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Rodney Nelson

Instructor III, International Business
    Phone:613-520-2600, ext. 2397
    Building:Dunton Tower, Room 1722
    Department:Sprott School of Business
    Degrees:PhD (Carleton/Trent), C.Dir. (DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University), PAED (Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers), CAPA (Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada)


    Dr. Rodney Nelson has varied and multidisciplinary background, with over 30 years experience working with both the public and private sectors. Rodney’s wide variety of passions include sustainable economic development, corporate anthropology, cultural diplomacy, cross-cultural communications, ethics, and governance.

    As an expert in corporate governance, Rodney sits on several boards and has headed many councils and working groups. He is currently a board trustee for the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum, as well as serving on the Board of Directors for Indigenous Culture and Media Technologies (ICMI). In the past, he was chair of FirstPlan Pension and Benefits, chair for AFOA Canada (formerly Aboriginal Financial Officers Association), co-chair of the Canada Dance Festival, chair of the Council on Corporate Aboriginal Relations, lead of the National Pandemic Preparedness Working Group and the chair of the Public Enterprise Governance Centre.

    Rodney’s current areas of international business research include economic sustainability and agritourism in northern Italy, economic development and tourism with the Moken (sea gypsies) of South East Asia, and international business preparedness and continuity during a pandemic. He has worked and been invited to speak at several international universities including the Sami University in Norway, Botho University in Botswana and University of Notre Dame and University of Hawai’i in the United States.

    Ethics, corporate sustainability and social responsibility are also areas of interest to Rodney. He is a former ethics officer for Public Works and Government Services Canada, as well as a former advisor and member of the Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Council. He served as an associate with the CanPREP board at the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bio-Ethics.

    Rodney was the business continuity research lead at the Conference Board of Canada and the chair of the Pandemic Preparedness Working Group for Canadian Businesses. In this role Rodney liaised with the WHO for Canadian businesses during the H1N1 pandemic and was invited to join the Deputy Minister of Health’s Private Sector Working Group on Pandemics representing Canadian businesses. This group helped create the Canadian Pandemic Preparedness Plan, Guidebook to Pandemic Preparedness and the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector. He also represented Canada to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation on Pandemic Planning which ensured collaboration between nations and sectors to improve regional preparedness against pandemics.

    As an entrepreneur, Rodney has created several businesses including a marketing and communications company and the Global Governance Group (GGG) where he is the current Principal of Governance and CEO. GGG was a finalist for the 2010 “New Business of the Year” Ottawa Business Achievement Award by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. He also enjoyed many years as a professional musician and worked in the music industry where he created several businesses including a record and production company.

    Rodney holds a PhD (Carleton/ Trent), a Master’s degree in anthropology and two Bachelor degrees in psychology and anthropology (medical/cultural). He is a Certified Chartered Director (C.Dir) from McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business and the Director’s College, a certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator (CAPA), and a Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer (PAED).

    Rodney is also dedicated to teaching. In 2012 he was nominated for the Capital Educator’s Award for the Ottawa Region and in 2016 he was awarded the New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award by Carleton University. 

    Research Interests:

    Rodney’s diverse interests include corporate board governance, ethics and compliance, economic development, risk management, business continuity planning, Indigenous relations, cross-cultural communications and international development. He has worked closely with many Indigenous communities in the areas of business development and management.


    Read more about Rodney's research