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'Leadership Challenges Today': Drinks reception and talk featuring Professor Dame Athene Donald and alumnus Bruce Simpson

17 Sep 2019
Location: The University Club of Toronto, 380 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario
Start time: 18:00
End time: 21:30

We would be delighted if you could join us at a talk featuring the Master of Churchill College, Professor Dame Athene Donald and Bruce Simpson (U&G80), at the University Club of Toronto in the Main Dining Room on Tuesday, 17 September 2019.

Bruce Simpson is an alumnus of Churchill, who has been CEO of McKinsey Canada and currently leads the New Ventures Competition within McKinsey. The talk will focus on 'Leadership Challenges Today'. 

If you would like to attend the talk and drinks reception, the cost will be $20 Canadian dollars. To book for this event please use the pink booking link at the bottom of this page.

Start time: 6PM    Dress Code: Business attire


Professor Dame Athene Donald, the Master of Churchill College was awarded both her BA (Natural Sciences, Theoretical Physics) and PhD (Physics) by the University of Cambridge, studying at Girton College. She then spent 4 years as a postdoctoral research associate in the USA at Cornell University in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, before returning to Cambridge where she has been ever since. Initially holding an SRC fellowship in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, she returned to the Cavendish Laboratory as one of the first generation of Royal Society University Research Fellows. Thereafter she was appointed a Lecturer in 1985, a Reader in 1995 and a Professor in 1998. A year later she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. Her research field can best be described as soft matter and biological physics, including polymers, biopolymers and, most recently, cellular biophysics. From 1983–2014 she was a fellow of Robinson College.

Within the University she has served on Council from 2009–14 and several of its dependent committees and was the Gender Equality Champion from 2010–14. She has served on a variety of committees at the Royal Society, chaired its Education Committee from 2010-14 and served on its Council from 2004-6 and again from 2011 to the present. She currently sits on the Scientific Council of the European Research Council.

She has been awarded prizes by the Institute of Physics (CV Boys Prize, Mott Medal and Faraday Medal) and was the Bakerian Lecturer of the Royal Society in 2006. In 2009 she was awarded the L'Oreal/UNESCO For Women in Science Laureate for Europe. She was appointed a Dame Commander of the British Empire for Services to Physics in 2010. She holds Honorary Doctorates from UEA, Exeter, Sheffield and Swansea Universities and UCL. She is a regular blogger, particularly about gender issues and on the Guardian Science blogs; she also is a regular tweeter.

Churchill alumnus Bruce Simpson, is a Senior Partner of McKinsey & Company, where he has worked for 32 years. He was the managing director of the Canada office for eight years and then convened the firm’s global Operations Practice. Bruce also co-led the New Ventures Competition (NVC). This venture capital approach identified, funded, and incubated startups inside McKinsey, leveraging McKinsey’s unparalleled access to leading companies and go-to-market channels to help them move rapidly from startup to scale up. Bruce has coached, and been coached by 100+ CEOs through his career, and continues to focus on leadership counselling, in particular how to lead effectively in today’s volatile, tech-enabled world. He serves major institutions in the aerospace, mining, and industrial sectors, as well as in the public sector, and he is an advocate for Canadian competitiveness in international business. 

His work includes designing and implementing transformation programs with large companies seeking to improve their business performance and achieve cultural renewal while fully engaging and aligning employees at all levels. He has extensive expertise in agile leadership, focusing on how leaders can build skills to handle volatility and unpredictability in their businesses. In addition, he helps clients develop strategies for long-term success that also address stakeholders’ economic, social, and environmental concerns. 

Before moving to Canada in 2000, Bruce held various leadership roles at McKinsey in New York and Paris. He spent 12 years cofounding then helping to build the firm’s Operations Practice in Europe, Asia and Africa. Prior to joining McKinsey, he held various marketing and product management positions at P&G in Europe. Bruce has published articles and given speeches on Canada in the Pacific Century, public sector productivity, business in society, and Canada-Japan and Canada-China business relationships. He is active in the community on healthcare, corporate social responsibility, and human rights issues. He serves on the boards of Catalyst, Human Rights Watch, and the Trans Canada Trail.

For any queries please contact us at dev.director@chu.cam.ac.uk