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Barbara Dirks

Head of Canada

Silicon Valley Bank


Professional Summary

Barbara Dirks is the head of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) in Canada, serving the growing innovation economy of entrepreneurs, startups, technology and life science companies of all sizes and their investors. Based in Toronto, Barbara leads and oversees all of Silicon Valley Bank’s activities in Canada, including the company’s recent expansion efforts in the country, business development and operations. She also chairs the supervisory committee for Silicon Valley Bank in Canada.

Barbara is passionate about SVB’s clients and its mission to help them succeed. She finds it particularly rewarding to work with founders and CEOs whose bold ideas are having a positive impact in the world.

Barbara brings a wealth of experience and leadership ability from a career in banking to her current role. Barbara joined Silicon Valley Bank in 2018, having previously served in roles at the Royal Bank of Canada where she was Senior Vice President of Network and Advisor Strategy in personal and commercial banking. Previously, she was Chief Operations Officer of the North American commercial banking group at Bank of Montreal, where she worked in various roles for 15 years and as a Senior Vice President at BMO Harris in Chicago.

Barbara holds a bachelor’s degree in political economy and economics from the University of Toronto. She also earned a bachelor of laws degree and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Western Ontario, London. Barbara is on the Board of Governors for the Royal Military College of Canada. In the past, she has served on the boards of Chicago’s Children’s Home + Aid and The Magnificent Mile Association as well as Rethink Breast Cancer in Toronto. In 2018, Barbara was featured as one of the most influential Torontonians in Toronto Life magazine. 

Free time finds Barbara pursuing family activities with her husband and two children, including golfing and travelling, with Costa Rica being her favourite destination. She also spends her time taking her son to hockey practices and games and her daughter to dance lessons and competitions.

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