Dan Pontefract is a renowned leadership strategist, author, and keynote speaker with over two decades of experience in senior executive roles at companies such as SAP, TELUS, and Business Objects. In these roles, he focused on corporate culture change, leadership development, employee experience, and overall performance improvement. Since then, he has worked with organizations worldwide, including Salesforce, Amgen, the State of Tennessee, Nestlé, Canada Post, Autodesk, BMO, the Government of Canada, Manulife, Nutrien, and the City of Toronto, among others. Dan has firsthand experience in turning leaders and corporate cultures into a competitive advantage, and he believes that the future of work is now.
Dan is an award-winning and best-selling author and has written five books.His third book, OPEN TO THINK, won the 2019 get Abstract International Book of the Year. His fourth LEAD. CARE. WIN. won the 2022 Nautilus Awards Silver Medal for Leadership. Dan also writes for Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and other outlets.
Dan is a renowned keynote speaker who has presented at four TED events and delivers approximately 50 keynotes annually. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business and has received over 25 industry, individual, and book awards.
Furthermore, Dan hosts the popular Leadership NOW series, where he interviews famous thinkers, authors, CEOs, and other incredible leaders. Through these interviews, he seeks to understand what makes leadership and people better.
Before leaving the world of full-time gigs in 2018, Dan served as Chief Envisioner and Chief Learning Officer at TELUS, a Canadian telecommunications company with 50,000 global employees and over $14 billion in revenue. While at TELUS, he launched the Transformation Office, the TELUS MBA, and the TELUS Leadership Philosophy, all of which helped increase the company’s employee engagement to nearly 90%. Prior to his ten years at TELUS, Dan held senior executive positions for 12 years with SAP, Business Objects, Crystal Decisions, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
Dan’s career is interwoven with corporate and academic experience, coupled with an MBA, B.Ed., and multiple industry certifications and awards. Notably, Dan is listed on the Thinkers50 Radar, HR Weekly’s 100 Most Influential People in HR, PeopleHum’s Top 200 Thought Leaders to Follow, and Inc. Magazine’s Top 100 Leadership Speakers.
In 2010, Dan was acknowledged by CLO as a Vanguard Award winner. In addition, he was a 2-time winner of the Corporate University Best in Class Awards of the Leader of the Year in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, SkillSoft awarded Dan the ‘Learning Leader of the Year’ for his work at TELUS, and CLO Magazine also bestowed the Learning in Practice Innovation Award. He is also the recipient of the 2012 Brandon-Hall Gold Award in Strategy & Governance. In 2015, TELUS became a 10-time winner of the prestigious ATD BEST award under his leadership and was the first-ever recipient of the ATD Hall of Fame distinction.
Dan and his wife, Denise, have three children, two dogs and two cats and live in Victoria, Canada.