A 2016 Alumni Achievement Award recipient:
An alumnus from the Environment and Resource Studies program, (2000,) Stephen Thompson continued on to complete his master’s degree in Local Economic Development and obtained the Ec.D.(F) Economic Development Fellowship designation. He is also a Registered Professional Planner (RPP) and Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP).
Thompson is a Canadian Citizen with diplomatic accreditation to Canadian missions serving California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii, where, as an employee of the Ontario Government, Thompson is the senior representative in the Western-US.
As head of Ontario’s International Marketing Centre in San Francisco, his experience in leadership, strategy development, and communications is enhanced by 20 years’ experience in business development, investment attraction, international trade and research & commercialization.
Thompson's career in economic development began in Eastern Ontario in 1997 and has included progressive roles in cities, regions and at the provincial level. Working closely with both the municipalities of Niagara and Port Colborne, Thompson created strategies to maximize their local economic sustainability, earning him the “Best Marketing Initiative Under $25,000.” His positive influence on Ontario’s municipalities has resulted in over 600 jobs and $212 million in new Ontario investments to date.
Receiving more than 25 awards in economic development and tourism, Thompson is widely recognized for his vision and success. He received Niagara's 40 under Forty Business Achievement Award in 2010, and was named the top new economic development professional in 2011 by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
Outisde work, Thompson is an accomplished nature and landscape photographer and enjoys time with family and friends.
He has been active on the boards of the Economic Developers Council of Ontario, the Economic Development Association of Canada and the International Economic Development Council for the past 16 years and contributes to the Economic Development Engagement Committee and the University of Waterloo Economic Development Program Committee, among many others.