeur
Financial and Human Resources Agent
613-562-5800 ext. 6348



Our Facilities

Map of downtown Ottawa with markers to show where PDI and uOttawa is located

Our training centre, located on the 12th floor of the Desmarais building, 55 Laurier Avenue East, provides great benefits:
a central location, just steps away from many government buildings, the Rideau Canal, the Rideau Centre and the Byward Market

  • modern, bright and comfortable multimedia classrooms, conducive to learning
  • free Wi-Fi
  • a lounge for participants
  • extraordinary views of Parliament Hill, downtown Ottawa, the Gatineau Hills and the University of Ottawa campus
  • public transportation at the door, and underground parking facility




Back to top