Ian Telfer is a British-born Canadian mining executive, entrepreneur and former Chairman of Goldcorp Inc. Besides leading Goldcorp, he is known for founding and leading other Canadian mining companies, including TVX Gold, Silver Wheaton Corp., and Uranium One, as well as for his philanthropic efforts that include a donation of $25 million to the University of Ottawa’s School of Management, now the Telfer School of Management.
Ian Telfer was born in Oxford, England. Telfer’s father, John Telfer, served as a Royal Air Force pilot, then as an accountant, while his mother worked as a schoolteacher. When Telfer was two years old, his family moved from England to Canada.
Telfer’s family first lived in Moose Jaw, Canada for five years before moving to the Downsview neighbourhood of Toronto, which is where Telfer was raised. Telfer attended the University of Toronto, graduating from the university with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and economics in 1968. Telfer graduated with an uncertainty as to what to do with his life and what his next step would be.
At age twenty-five, following five years of working at “nondescript” sales jobs, Telfer realized he needed to “reboot” his life  and applied to a number of MBA programs in Canada. Because of his grades, he was rejected by all of the schools. The day before classes began, Telfer was accepted to the University of Ottawa’s MBA program. In Telfer’s words, being accepted to this university’s MBA program changed his life and “kick-started everything”.
After earning his MBA from the university in 1976, Telfer earned his certified accountant credentials, becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.