Penny Collenette

Retired Adjunct Professor (Law), University of Ottawa

Canadian politics, Corporate governance, Corporate law, Corporate social responsibility, Ethics, Ethics in international affairs, Human rights, International business, International business management, International organizations, Liberalism, Public administration, Women, Women and politics



Penny Collenette is a retired Adjunct Professor of Common Law at the University of Ottawa. Her past positions include Director of Appointments, Prime Minister’s Office (1993-1997). During her tenure, the number of federal female appointments rose over 10 percent in 4 years. She has also served as Vice President, Chairman’s Office, George Weston Ltd (1998-2002), Senior Fellow, Centre of Business and Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard (2002-2004) and Executive in Residence, Telfer School of Business, University of Ottawa (2002-2010). She was a Director of Holt Renfrew for six years and was a founding Independent Director of an income trust fund. Maclean’s magazine has called Collenette one of Canada’s 50 Most Influential People. She has also been named as a Champion to the Top 100 Women list of the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) and The International Alliance of Women. She was inducted into the Honour Society of uOttawa’s Common Law Section in 2011 and was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. On January 23, 2014, Collenette was appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province's highest honour. In her citations, she was described as a leader and innovator, an expert advisor on ethics, whistleblowing, corporate and public governance and a strong promoter of human rights. Collenette is a former Vice Chair of the United Nations Association of Canada. She is a tireless community fundraiser, especially for causes relating to women and to those living with disabilities. She is currently appointed to a National Advisory Council to encourage youth electoral engagement and she recently served as the Executive VP of the Harvard Club of Ottawa. She also served three years on the Advisory Council of the Eldercare Foundation and the National Committee of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards.


  • Canadian politics
  • Governance, public and corporate
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Ethics/Conflict of Interests/Public Accountability
  • Ethics in international affairs
  • Human rights
  • International business
  • International business management
  • International organizations
  • Liberalism
  • Public administration
  • Women
  • Women and politics