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Dr. Rodney Nelson, C.Dir., PAED, CAPA

Dr. Nelson is a professor at Carleton University in International Business at the Sprott School of Business teaching ethics and cross-cultural interaction, globalization, entrepreneurship and business continuity.

He has over 30 years of experience in both public and private sectors with experience working with senior officials including Ministers, CEO's and corporate directors of Crown Corporations in areas of governance, ethics, policy and sustainability.

Formally trained as a Chartered Director and through experience he has excellent board governance experience including working on Executive, Audit, Governance and Nominating Committees and experience as a chair of the  board.

He has ten years of teaching at the University level including supervision of research projects, Masters theses and chairing PhD defenses. Awarded the Teaching Excellence Award and have maintained consistently high teaching evaluations.

As an experienced academic administrator, he has held many positions including member of the Senate Financial Review Committee, MBA Curriculum Redesign committee, Bachelor of International Business Task Force, Past chair of Carleton’s Aboriginal Education Council, Coordinator of the Aboriginal Enriched Support Program, member of the Carleton University Institute on the Ethics of Research with Indigenous Peoples, Advisory board for the Centre of Indigenous Research Culture and Education

Dr. Nelson has excellent abilities to lead and conduct research. This includes extensive personal experience conducting interviews and collecting oral histories in Canada and internationally.

As a proven leader in cross-cultural communications, he has  worked with NGO’s, Governments, Indigenous communities and corporations worldwide. This includes extensive international travel and cultural exchanges in over 40 countries including extended time in France, Thailand and United States.



I have a deep understanding of critical business and cultural issues including;


Corporate Governance

Community Capacity Development

Sustainable Development

Cross-cultural Communications

Corporate Social Responsibility


International Relations

Business Ethics

Indigenous Relations

Economic Development

Emergency Management


Represented Canada at the world APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) symposium on ethics health policies relating to Pandemic Influenza.


Spoke at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on economic development and how corporate/First Nations partnerships have been addressing these issues.

Professional Experience

Board Trustee (Current Governor in Council position), The Canadian War Museum, Canada's national museum of military history.

Board Trustee (Current Governor in Council position), The Canadian Museum of History formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Canada's national museum of human history.

Board of Directors (Current), Indigenous Culture and Media Technologies, Providing access to arts through professional development, productions, facilities, and equipment.

Member of the Carleton University Senate Finance Review Committee (Current), A committee to oversee fiscal responsibilities and recommend financial advice to the Senate.

Past Chair of FirstPlan Pension and Benefits. An Indigenous company providing pension and benefits to first nations communities and businesses.

Past Chair and Board Member, AFOA Canada Aboriginal Financial Officers Association. A national association that promotes finance and governance practices.

Past Co-Chair of Carleton University Aboriginal Education Council, oversees Carleton’s Aboriginal Coordinated Strategy reporting to the President and Vice-Chancellor.

Past Vice Chair of the board of directors for The Canada Dance Festival Association. In association with the National Arts Centre and the Banff Centre for the Arts curates and promotes contemporary dance excellence in Canada and internationally.

Advisory and member, Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Council. A council dedicated to share current thought on social responsibility and sustainability.

Past Chair of the Council on Corporate Aboriginal Relations. A council of industry and Aboriginal leaders who are responsible for relations with Aboriginal peoples.

Past Co-Chair of the Public Enterprise Governance Centre. A forum for Chairs, CEO’s, and Board members of Canadian Crown corporations and agencies to discuss governance.

Past Chair of the Pandemic Preparedness Working Group. A working group for executives to discuss organizational and operational planning for a pandemic.

Past Ethics Officer for Public Works and Government Services Canada. Appointed by the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Member of the University of Toronto's Joint Centre for Bio-Ethics A collaboration in bioethics research, education, practice, and public engagement.

Member of the Deputy Minister of Health’s Private Sector Working Group on Pandemics. A group of industry leaders tasked to ensure a standardized approach to emergency planning.


  • Working in a Diverse World: How to Develop Cultural Diplomacy for Success, CANNEXUS21, Virtual, 2021
  • Pandemic Preparedness and COVID-19, UN meeting on the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Virtual, 2020
  • Sustainability and Agritourism in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Area of Italy: Creating a Local Economy through Embracing Traditional Lifestyle, International Academic Conference on Business and Economics, Management and Finance, virtual, 2020.
  • Pandemic Preparedness and COVID-19, Small and Medium Enterprises Roundtable, Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Virtual, 2020
  • Cultural Diplomacy and International Development: National Museums, Cultural Exchanges and Respectful Partnerships, International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in North America, Virtual, 2020
  • Pandemic Preparedness in Canada: Are We Ready? Ethics, Business Continuity and Societal Safety. Special Topics, Carleton University, 2020.
  • Resistance to Change: Organizational Change Management, AFOA Conference, Saskatoon, 2019.
  • World Indigenous Research and Education Conference, Community Capacity Development and Education for Indigenous People. Norway, 2019.
  • International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Moderator and Plenary Indigenous Movements/ Mouvements autochtones, 2018.
  • Indigenous modernity and the concept of Bimaadiziwin: reconciling environmental stewardship and economic development. Panel entitled: Ambivalent Stewards: Communities, Disparities, Shifting and Resilient Subjects at the Conservation-Extraction Nexus. American Anthropological Society, Washington D.C. 2017
  • Understanding Meta Data and Ethical Research. Modern Treaties and Reconciliation: A New Relationship 150 Years Later, Ottawa, 2017.
  • Sustainable Economic Development and Community Governance: How to Connect Strategy to Economic and Social Outcomes, AFOA International Conference, Vancouver, 2017.
  • Pipelines and Puppy-dogs: Economic Realities and Sustainability.Canadian Anthropology Society, Decolonizing Anthropology: Practicing Anthropology with Indigenous Communities, 2017.
  • Generational Sustainable Development: A Path to Self Determination, Native American and Indigenous Studies Association conference,Hawaii, 2016.
  • Ethics and Research with Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Research Ethics Institute, Carleton University, Ottawa, 2016.
  • Governance and Community Development, Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program, Knowledge exchange between Canadian and Latin American or Caribbean institutions, Ottawa, 2016.
  • Unceded Ottawa: The Algonquin and the Outaouais, Arboretum Festival, Ottawa, 2015.
  • Self Determination through leadership and Mentoring, Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies Conference Developing Future Leaders: Partners in Emerging Leadership: Campus and Community, 2015.
  • Governance and Community Development, Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program, Knowledge exchange between Canadian and Latin American or Caribbean institutions, Ottawa, 2015.
  • Session Chair and speaker: Financial Management - Analysis of Debt - Good or Bad - The Ulnooweg Community Report Process, Aboriginal Financial Officers Association Conference, Halifax, 2014.
  • Keynote Speaker: Education and Economic Development Successes, Botho University International Research Conference and the British Council, Gaborone, Botswana, 2013.
  • Increasing Access to Education in Canada, World Congress on Access to Post-Secondary Education, Montreal, 2013.
  • Working with First Nations communities: The ethical debate on economic development. The Centre on Values and Ethics (COVE) Annual Spring Research Day. Carleton University, Ottawa, May 6th, 2013.
  • Facilitating Chair and panel discussant, “Leadership”, The Canadian Institute’sNational Forum on Indigenous Leadership, Ottawa, 2013.
  • "Revising Your Election Code and Using Performance”, National Forum on Indigenous Leadership, 2013.
  • Measurements to Help Conquer Obstacles to Effective Leadership", National Forum on Indigenous Leadership, 2013.
  • “Resource Revenue Sharing Initiatives”, Aboriginal Lands and Natural Resource Forum, Insight, 2013.
  • “Lessons in Business Strategy Planning”, Aboriginal Entrepreneurs Conference, Ottawa, Oct. 2011.
  • "A Traditional Board: Practical Applications for First Nations Board of Directors", Aboriginal Financial Officers Association, Conference Workshop, Vancouver, 2011.
  • "Economic Development and Poverty Among First Nations in Canada" Queens University, Kingston Poverty Conference, 2010.
  • University of Notre Dame, Promoting Student Success Conference, "Recruitment and Retention of Native Students in Colleges and Universities: A Canadian Experience", United States, 2010.
  • Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers, Niagara Falls, “Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge into Board Governance Practices”, 2010.
  • "Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge into Good Board Governance Practices", Aboriginal Financial Officers Association, Ottawa, 2010.
  • "The Role of Leadership in Community Health - Business Continuity Planning", Aboriginal Financial Officers Association, Ottawa, 2010.
  • Keynote Speaker on "Aboriginal Indigenous Knowledge and Corporate Governance", First Plan Benefits AGM, Winnipeg, 2009.
  • "Leveraging Our Joint Resources", Land Claims Agreements Coalition Conference, Ottawa, 2009.
  • “Seventh Generation Crisis: Building Capacity for Aboriginal Board of Directors”, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 2009.
  • Moderator of Aditawazi Nisoditadiwin Aboriginal Conference at Carleton University, Sessions Nation-to-Nation and Aboriginal Ways of Knowing, 2009.
  • "Economic Development for the Métis Nation", Métis Nation of Ontario, 2008.
  • Represented Canada at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation symposium on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness, Singapore, 2008.
  • "Understanding the Duty to Consult in Aboriginal Business Partnerships", Council for Corporate Aboriginal Relations, St, John's, Newfoundland, 2008.
  • "Board Governance and Pandemic Planning: All Hazards Approach", Pandemic Preparedness Working Group, Conference Board of Canada, Montreal, 2008.
  • "Creating Wealth and Opportunity in Aboriginal Communities", Aboriginal Financial Officers Association Conference (AFOA), Winnipeg, 2007.
  • "Continuity and Pandemics - Are We Prepared?", Canadian Pension & Benefits Institute’s National Conference, Winnipeg, 2007.
  • "Building Better Aboriginal Relations Through Cultural Understandings", Council for Corporate Aboriginal Relations, Prince Rupert, 2007.
  • "Business Continuity and Pandemic Influenza, Is Canada Prepared?", Information Technology Insights Network, Montreal, 2007.
  • “Risk Management: Pandemics and an All-Hazards Approach”, 31st Annual Risk and Insurance Management Conference, Calgary, 2006
  • "Creating Wealth and Prosperity in Aboriginal Communities", Council for Corporate Aboriginal Relations, Calgary, 2006.
  • “Me Change? No Way! Managing Organizational Change Management”, International Facilities Management Association, Toronto, 2005.
  • “Me Change? No Way! Managing Organizational Change Management” Invited to speak on organizational change management at the World Workplace Conferences in Toronto, Japan and Czech Republic, Video, 2004.
  • “Me Change? No Way! Managing Organizational Change Management”, International Facilities Management Association, Chicago, 2003.




Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Carleton University and Trent University, Department of Indigenous and Canadian Studies

An interdisciplinary approach combining, Indigenous governance and business


Chartered Director (C.Dir.)

McMaster University; DeGroote School of Business, The Directors College

Certificate for director education required to be an effective board and committee member.


Master of Arts (MA) in Anthropology

Carleton University; specialized in Cultural and Medical Anthropology


Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociology/Anthropology

Carleton University; specialized in Native Studies and Medical Anthropology


Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology

Carleton University; specialized in Clinical and Group Psychology


Professional Aboriginal Economic Development Certificate (PAED)

Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers, 2012


Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator (CAPA)

Aboriginal Financial Officers Association, 2013


Other Credentials

Graduate University Teaching Skills Certificate, Carleton University, 2010

Facilitation Training - Niagara Institute, 2007

Media Spokesperson Training - McLoughlin Media, 2006

Facilitation Training - Conference Board of Canada 2005, 2006

Certificate of Facilitation - Public Service, 2003



New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, Carleton University                     2016

SF Wise Graduate Award                                                                                2013

Dr. Thomas Betz Memorial Award                                                                    2013

Nominated for The Capital Educator's Award for the Ottawa Region               2012

Diversity 50 New Corporate Leader, Canadian Board Diversity Council          2012

Ottawa Chamber of Commerce 2010 New Business of the Year - finalist        2010

Colonel William B. Sutherland Graduate Award                                               2010

Canadian Studies Graduate Research Scholarship                                         2008

Carleton University Doctoral Research Award                                                  2007-2010]