Dominic Barton

Dominic Barton, Waterloo's 11th chancellor.

The University of Waterloo, an institution recognized around the world for its unique approach to education and talent development, is welcoming a visionary on talent-driven organizations, as its 11th chancellor.

Dominic Barton,  global managing partner of McKinsey & Company, is transforming organizations by changing how companies acquire, manage and deploy talent in the new economic reality of the 21st century.

As chair of the Government of Canada’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth, Barton is also a key adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The University of Waterloo was a pioneer in experiential education for universities and now operates the largest post-secondary co-op program of its kind in the world. Waterloo is a model of co-operative education, which has spread to more than 100 colleges and universities across Canada.

Barton, who steps down in July after nine years as the global leader of the consulting firm, leads McKinsey’s work on the future of capitalism and the role business leadership plays in society, and is the co-author of the recently released book, Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First. The new book shows leaders how to re-invent their approaches to talent in today’s fast-paced, agile, digital environment.

Barton has said there’s a scarcity of talent globally yet, because of technology, the returns on talent have gone up dramatically in the new economy. “. . . the difference between an average software engineer and a top software engineer is massive in terms of what they can do and the creativity that’s required,” Barton said recently in an interview. “So the technology, be it the ability to scale an idea or the ability to go to different markets and transform an organization, is significant.”

Barton also shares the University’s vision for a more equitable society. Like Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo, Barton is a member of the HeForShe Impact 10x10x10 Framework. The framework is made up of 30 visionary leaders who are taking action for gender equality in their countries and organizations.

Dominic Barton

Barton was recently honoured with a Trevor 20/20 Visionary Award in New York City for leading policies and procedures at McKinsey that support diversity and inclusion. The Trevor Project is a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

He’s also been vocal about the critical role sustainability needs to play in business and industry. “A sustainability agenda goes hand in glove with the performance of a company or an organization,” Barton said in an interview with the Harvard Business Review. “If we’re trying to improve performance, particularly in companies, you have to include sustainability. You have to be thinking about the environment.”

Born in Uganda, Barton is a citizen of Uganda and Canada. He 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 will succeed Tom Jenkins, chair of OpenText Corporation of Waterloo and chair of the National Research Council of Canada.