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Robert Waite

Managing Director, Waite + Co.

Robert Waite is one of North America’s foremost experts in the fields of communications and stakeholder relations. Mr. Waite is a professor at Seneca College and serves as Managing Director of Waite + Co., a firm specializing in communications strategy and advice with offices in Toronto, Ottawa and Boston. He has led, modernized and transformed communications, government relations, marketing, donations, sponsorship, CSR and investor relations functions at companies as diverse as IBM, Ford, CAE, CIBC and Canada Post Corporation.

He is also a widely published travel writer.

Earlier in his career Mr. Waite served as Press Secretary to Senator Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts and Senator Bob Dole of Kansas. While working for Senator Dole he wrote the speech nominating George H.W. Bush for vice-president of the United States, delivered at the Republican National Convention in Detroit.

Mr. Waite served as Vice President, Public Affairs at the Export-Import Bank of the United States during the Reagan Administration. Prior to entering government service, Mr. Waite was an award-winning journalist and writer, including three New England Journalism Association best columnist awards. He served as national political correspondent for Pacific New Service (PNS), covering the 1976 Democratic and Republican presidential primaries and the general election. He subsequently was assigned as PNS’ East European correspondent, based in Warsaw, Poland.

Mr. Waite continues to write and publish on topics of business leadership, politics and education and also delivers speeches and lectures to academic and general audiences.

Mr. Waite is Chair of the Canadian Stamp Advisory Committee; a Trustee of Hebron Academy; and is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

He is past Chair of the Ottawa Liaison Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; past Chair of the CIBC YouthVision Scholarship Committee; served on two United Way of Greater Toronto campaign cabinets (1993 and 2002); past Treasurer of the Canadian Science Writers Association; a past Board member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business; past member of the Senate Press Secretaries Association; past member of the Parents Advisory Committee at Carleton College (2010 -13) and the Parents Advisory Committee at UCLA (2012-14); and served as Employer Representative at the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland (1982).

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Mr. Waite received his undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he majored in European social history. He holds certificates in Corporate Social Responsibility (University of Toronto, 2009); Theory and Practice of Investor Relations (University of Michigan, 1995); and Marketing (Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, 1989).

Mr. Waite holds dual Canadian – U.S. citizenship.
Tara Walton via Getty Images

Canada Post Should Retain CEO Deepak Chopra

At a time when the U.S. Postal Service is losing $5 billion a year, Canada Post has returned to profitability under his stewardship, and one would think you would want to keep a steady hand on the Canada Post tiller at a time when Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is staring a $10 billion deficit in the face.
12/14/2015 03:42 EST
Getty

Dreading the End of Winter? Try a Trip to Antarctica!

Do you view summer as a sweaty, boring waiting room on the long road to the next snowfall? Fear not. This fall head south -- way, way south! If you want to get an early start on winter, adding a month to your favorite season, head to Antarctica.
03/19/2014 09:34 EDT
WARL

The Next Nobel Peace Prize Should Go to a Dog

The next Nobel Peace Prize should not go to a human, or a human organization, but to man (and woman's) best friend -- the dog. Don't laugh -- I'm serious about this. Our canine companions have been protecting and befriending us for 10,000 years or more.
10/14/2013 10:53 EDT
Getty

How America's Return to Community Banks is Bad News for Canada's TD and BMO

In a town perhaps previously best known for providing the dirt that allowed Boston to double in size by filling in its swampy Back Bay there is a startling banking counter-revolution underway. Led by long-established but newly-rejuvenated Needham Bank and involving not only that town but those nearby, community banking is reclaiming market share.
10/08/2013 05:47 EDT

Did Sitting Bull Die For Canada's Sins?

Little Bighorn, MT -- Some say George Custer died for the White Man's sins. What I hadn't heard before was that Sitting Bull, the great Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux chief and author of victory at the Battle...
07/22/2013 06:30 EDT
AP

Could Pipelines Have Prevented Quebec's Tragedy?

This weekend's tragic rail disaster in Lac Megantic, Quebec should serve as a reminder that there is no completely safe method of transporting oil, gas and other volatile substances. There are just magnitudes of risk. Canada and, especially, the U.S., need to curb carbon emissions and step away from their addiction to fossil fuels. But will blocking new pipelines in the U.S. or across Canada lead to a faster end to this addiction? Or will it simply lead to the substitution of rail transport -- by most measures relatively safe, but statistically not as safe as pipelines? These are valid questions on both sides of the border and ones brought into sharp focus by Lac Megantic.
07/07/2013 08:47 EDT
Alamy

Are Canadians Actually Bad Tippers?

While dining with an American couple, I mentioned that I would be adding an 18 per cent tip, knocking down my customary 20 per cent a little due to the poor service. Well, you would have thought I had announced my support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad. I was informed that it is now customary at better restaurants in the U.S. to tip a minimum of 20 per cent.
07/03/2013 12:21 EDT
Flickr.com

Do We Need A Canadian Mount Rushmore?

As I stare up at Mount Rushmore and the much larger-than-life visages of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt, I can't help but wonder why Americans can get away with this kind of megalomania, while we in Canada seem to be resigned to making do with the Wawa Goose. Let's be serious, is Canada no less exceptional?
06/10/2013 12:15 EDT
Alamy

Media Relations -- Not for the Faint of Heart

Handling media relations, whether for a politician, a corporation or an NGO is not for the faint of heart. Or the weak of stomach -- I always tell new-to-the-job media relations specialists to lay in a supply of Maalox. And go easy on the Scotch.
05/31/2013 05:45 EDT
AP

Does the Governor of the Bank of Canada Have to Be Canadian?

We don't know for sure who will be tapped for the job of Governor of the Bank of Canada. What we do know is that the individual will be a Canadian. No other nationalities were invited to apply. But, in 2013, does such a citizenship restriction even make any sense? Or is it just another manifestation of good, old-fashioned Canadian parochialism?
05/02/2013 12:21 EDT
Shutterstock

Should Canadians Go to U.S. Universities?

It is once again university acceptance season. And for a growing number of Canadian grade 12 students, the letters and e-mails include offers of admission from U.S. colleges and universities in addition to the usual array of Canadian schools. But does it actually make any sense for a Canadian to go to a U.S. university?
04/17/2013 12:26 EDT
Getty Images

Would You Pay $3,000 to Keep Your Pet Alive?

This past week I paid $3,673.73 in vet bills accrued by our four year-old yellow Lab, Maggie, who was stricken with a mysterious, Ebola-like malady. There was never any thought of NOT paying. Still, the $3,673.73 bill stuck in my mind. Perhaps it is because, as a Canadian and a resident of Ontario, I never see human medical bills.
04/09/2013 12:34 EDT

Forget March Madness - NCAA Frozen Four Has it All

Forget March Madness. Or the run for the Stanley Cup. And you can keep your Super Bowl, Grey Cup or World Series. For my money, the most exciting sporting event on the planet is the NCAA's "Frozen Fou...
04/03/2013 11:32 EDT

Why Trudeau Attack Ads Are a Waste of Time

It is that very fact that Trudeau's lack of a steely edge -- that will cause attack ads against him to fail to do what they are designed to do. Instead, they will boomerang, fostering sympathy. There may yet be a Trudeau ascendancy. But Harper and the Conservatives would do well to keep their powder dry and their attack ads in the vaults.
03/27/2013 05:52 EDT
Shutterstock

How Canada Post Chooses What Goes on a Stamp

As the (non-paid) Chair of the Canada Post Stamp Advisory Committee, I'll try to explain how an image of Stompin' Tom (and others) finds its way on to that small piece of perforated real estate. But how do we pick the subjects? Well, it all starts with the Canadian public. Anyone can submit an idea for a stamp topic or subject.
03/20/2013 08:22 EDT

A Visit With Bob Dole, the Last Centralist

When Bob Dole subsequently offered me the job as his press secretary, I at first resisted. What I subsequently came to learn over the next several years was that Bob Dole was at heart a centralist, a pragmatist, a problem-solver. Unlike some of his colleagues, he understood and enjoyed the machinery of the Senate.
03/15/2013 12:15 EDT

Four Myths About Canadian Boarding Schools

Overseas students are flocking to Canada to attend this country's boarding schools, believing a Canadian high school education can be the ticket to an elite university.The question isn't why overseas students are clamouring to gain access to Canadian boarding schools. The real mystery is why Canadian students, by and large, are not.
02/25/2013 05:24 EST