Twenty one MBA students from American universities, including Georgia Tech, Yale, Kansas State, Vanderbilt, MIT and Thunderbird as well as four students from Mexico (IPADE and ITESM) were in Ottawa from May 29 to June 3 for an intensive week long briefing on business relations between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

The Canadian Leadership Orientation Program for MBA students from the US and Mexico is hosted by the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa and divided between Ottawa and Montreal (HEC) where participants are given presentations from leading Canadian business, government and national associations.

"The Canada US trade relationship is one of the most important in the world and will impact the professional careers of these business graduates. Any aspiring business professional should have an understanding of North American business market structures and overall political and trade relations. They come away from this program with knowledge and a network that will valuable in their future careers ", said Micheál Kelly, Professor of Strategic and International Management at the University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management and one of the founders of the program.

The Honourable Pamela D. Wallin, OC, SOM, Senate of Canada was the opening speaker at the 7th annual Canadian Leadership Orientation Program. Senator Wallin spoke about some of the key issues in the Canada US -Relationship and her experiences as Canadian Consul General in New York.

This year’s speaker list included:

  • The Honourable Pamela D. Wallin, OC, SOM, Senate of Canada
  • Monica Gattinger, Associate Professor, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa
  • Earl Fry, Professor of Political Science and Endowed Professor of Canadian Studies, Brigham Young University
  • Greg Vanclief, Vice President, Business Development, Wesley Clover Technologies
  • Derek Burleton, Deputy Chief Economist, TD Financial
  • The Honourable Hugh Segal
  • Francis Baillet, VP Human Resources, Ubisoft

2011 marks the seventh year for the program, which began on an experimental basis in 2005. To ensure that the program continues to deliver a rich and unique learning experience, the program has capacity of 24 participants who gain entry by invitation only.

Dr. Michael Kelly who was instrumental in founding the program says the smaller group allows for terrific interaction and enhanced learning. "This is a special program and something these business graduates will remember for a long time. We believe it will help shape their careers."

The founding program partners, the University of Ottawa, The Association for Canadian Studies in the US and HEC Montréal - created the initiative to familiarize the next generation business leaders of America and Mexico with Canada.