02 2014

Rick Waugh, New Chair of The Learning Partnership's Corporate Advisory Board

April 2nd 2014
The Learning Partnership is pleased to introduce Rick Waugh, former President and CEO for Scotiabank and 2013 Inductee of The Learning Partnership’s Champions of Public Education Hall of Fame, as the new Chair for its Corporate Advisory Board. He takes over for past chair Gerry McCaughey, CIBC, who remains on the Board and leaves a legacy of leadership that led to initiatives such as an annual summit for leaders in business and education.
For Mr. Waugh, taking on the Chair role is part of his recent retirement plan: to commit more time to helping advance public education in Canada.
Education is especially personal for Mr. Waugh. As a product of public education from the start of his journey as a student in Winnipeg, he can see the direct impact that education has had on his life. In Grade 9, Mr. Waugh became very sick – so sick it prevented him from going to class, risking his chance to complete his first year of high school.  But with help from Winnipeg’s public education school system, he was able to complete the year, pass his exams, advance to the next grade and move on to success.
“I have been a great benefactor of the public education system at all levels of my career,” he says. “It is one of the major reasons why I have been successful. It has allowed me and my family to have a great life, so it is important to give back. Education is the bedrock of a good, civil society and should be a top priority.”
Mr. Waugh’s work to create positive change in public education is already underway. As his first official act as The Learning Partnership’s new Corporate Advisory Board Chair, he recently hosted a CEO Luncheon with more than a dozen Canadian business leaders who engaged in meaningful conversation about the work of The Learning Partnership and public education in Canada.
This initiative speaks to Mr. Waugh’s strong belief of how important it is for senior business leaders to be engaged in public education.
“How we educate young people is absolutely essential for our communities and for successful businesses,” he says. “Business, the government, the public sector, the educational system – we can’t go off in different directions.  We have to be innovative, we have to be flexible, and we have to look forward.  Our country needs educated, skilled talent.”
He may be retired now, but Mr. Waugh is still in demand – perhaps now more than ever. The Learning Partnership is lucky to have him dedicate so much time to our organization and to benefit from his guidance and leadership. When asked, “why The Learning Partnership?” Mr. Waugh’s answer was simple.
“It’s unique, it’s collaborative, it’s action-oriented,” he says. “It fills all those important objectives.”