David Collenette appointed distinguished visiting fellow

The Honourable David Collenette, a former long-serving and accomplished federal public servant and a leading strategic advisor to multiple organizations, has been appointed a distinguished visiting fellow with The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education and the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science (FEAS) at Ryerson University. His appointment is for a one-year term.

Throughout his career, Collenette has been actively involved in shaping and contributing to Canadian society. A member of the Canadian House of Commons for more than 20 years, he served under Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau, John Turner and Jean Chretien. During his political career, he was minister of state-Multiculturalism, National Defence, Veterans’ Affairs, Transport and Crown Corporations. As a long-time volunteer for the National Democratic Institute in Washington, D.C., he has also helped lead many democracy-building projects worldwide.

“With his considerable experience and expertise in areas such as transportation, technology and emergency management, David Collenette will bring valuable real-world insight to teaching and learning at Ryerson,” said Mohamed Lachemi, provost and vice president academic.

As a distinguished visiting fellow, Collenette will advise on certificate programs offered by The Chang School, participate in graduate seminars, present to undergraduate students and organize student workshops. He will also liaise with potential community partners, and explore research partnerships between FEAS and industry.

“The appointment of David Collenette, a former politician who has made so many contributions to public life in Canada, will provide terrific opportunities to enhance continuing education programming and learning experiences for students,” said Marie Bountrogianni, interim dean, The Chang School.

“David Collenette’s involvement in our faculty will enable us to deliver optimally current and relevant programs in areas such as transportation logistics and infrastructure management,” said Sri Krishnan, interim dean, FEAS.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute to Ryerson’s academic life, and am looking forward to engaging with students and faculty, and providing input on continuing education programs,” said Collenette.

As Minister of Transport from 1997 to 2003, Collenette oversaw Canada’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, which involved closing all air traffic over the Canadian-administered portion of the Atlantic Ocean, and working with the U.S. government to revise transportation security policies. As Minister of National Defence, he authored the 1994 White Paper that led to the reorganization and restructuring of the department to adjust to the government’s severe financial deficit. In his last two years in Cabinet, Collenette oversaw 10 Crown Corporations, including Canada Post, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, VIA Rail and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

Since retiring from politics in 2004, Collenette has worked as strategic counsel for organizations in public affairs, transportation and infrastructure, information technology, and defence and security. He is senior counsel for Hill+Knowlton Strategies, senior advisor for Intergraph Corporation, and a member of the Parsons Brinkerhoff Advisory Board. He serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) in North America, and vice-president of CILT International.

Collenette is a member of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs Advisory Committee at York University, the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation Campaign Executive Team and is a Director of Harbourfront Corporation, Toronto. He has previously served as chancellor of the Royal Military College of Canada, member of the International Advisory Council at the Institute of International Studies at Stanford University, and distinguished fellow at Glendon College at York University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Master of Arts in political science from York University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Distinguished visiting appointments enable Ryerson students, faculty and staff to connect with highly regarded leaders in various fields. Learn more about Ryerson’s distinguished visiting appointments at www.ryerson.ca/provost/appointments/index.html.