Speaker Profiles

Thomas d’Aquino, BA, JD, LLD, LLM

Thomas d’Aquino, BA, JD, LLD, LLM


National Expert Commission

Thomas d’Aquino is an entrepreneur, lawyer, corporate director, author and educator.  He is Chairman of Thomas d’Aquino Capital and he is Chairman and Chief Executive of Intercounsel Ltd, a private company that provides advice to chief executives and entrepreneurs in Canada and internationally on business strategy and public policy. 

Mr. d’Aquino serves on the Board of Directors of Manulife Financial Corporation, CGI Group Inc., and Coril Holdings Ltd. and is Chairman of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation.

He is associated with two of Canada’s leading academic institutions: as Distinguished Visiting Professor, Global Business and Public Policy Strategies at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs; and as Honorary Professor at The University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business.  Earlier in his career, he served as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Canada and as Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa lecturing on the law of international trade and global business transactions.

From 1981 to 2009, Mr. d’Aquino was Chief Executive and President of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), an organization composed of the chief executives of 150 of the country’s leading enterprises and pre-eminent entrepreneurs.  Mr. d’Aquino assumed leadership of the Council in its formative stages.  Upon his retirement from the CCCE as of December 31, 2009, member companies accounted for $850 billion in annual revenues and $4.5 trillion in assets.  With a combined Canadian stock market value of $675 billion, the companies are responsible for the majority of Canada’s private sector exports, investment and training.  In recognition of his exemplary leadership, he was named by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives Board of Directors, a Distinguished Life Time Member.

Mr. d’Aquino has played an influential role in shaping the direction of fiscal, taxation, trade, energy, environmental, competitiveness and corporate governance policies in Canada.  In the international arena, he has been a leading thinker and activist on a wide range of North American and global issues embracing international finance, competitiveness, trade, energy, the environment and global security.  One of the private sector architects of the Canada-United States free trade initiative and of the North American Free Trade Agreement, he currently is helping to spearhead private sector initiatives aimed at defining a new era in Canada-United States relations and is active in negotiations aimed at deepening Canadian relations with China, India, Japan, Australia and the European Union.  His work includes G20 related issues.

A native of Nelson, British Columbia, Mr. d’Aquino was educated at the Universities of British Columbia, Queen’s and London (University College and the London School of Economics).  He holds B.A., J.D. (LL.B.), and LL.M. degrees, and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from Queen’s University and from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Mr. d’Aquino has been referred to as Canada’s most influential policy strategist and the country’s leading global business ambassador.  He is the author of numerous publications including the influential book Northern Edge: How Canadians Can Triumph in the Global Economy.  He is a regular commentator on radio and television, and a frequent speaker on platforms in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  Mr. d’Aquino has addressed audiences in forty countries and in over one hundred cities worldwide.

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