Robert Waite
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Robert Waite is one of North America’s foremost experts in the fields of communications and stakeholder relations. Mr. Waite is Managing Director of Waite + Co., a firm specializing in communications strategy and advice. With offices in Toronto, Ottawa and Boston, Waite + Co. draws on its founder’s experience working with six corporate CEO’s; two distinguished United States Senators; and as a member of the Executive Branch of the United States government. 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.

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. He also served on the staff of the 1980 Republican Platform Committee.
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, where he covered the rising influence of trade unions and the Catholic church as counterweights to communist regimes.

Mr. Waite continues to write and publish on topics of business leadership, politics, fundraising and education and also delivers speeches and lectures to academic and general audiences. He is currently researching a book on critical success factors for new-to-the-position CEOs.

Mr. Waite is Chair of the Canadian Stamp Advisory Committee; an Ontario Cabinet member for the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights; a member of the Program Committee of the Canadian Journalism Foundation; a member of the Parents Council at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA; serves on the Board of the Killay-Meany Foundation; is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society; and a PR Seminar Seminarian.

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); a past Trustee of Hebron Academy; 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; and he 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). He is also a 1982 graduate of IBM’s Advanced Management School at the Thomas Watson Center in Armonk, New York.

Mr. Waite holds dual Canadian – U.S. citizenship. He is married to Karen Shigeishi-Waite.

Entries by Robert Waite

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

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 9:34 AM

Love winter? Does the sight of a crocus poking out of the snow fill you with dread? Is there a tear welling up in the corner of your eye each year as you pack away your ski parka, Sorrel boots and long-johns?

In short, do you view summer as...

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The Next Nobel Peace Prize Should Go to a Dog

(1) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 10:53 PM

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has veered away from bestowing the honour on individuals, instead awarding the prize to organizations, most recently the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (and before that, the European Union).

Which is all fine -- naming individuals can admittedly be fraught with difficulty and...

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

(3) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 5:42 PM

After a long stretch of consolidation and foreign encroachment, the U.S. is showing early signs of a possible return to community banks. That could have serious implications for two of Canada's largest financial institutions, TD and Bank of Montreal, which have invested heavily in the U.S. retail banking sector. TD...

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When it Comes to Speed Traps, New York Is the New Georgia

(2) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 4:17 PM

Long Lake, NY -- Highway robbery is well and alive in rural upstate New York. And the target seems to be out-of-state drivers, particularly Canadians.

At least that's the conclusion I've reached after my Ontario-plated car was recently stopped by the New York State Police -- along with a...

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Did Sitting Bull Die For Canada's Sins?

(3) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 6:30 PM

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 of the Little Bighorn, had later died because of Canada's sins. Yet this seemed...

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Could Pipelines Have Prevented Quebec's Tragedy?

(185) Comments | Posted July 7, 2013 | 8:47 PM

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.

Research consistently indicates that rail is statistically safer than tanker truck; pipeline is...

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Are Canadians Actually Bad Tippers?

(126) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 12:25 PM

Ever been to a restaurant where the cuisine was fabulous, but the service was almost comically inept? Of course you have! My spouse and I had just such an experience recently while dining with an American couple, old dear friends, at the Weekapaug Inn on Rhode Island's shore.

A...

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Do We Need A Canadian Mount Rushmore?

(12) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 11:50 AM

Keystone, SD -- 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...

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Media Relations -- Not for the Faint of Heart

(2) Comments | Posted May 31, 2013 | 2:51 PM

"He tells the best truth possible under the circumstances." This was legendary Washington reporter Cheryl Arvidson's off-hand (and slightly back-handed) assessment of my performance as a press secretary, delivered to a beach-house full of fellow reporters.

I took no offense. Indeed, it pretty accurately summed things up.

Handling media...

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

(4) Comments | Posted May 2, 2013 | 12:21 PM

By all accounts, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is on the verge of announcing the name of the new Governor of the Bank of Canada, less than a month ahead of the departure of current Governor Mark Carney, who is set to become head of the Bank of England on June...

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Should Canadians Go to U.S. Universities?

(4) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 12:26 PM

The e-mails, long and short, and the envelopes, thick and thin, have arrived, bearing tidings -- glad or sad.

Yes, 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...

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

(2) Comments | Posted April 9, 2013 | 12:26 PM

How much would you pay to keep your dog or cat 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 that caused her to bleed from virtually every orifice and threatened to destroy...

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Forget March Madness - NCAA Frozen Four Has it All

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 8:50 AM

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 Four", which since inception in 1948 has combined all of the speed and...

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Why Trudeau Attack Ads Are a Waste of Time

(33) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 5:51 PM

Maybe Stephen Harper has been watching too many episodes of the HBO mini-series "Rome", which ends with Octavian ordering the death of young Caesarion, the son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra.

Or maybe he just likes attack ads.

Whatever the reason, Harper and the Conservative Party are widely expected to...

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How Canada Post Chooses What Goes on a Stamp

(2) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 8:21 AM

Many stories and obituaries marking the recent passing of Stompin' Tom Connors gave prominent mention to the fact that the beloved Canadian singer-songwriter was featured on a stamp. Some might wonder how that happened -- and how does someone end up on a postage stamp, anyway?

As the (non-paid) Chair...

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A Visit With Bob Dole, the Last Centralist

(0) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 12:31 PM

Bob Dole is very much alive. Frail, yes, but the former US Senate Leader and presidential candidate is certainly alive in the fullest sense of that word. He will be 90 in July, but as I sat with him recently in his F Street office, three doors down from Ford's...

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Four Myths About Canadian Boarding Schools

(3) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 4:28 PM

Overseas students are flocking to Canada to attend this country's boarding schools. Thousands arrive each year from places as distant as Turkey, Columbia and Uzbekistan (and as close as California or New York). They do so because they (or their parents) believe a Canadian high school education can be the...

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Five Things Canadians Just Don't Get About Americans (and Vice-Versa)

(9) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 4:22 PM

One of the stranger aspects of being a dual citizen and frequently floating back and forth across the Canada/U.S. border is that people on both sides often express their opinions regarding their neighbor-nation. I have informally kept track of the more common assertions over the years. I call them "Five...

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Would Mitt or Obama Make the Better CEO?

(9) Comments | Posted October 16, 2012 | 10:59 AM

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...

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