Vice President, Citizenship & Government Affairs, Xerox Canada Ltd., Ottawa, ON. Born: Ottawa, ON.
Emechete Onuoha began his life in public administration while a student at McMaster University, first as President of the Students’ Union, then as Chair of the Canadian Federation of Students (ON). After completing his undergraduate degree he began a 12-year career in the federal public sector and successfully transitioned to a private sector career with a prominent IT company.
Highlights: Legislative Assistant, Office of MP Hamilton West (1994-97); Special Assistant, Trade and Consultation Policy, Office of Ministry for International Trade (1997); later that year he became a Policy Advisor to the Ministry of National Defence, advising on strategic policy issues and managing the Minister’s relations with foreign counterparts in NATO and was promoted to Chief of Staff to the Minister of National Defence in 1999. In 2000, Emechete served as Vice President, Corporate Strategy at the Canadian Commercial Corp. (Canada’s international contracting agency) until 2002; was recruited as Senior Analyst, Social Development Policy Secretariat, Privy Council Office and promoted to Director of Operations in the Priorities and Planning Secretariat in 2003.
In 2005, he returned to the Canadian Commercial Corp. and joined Xerox Canada in 2007 as National Account Manager, taking on increased responsibility in the company culminating in his 2010 promotion to his current role as Vice President Citizenship & Government Affairs. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating and advancing all aspects of Xerox Canada’s environmental sustainability agenda, public policy engagement and related stakeholder relations.
Honours: “Top 100 under 50″, Diversity MBA Magazine (2010); “Arch Award” for professional achievement, McMaster University 2005); inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada 2 (2006); “Outstanding Team Performance Award” for distinguished contribution to the effectiveness and efficiency of the Privy Council Office, Government of Canada (2003); “Jackie Robinson Award” for professional achievement and public service, Montreal Black Business Association (2003); “Honour “M” Award” for outstanding student leadership, McMaster University (1993).
Education: MBA Queen’s University; BA/Hons, McMaster University.
Heroes: Enyie Onuoha (Father), Louise Arbour (Former Justice Supreme Court of Canada), and Joseph C. Wilson (founding CEO, Xerox Corporation).
Favourite book? Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. It’s a great coming-of-age story.
Favourite quote? “Innovation is the difference between a good idea and a great outcome.”
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? Have a conversation with Nelson Mandela.
What inspires you? The art and science of innovation.
Why do you do what you do? To help address the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to address their own needs.