Elizabeth Rhodenizer is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Public Service Commission of Canada. She is a Board Director for the not-for-profit association DPI (dpi-canada.com), has previously sat on the advisory board of a Silicon Valley start-up, and is an active member of the CIO Strategy Council.
Elizabeth was previously the executive lead to the CIO of Canada at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat for CIO community management, strengthening Women in IT, government-wide recruitment, executive talent management, and the Youth Advisory Committee.
For over 17 years, she specialized in cyber security and critical infrastructure protection within the public and private sectors. Elizabeth has developed technical standards for the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC), American Bar Association and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). She holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from the Technical University of Nova Scotia (Dalhousie) and an Executive MBA from the University of Ottawa.
Elizabeth, what was your craziest experience or most unique experience you have had while vacationing?
This past summer my husband and I were celebrating a milestone anniversary on beautiful Niagara on the Lake. One particular afternoon, we were enjoying the sunshine and the unique offerings of the Niagara area when I received news that I was going to be starting the Telfer Executive MBA program in September 2016. It’s a moment I won’t forget and it was only fitting that I was with my husband; without his support, this amazing journey wouldn’t be possible.
What would you say was the turning point in choosing the Telfer Executive MBA?
I’ve wanted to pursue my Executive MBA for nine years. During the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX) annual conference, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Dana Hyde. It was enlightening to have a chance to not only speak in depth about the program but to speak to one of the key professors who teaches within the program. It was then I learned that the Telfer Executive MBA program leverages “living learning” through Signature Series of Six Business Consulting Projects. Candidates get to work with real companies and apply theory to real world problems and find solutions. What program could be better than that?
What do you admire in a leader or mentor? Do you have someone who you consider a strong mentor or leader within your life?
I’ve learned throughout my career that there is opportunity in every working relationship to learn from other leaders, regardless of whether the experience is positive or negative. Humility and authenticity are the most admirable characteristics in a leader. I have seen how this contributes to open and respectful communication and a healthy work environment. Regardless of our backgrounds, cultures or experience, we can all come together in such an environment to drive towards our objectives and deliver results that we can not only stand behind but be proud of. I’m grateful that I get to work daily with the Chief Information Officer of the Government of Canada and the Deputy CIO, both of whom I consider strong mentors and leaders.