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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.
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Would Mitt or Obama Make the Better CEO?

With the coming election less than four weeks away, let's pretend the United States is a large national company, and, putting politics and policy aside, let's look at the two candidates in the same way executive recruiters do when searching for top talent for client companies. In our case, as a global firm headquartered in Canada, we can do this with the distinct advantage of being at some distance from the fray. Through the head-hunter's prism, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney bring to the table very different pros and cons. Business and politics are different in many, many respects. However, a chief executive and a President share certain attributes to be successful.
10/16/2012 05:13 EDT