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Leanne Nicolle

Idea generator and social innovator Leanne Nicolle is the Ted Rogers School of Management's first Executive in Residence, Inclusive Leadership. Nicolle’s appointment began on April 1, 2017.

“Leanne brings a wealth of insights, expertise and experience to our TRSM community,” said Dean Steven Murphy, Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM). “At TRSM, we strive to provide innovative learning experiences that support our students in making real social change through entrepreneurialism and creativity. Leanne's history of empowering young people makes her a great addition to the TRSM team, and a perfect fit for the role of Executive in Residence, Inclusive Leadership.”

Nicolle’s lifelong passion as a globally minded social innovator has taken her storied career from the private to the public sector, with a primary focus on raising awareness of young girls and women’s’ issues and rights. Her career journey has brought her to Ted Rogers School of Management where she will be collaborating with students and faculty on areas of diversity and inclusion. One of her areas of focus will be in sport and how it intersects with gender, LGBTQ, race, culture and economic vulnerability. She will also provide leadership in the business of sport and how it can be seen as an agent of social change. Finally, Nicolle will also assist students in developing their professional network, primarily through mentorship with student athletes.

“I am delighted to join Ted Rogers School of Management in this new role,” said Nicolle. “Ryerson and TRSM have a strong commitment to inclusion and diversity – an area that I have spent my career dedicated to advancing women and girls’ rights and issues in the field of sport, education and business. I look forward to working closely with students to help them reach their full potential and to collaborating with the TRSM community.”


A social innovator, changemaker and advocate for girls and women, Leanne Nicolle has dedicated her career to driving societal change to improve women’s well-being in athletics, education and the workplace.

After a successful career as a senior executive in the food and beverage industries, Nicolle shifted her focus to the nonprofit sector, especially in raising awareness of girls’ and women’s rights on and off the field. Nicolle brought a social lens to the Olympic movement by launching programs that enabled talented athletes to excel in their sport, most recently as the president and executive director of the Canadian Olympic Foundation. Her work with multiple sports organizations and strategic partners resulted in a program that discovered and trained athletes from across the country who faced economic barriers to competing in their sport.

As Plan Canada’s director of corporate development and youth engagement in 2010, she worked primarily on domestic and global platforms to shine a light on young women’s rights and issues in the high-profile campaign “Because I am a Girl”. As a board member for the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport, Nicolle has been an advocate to advance women and girls through the power of sport. She is the founder of Ubuntu Marketing, a collective that puts organizations in touch with humanity.


Executive in Residence