U of G to Present Outstanding Leader Award to Rick Hillier

January 09, 2009 - News Release

Retired Canadian general and chief of defence staff Rick Hillier will receive the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award Jan. 13 from the University of Guelph's College of Management and Economics (CME).

Hillier will be the second person to receive the honour since it was created and first awarded in 2006 to Lincoln Alexander, who served as Guelph's chancellor for an unprecedented 15 years and is now University chancellor emeritus. The award will be presented during a special invitation-only event.

Hillier is being honoured for his exceptional abilities as a communicator with soldiers, the public and the media at a time of increased activity in the Canadian Forces; for improving the image and sustainability of the Forces both domestically and internationally; and for his efforts to lobby the federal government for increased military funding.

"Rick Hillier has never been afraid to speak up for what he believes in, which is always a signature of an exceptional leader,” said CME dean Chris McKenna. "Throughout his career, he has made some of the toughest decisions imaginable and worked tirelessly to advocate for the men and women who defend our nation. He is an exceptional leader who continues to share his expertise, even after retirement from the military.”

Hillier’s 36-year military career included serving as commander of the Stabilization Force multinational division (southwest) and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was named chief of land staff in 2003 and two years later became Canada’s chief of defence staff, the highest-ranking position in the Canadian Forces. He retired from the Forces in 2008.

Hillier has since brought his leadership skills to the world of business and post-secondary education. He now works for the TD Bank Financial Group supporting the enhancement of client and customer relations and assisting with the bank’s leadership development and training initiatives. He also serves as chancellor of Memorial University, his alma mater.

The annual Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award is presented to someone who has embodied and demonstrated exceptional leadership in the areas of service, advocacy, collaboration, learning and scholarship.
The 2007 recipient was Frank McKenna, former premier of New Brunswick and former Canadian ambassador to the United States.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, l.hunt@uoguelph.ca, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982, bagunn@uoguelph.ca

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