Dominic Barton

Dominic Barton
Chancellor, University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo is reappointing Dominic Barton, a globally renowned  business strategist and executive who is serving as Canada’s ambassador to China, to a second term as chancellor. 

Since his original appointment in 2018, Barton has championed the University’s commitment to innovation, equity and economic development, and has heightened the global reach of both the institution and the nation on the world stage.

Barton is a former managing partner at international consulting firm McKinsey and Co., where he provided strategic advice to national leaders, government and corporations. He will begin his second three-year term as the University’s 11th chancellor on July 1, 2021. 

“Dominic Barton is an important and influential champion for Waterloo and for Canada,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, the university’s president and vice-chancellor. As the University of Waterloo seeks to meet global challenges with game-changing talent, research and technological solutions, Dominic Barton will continue to play a vital role in connecting Waterloo with strategic partners around the world.”

Elected by the University’s Senate to a three-year term, the chancellor serves as the ceremonial head for the institution and also presides over convocation ceremonies, conferring degrees, diplomas and certificates on graduating students.

Barton was appointed as Canada’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of the China by the Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sept. 4, 2019. 

In addition to his work the Government of Canada and McKinsey, Barton was a trustee of the Brookings Institution, a member of the Singapore Economic Development Board’s International Advisory Council, a board member at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York and at the Asia Pacific Foundation Canada. He was a Rhodes trustee and is an honorary fellow at Brasenose College in Oxford. Barton served on the board of the Malala Fund, has been actively involved in the United Nations’ HeForShe initiative, and has worked with the Mastercard Foundation to help create employment in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Born in Uganda, Barton received a BA Honours in economics from the University of British Columbia and studied as a Rhodes scholar at Brasenose College at the University of Oxford. 

Barton is the author of several books ranging from the role of business in society to leadership and talent development. He is a recipient of the INSEAD Business Leader for the World Award (2011), the Korean Order of Civil Merit (Peony Medal, 2013), the Singaporean Public Service Star (2014), the Foreign Policy Association Corporate Social Responsibility Award (2017), and Canada’s Public Policy Forum Testimonial Award (2017). 

Past chancellors of the University of Waterloo include Tom Jenkins, Chair of OpenText Corporation and Chair of the National Research Council, Prem Watsa, chair of Fairfax Holdings, Mike Lazaridis, co-founder of BlackBerry, Valentine O’Donovan, founder of COM DEV Intl and Sylvia Ostry, a Canadian economist and public servant.