Dominic Barton

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Dominic Barton
Dominic Barton.jpg
Dominic Barton at the 2009 World Economic Forum
Canadian Ambassador to China
Assumed office
September 5, 2019
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byJohn McCallum
Personal details
Born (1962-09-14) 14 September 1962 (age 58)
Kampala, Uganda
NationalityCanadian
ResidenceBeijing, People's Republic of China
Alma mater
OccupationManagement Consultant
Academic Administrator

Dominic Barton (born 1962), known as Bao Damin (Chinese: 鲍达民) in China, is a Ugandan-born Canadian business executive, author, management consultant, and diplomat. He currently serves as the Canadian Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.[1] Prior to this, Barton was the Managing Director of McKinsey & Company, the global consulting firm, from 2009 to 2018. He has held his current position as Ambassador since September 5, 2019.[2][3] He is also the incumbent chancellor at the University of Waterloo and has previously served as Chairman of Teck Resources and as Non-Executive Director at the Singtel Group in Singapore and Investor AB in Sweden. [4]

Barton earned his Master of Philosophy in Economics at Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar and has advised Canadian governments, both Liberal and Conservative, on public sector transformation and economic growth. [5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Dominic Barton was born in Mukono, Uganda in 1962.[7][8] Barton's father was an Anglican missionary who helped develop a theology college in Uganda;[9] his mother was a nurse.[10][11] In his childhood, his family's house was occupied by general and future dictator Idi Amin, who was rising to power in Uganda at the time.[10] At age seven, his family moved from Uganda to Canada, eventually settling in the community of Sardis, British Columbia.[11]

Barton attended the University of British Columbia,[12] where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics.[13] He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and attended Brasenose College at Oxford University, where he received an MPhil degree in Economics.[14]

Career[edit]

After graduating, Barton worked briefly as a currency analyst for N M Rothschild & Sons in London. In 1986, he was hired by McKinsey & Company to work in the company's Toronto office,[12][15] and worked from that office as a management consultant for eleven years.[7] He was nominated to be a partner earlier than normal, but was not promoted to that level until his third attempt.[16][17]

Barton was eventually elected to the position of Global Managing Director, a role that he served in from 2009 to 2018 for the maximum of three terms. After this role, Barton became Global Managing Director Emeritus for a year while accepting a broader range of philanthropic and advisory positions. On September 5, 2019, he was appointed as the Canadian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.[18]

Asian experience[edit]

In 1997, Barton moved to the McKinsey office in Seoul.[16][12][14][19] He built close relationships with both industry and government leaders in South Korea.[20][21] McKinsey worked with the South Korean government to restructure the country's financial system and help foster a creative economy. [22] He went on to head up McKinsey's office in Korea from 2000 to 2004.

Barton with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, India

He served as chairman for McKinsey in Asia from 2004 to 2009, operating out of Shanghai.[23][14][24] He co-authored a book that provided insights into ordinary Chinese citizens and their way of life, China Vignettes – An Inside Look At China. [8][25]

He has been an adjunct professor at Beijing's Tsinghua University and served on the School of Economics and Management’s advisory board, a prestigious board that has featured the likes of Elon Musk and Tim Cook. [26] [27] Barton chaired the Seoul International Business Advisory Council for six years and was a member of the Singapore Economic Development Board’s International Advisory Council for ten years. [28]

Advisory Committee on Public Service[edit]

Barton served on the Canadian Advisory Committee on the Public Service under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In this role Barton advised the Prime Minister, along with other prominent Canadians, on the renewal and development of the country’s public service, with a focus on ensuring taxpayers received maximum value for their dollar. [29]

Advisory Council on Economic Growth[edit]

Barton served as chair of the Advisory Council on Economic Growth, the federal government of Canada's blue-chip panel, starting in 2017.[30] The Council outlined 13 recommendations, including the creation of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, the launch of a reskilling program to prepare the Canadian workforce with skills of the future, the formulation of growth strategies for sectors with untapped potential, including agriculture, and the development of the Invest in Canada hub. [31]

The Council set a goal of lifting the "median household’s income to $105,000 in 2030." It was about $80,000 in 2017.[30] The Council also called for a gradual increase in permanent immigration to Canada to 450,000 people a year.[32]

He is also a co-founder of the Century Initiative, an organization dedicated to growing Canada's population to 100 million by 2100.[33] Barton said in an interview: "Relevance is not just determined by your population, but it’s a factor given all the strengths we have. Why wouldn’t we make that a strength if our diversity and multiculturalism is a strength, but it’s winnowing away as we’re getting older?"[34]

Managing Director[edit]

Barton's experience in Asia ultimately made him a strong candidate in the firm election as Global Managing Director, having chaired the firm's Asia practice prior to this[16]

In July 2009, he was elected to the position of Global Managing Director of McKinsey & Company, based on a vote of 400 senior partners.[16][15] He was re-elected to a second three-year term in 2012[12] and a third term in 2015, serving the maximum three terms at the head of the global firm. He was replaced by Kevin Sneader in 2018.[35]

As Global Managing Director, he oversaw the establishment of Generation, an entity focused on rapid employment growth and finding work for thousands of unemployed youth around the globe. The organization has worked to reduce systemic employment barriers facing young people around the world. In 2021 it was announced that Generation has 40,000 graduates from its employment programs in 14 countries working across the technology, healthcare, customer services and skilled trade sectors.[36] The organization has received funding and support from Microsoft Corp. and Verizon as well as McKinsey. [37]

Barton also spearheaded aggressive diversity and inclusion targets and programs within the firm. [38] McKinsey was ranked as the number one consulting firm in the world for nine consecutive years under Barton’s leadership. [39]

In 2016, he was listed by Glassdoor as one of the top ten most notable executives of the year. [40] In 2018, Glassdoor ranked him on its list of most popular CEOs based on input from anonymous employees. [41]

Academia[edit]

On the 19th of June, 2018, Barton was named the 11th chancellor of the University of Waterloo. Barton was reappointed as chancellor on the 25th of February 2021 following his work to drive forward innovation and equity at the university while elevating the profile of the institution in Canada, and globally. [42]

Previously he has served as a Co-Chair on the Max Bell School of Public Policy Advisory Board at McGill University and on the Cabinet of the University of Toronto Psychiatry Campaign, an initiative aimed at advancing society’s understanding and engagement towards mental health issues. [43]

Ambassador of Canada to China[edit]

On 4 September 2019, Barton was appointed to be Ambassador to China by the Government of Canada.[44][45] Barton was selected for this position due to his considerable experience in Asia and global business acumen. [46] The appointment was met with a mixed reaction, including scrutiny around Barton's past ties with China. [3][47][48] Proponents of the appointment argued that Barton's knowledge and respect internationally made him a uniquely qualified selection. [49] Since taking on the role, Barton has led Canada’s efforts to win the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians who have been imprisoned since December, 2018. [50]

Writing[edit]

Barton has authored more than 80 articles on the role of business in society, leadership, financial services, Asia, history, and the issues and opportunities facing markets worldwide. [51]

He is the author of China Vignettes: An Inside Look At China. Barton led a research team that conducted interviews with ordinary Chinese citizens and captures his findings with a series of short stories about daily life. In doing so, the book provides valuable insights into the vivid and complex world of China from coast to interior, city to countryside, and across the widening income divide.[52]

Barton is the co-author of Dangerous Markets: Managing in Financial Crises. This book lays out a plan for global business leaders to manage their organizations through hazardous economic environments, providing advice to executives on how to navigate increasingly volatile financial markets.

He also co-authored Re-Imagining Capitalism, which looks at capitalism through a contemporary lens and ponders how the economic system might be adapted to modern times. The book argues that the focus of capitalism should be expanded and adapted to focus more on long-termism. [53]Re-Imagining Capitalism builds on Barton’s previous writing, which reflects on the 2008 economic crisis, rejecting the “false choice” between serving stakeholders and shareholders while advocating for long-term planning from business leaders.[54]

Most recently, Barton co-authored Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First, which argues that the primary driver of long-term success in companies is talent. The book maintains that business executives and leaders need to develop and manage their human capital even more intensely than they do their financial capital. It also provides practical tools and examples from leading organizations around the world. [55]

Honors, awards, and civic and philanthropic activities[edit]

Barton has served on the board of the Malala Fund, a global organization dedicated to helping young girls in the developing world gain access to education founded by Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai. [56] Barton’s work with Yousafzai began during his time at McKinsey, when the firm provided strategic support to the development of the Malala Fund.

He was also heavily involved in the United Nations HeForShe initiative, a campaign focused on advancing global gender equality, helping to embed the initiative with the international business community. [57] Barton has written several times about the importance of gender equality in business and society as well as the need to rebuild capitalism in a more equitable and sustainable way. [58][59][60]

In 2010, Barton was made an honorary fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. He also sat on the board of the University of Oxford Saïd Business School.[61]

Barton served as a trustee of the Rhodes Trust and the Brookings Institution, and Chairman of the International Advisory Committee to the President of South Korea on National Future and Vision. He was a Commissioner for the Global Commission on Internet Governance.[62] He was a member of the International Advisory Board at the University of Oxford Blavatnik School of Government[63] and of the Board of Trustees of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.[64] He also formerly sat on the board of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. [65]

He was director at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and chair of Canadian mining company Teck Resources.[3] After writing an influential article in the Harvard Business Review entitled, “Capitalism for the Long Term”, Barton devoted considerable attention to helping businesses refocus their efforts on delivering long-term value for shareholders, employees, and communities. This work inspired the creation of FCLTGlobal, which he co-founded along with the CEOs of BlackRock, CPPIB, Dow and Tata in 2016. [66]

In 2019, he was appointed Chair of Standard Chartered PLC’s International Advisory Council, where he was tasked with providing insights into long-term developments and changes beyond the financial services industry. [67] He was appointed to the Mastercard Foundation’s Board of Directors in June 2019 to help in the Foundation’s work focused on creating youth employment in Sub-Saharan Africa. [68]

Barton has received eight honorary doctorates, including ones from the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and the University of Edinburgh.[69] He also received the INSEAD Business Leader for the World Award in 2011, the Korean order of Civil Merit in 2013, the Singaporean Public Service Star in 2014, the Foreign Policy Association Corporate Social Responsibility Award in 2017 and Canada’s Public Policy Forum Testimonial Award in 2017. [70] [71] [72] [73]

Personal life[edit]

Barton, whose principal residence is in Beijing, was married to a Canadian with whom he has two children.[8] He divorced in 2014, later marrying Geraldine Buckingham, an Australian and Rhodes scholar who was formerly Blackrock's Asia Pacific Chairman.[47] Barton and Buckingham have two children together.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Barton, Dominic; Newell, Roberto; Wilson, Gregory (October 2, 2002). Dangerous Markets: Managing in Financial Crises. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-42973-9.
  • Barton, Dominic (2007). China Vignettes. Talisman Publishers. ISBN 978-981-05-8091-9.
  • Barton, Dominic; Rothschild, Lynn (May 15, 2012). "The case for inclusive capitalism". The Guardian.
  • Barton, Dominic; Charan, Ram; Carey, Dennis, People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO, Harvard Business Review

References[edit]

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  2. ^ VanderKlippe, Nathan; Fife, Robert; Morrow, Adrian (September 4, 2019). "Canada taps business consultant Dominic Barton as ambassador to Beijing amid diplomatic rift". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2019-09-07.
  3. ^ a b c Chiu, Joanna; Nuttall, Jeremy (September 7, 2019). "Canada's new man in China lauded and scrutinized over past business with Beijing". Toronto Star. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  4. ^ Government of Canada, Foreign Affairs Trade and Development Canada (2009-11-04). "Dominic Barton, Ambassador of Canada to the People's Republic of China". www.canadainternational.gc.ca. Retrieved 2021-03-16.
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  8. ^ a b c Stern, Stefan (August 15, 2010). "A strategy for staying sacred". The Financial Times. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  9. ^ Contenta, Sandro (17 December 2016). "Dominic Barton, capitalism's go-to guy". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  10. ^ a b Pitts, Gordon (August 17, 2009). "Dominic Barton's global challenge". The Globe and Mail. pp. B1.
  11. ^ a b "Chair of Morneau's council of economic advisers wants low carbon economy". CBC News. May 20, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
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  44. ^ Bains, Jessy (September 4, 2019). "Dominic Barton named Canada's ambassador to China". yahoo.com.
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  48. ^ "By naming Dominic Barton to be Canada's Chinese envoy, Ottawa has left Uyghurs worried". The Globe and Mail. September 6, 2019.
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  50. ^ "Kovrig, Spavor remain 'robust' after 2 years in Chinese prison: Canadian ambassador". Global News. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  51. ^ "Dominic Barton | GGCLC". 2014-10-24. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
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  53. ^ Barton, Dominic (October 2016). "Re-Imagining Capitalism". Oxford University Press Scholarship Online.
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  55. ^ "Why CEOs Should Push Back Against Short-Termism". Harvard Business Review. 2018-05-31. ISSN 0017-8012. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
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  57. ^ "First Man Standing". www.firstmanstanding.com. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
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  60. ^ Yee, Dominic Barton and Lareina (2017-10-10). "How Companies Can Guard Against Fatigue About Gender Equality". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
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  62. ^ https://www.ourinternet.org/#commission
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  64. ^ KAUST Board of Trustees.
  65. ^ "University of Waterloo reappoints Dominic Barton as Chancellor". Waterloo News. 2021-02-25. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
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  67. ^ "We've established an International Advisory Council | Standard Chartered". Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  68. ^ "Mastercard Foundation Appoints Two New Members to its Board of Directors". Mastercard Foundation. 2019-06-19. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
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  71. ^ America, North. "McKinsey's Dominic Barton on Leadership". Knowledge@Wharton. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  72. ^ migration (2015-05-29). "Four given national honours for contributions to Singapore's economic growth". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  73. ^ "Testimonial Award | National". Public Policy Forum. Retrieved 2021-03-30.

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Ian Davis
Managing director of McKinsey & Company, Inc.
2009– 2018
Succeeded by
Kevin Sneader