Joy Thomas, MBA, FCPA, FCMA, C. Dir.

CPA Canada President and CEO

Joy Thomas, MBA, FCPA, FCMA, C. Dir.

Education and qualifications

  • Certified Management Accountant, 1993
  • Chartered Professional Accountant, 2013
  • Master in Business Administration, Edinburgh School of Business, Heriot Watt University, 2002
  • Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada, 2005
  • Chartered Director Designation, McMaster University, 2009

The Board of Directors for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) appointed Joy Thomas, FCPA, FCMA, as president and CEO, effective April 1, 2016. 

In this role, Joy leads one of the largest professional accounting bodies in the world with more than 210,000 members. Under her leadership, the Canadian CPA designation is recognized and respected as one of the leading voices in the Canadian and international accounting and business communities.

Joy works in partnership with the provincial CPA bodies and other stakeholders to keep the profession in front of emerging trends and to have it play a leadership role in shaping the future. The Canadian profession is well positioned to adapt to new technologies, shifting demographics and other megatrends such as helping businesses adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Joy was appointed executive vice-president of CPA Canada in 2013. Prior to joining CPA Canada in this role, Joy was president and chief executive officer of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada), a position she assumed in June 2009. In this position, Joy played a key role in the historic unification of Canada’s three legacy designations under the CPA banner. She worked as a corporate controller and CFO in industry until 1995 when she joined CMA Nova Scotia and Bermuda. Her most recent appointment prior to leading CMA Canada was as president and CEO for CMA Alberta.

In 2005, Joy was named a fellow of CMA Canada, a prestigious award that recognizes CMAs who bring distinction to the profession and serve as role models.

Joy currently serves as a board director and member of the Planning and Finance committee of the International Federation of Accountants, which represents over three million professional accountants world-wide. In 2018, she was elected chair of the board of the Global Accounting Alliance and was a member of Canada's National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy. 

The Women's Executive Network recognized Joy as one of Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award winners for 2018. The Top 100 Awards celebrate outstanding women across Canada for their professional achievements and for serving as an inspiration for the next generation of leaders.