The University of Waterloo, renowned globally for its innovative approach to education and talent development, extends its deepest gratitude to Dominic Barton for his exceptional service as its 11th chancellor.

Elected by the University’s Senate to a three-year term, the chancellor serves as the ceremonial head for the institution and presides over convocation ceremonies, conferring degrees, diplomas and certificates on graduating students. Barton was installed as chancellor in 2018 and reappointed for a second term in 2021.

Barton, former global managing partner of McKinsey & Company and Chair of LeapFrog Investments and Rio Tinto, has left an indelible mark on the landscape of talent-driven organizations. His visionary work in transforming how companies acquire, manage and deploy talent has significantly shaped the new economic reality of the 21st century.

During his career, Barton also served as chair of the Government of Canada’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth and Ambassador of Canada to the People’s Republic of China, providing invaluable advice at the federal level of government.

As Barton concludes his term, his contributions to the global business community continue to resonate. Barton has highlighted the scarcity of talent globally and the significant returns on talent we see when we invest in educational and technological advancements.

Barton is a staunch advocate for Waterloo and experiential education, recognizing its critical role in bridging the talent gap in the business world. He believes that Waterloo exemplifies this approach through its extensive co-operative education program, which blends academic learning with real-world experience.

dominic barton with vivek goel and Myeengun Henry

Left to right: Elder Myeengun Henry, President Vivek Goel and Dominic Barton preparing for convocation

Barton has often praised Waterloo for its innovative educational model that not only equips students with practical skills but also fosters the development of creative and adaptive leaders. By integrating hands-on experiences into its curriculum, the University helps shape future business leaders who are well-prepared to meet the evolving demands of the global economy.

The University, a pioneer in experiential education, operates one of the largest post-secondary co-op programs in the world. Waterloo’s model of co-operative education has been adopted by many colleges and universities across the globe, exemplifying its leadership in this domain.

In 2022, Barton pledged $1 million to support future talent at the University. The gift supports scholarships for Indigenous undergraduate students, an international study program that focuses on business centres in South Asia, the School of Accounting and Finance and the growth of Velocity at its new home in the Innovation Arena.

"Chancellor Barton has contributed immensely to the work that our institution has been doing to evolve so we can continue to be bold and unconventional as we help shape a better future for humanity and the planet,” says Dr. Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “I have been so grateful for his insights and support. He has been a global champion for our students, faculty and institution."

In recognition of his efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, Barton received the Trevor 20/20 Visionary Award in New York City. The Trevor Project, a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to 2SLGBTQIA+ youth, acknowledged Barton’s policies and procedures at McKinsey that support these crucial values.

Barton is also a strong advocate for sustainability in business and industry. He emphasizes the necessity of integrating sustainability into company performance and importance of environmental considerations in improving organizational success.

At the conclusion of his tenure as chancellor, Barton wanted to share with the world the contributions of Waterloo researchers, alumni and students. This inspired him to create Global Futures in Focus with Dominic Barton, a podcast series that explores how the Waterloo community addresses complex issues across the Global Futures themes of societal, health, environmental, technological and economics.

Born in Uganda and holding dual citizenship in Uganda and Canada, Barton’s academic journey includes a BA Honours in economics from the University of British Columbia and a MPhil also in economic studies as a Rhodes scholar at Brasenose College, University of Oxford.

Following the end of Barton’s term on June 30, Dr. Jagdeep Singh Bachher, chief investment officer and vice-president of investments at the 10-campus University of California, will assume the role of chancellor.