Bob Plamondon


Bob Plamondon FCPA, FCA, ICD.D is a consultant, independent board member and author. He has expertise in strategic planning, organizational transformation, performance and risk management, finance, public policy, communications and Canadian history.

Bob currently serves on the board of OPTrust, a defined benefit pension plan that holds $20 billion in assets that funds and administers the pension plan for Ontario’s unionized public servants. He also sits on the advisory board of the Digital Academy of the Canada School of Public Service, which deals with issues around digital transformation, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. 

A current focus for Bob is the transformation of the University of Ottawa Professional Development Institute into Canada's preeminent institution for applied governance and leadership development. This includes serving as the Director for the Comptrollership Leadership Development Program and the and the CIO institute. He is also the founder and leader of The Prime Ministers Series – a partnership of the University of Ottawa and the Canada School of Public Service. He also serves as an advisor to the Equality Fund that is driving cultural, economic and political change to make global gender equality a reality.

Bob a le plaisir de travailler en français.


Plamondon’s recent board work includes the National Capital Commission (with a diversified portfolio of over $2 billion in assets), where he was the chair of the audit committee and was a member of the executive committee. Bob was elected interim chair by his fellow board members.  Bob has sat on numerous other boards including Sportstats World, the world’s largest running and triathlon timing company. 

Bob has held full and part-time professorship at three universities over a twenty-year period and is the author of numerous public policy studies and reports. He has been frequently published in the Globe and Mail, The National Post, and Ottawa Citizen, as well as in various policy and academic journals.

Bob’s extensive experience in public policy and public sector management includes leading governance evaluations of the board of directors of VIA Rail and EDC.  He also conducted an evaluation of the governance regime for Canada's national debt ($600 billion) under the shared authority of the Bank of Canada and Finance Canada.  Bob is the author of Ten Steps to a governance Checkup for the Boards of Crown Corporations and Government Agencies.

In a senior strategic advisory role at the City of Ottawa ($4 billion budget with $15 billion in assets) Bob developed and implemented a suite of financial and management reforms including a fiscal framework, budget challenge process, operational reviews that delivered tens of millions in savings, design of a performance management system, and innovations in the transparency of financial reporting.

Over his career, Bob has led significant organizational and nation-building initiatives, including:

  • A leader in a multi-year resource optimization initiative for the University of Ottawa that delivered $33 million in annual savings while also improving the staff and student experience in a unionized environment.  He also led the transformation of the campus facilities unit that provided oversight of all capital projects and the asset maintenance system  

  • A breakthrough agreement on the $3 billion Ottawa light rail system that saved a billion dollars, protected the riverfront, added 60% more green space and will lead to the construction of a $30 million world-class park

  • A key member of a small team at Finance Canada that designed the GST. He also built the business case that transformed Revenue Canada into Canada Revenue Agency.

  • Undertook the background work that changed the way provinces interacted with the federal government in the assessment of personal income tax and that contributed to the implementation of single administration of corporate income tax in Ontario

  • Key contributor to the design of the governance structure for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research



Plamondon is the author of:

  • Hay West: A Story of Canadians Helping Canadians (Red Deer Press, 2004)

  • Full Circle: Death and Resurrection in Canadian Conservative Politics (Key Porter, 2006)

  • Blue Thunder: The Truth About Conservatives from Macdonald to Harper (Key Porter 2009)

  • The Truth About Trudeau (Great River Media Inc., 2003)

  • The Shawinigan Fox: How Jean Chrétien Defied the Elites and Reshaped Canada (Great River Media Inc., 2017)

  • Canada! A Celebration of 150 Years (Great River Media, 2017 - Chapter contribution)

Plamondon's books have been excerpted in Maclean's magazine and numerous Canadian newspapers, and have been reviewed in Quill and Quire, Literary Review of Canada, The Globe and Mail and The Washington Times. The Truth about Trudeau stayed in Amazon's Top 100 books for 47 consecutive days.


Bob is a graduate of Carleton University with a Master of Management Studies and a Bachelor of Commerce (marketing).  He obtained the designation of Chartered Accountant in 1983 and was elected to become a Fellow in 2003.  He is currently a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and has completed the Rotman Directors Education Program and earned the ICD.D designation.

In 2012 was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Community Works

Plamondon currently sits on the Canadian Portrait Gallery and the Ottawa chapter of the Sir Winston Churchill Society. 

In 1988, Plamondon ran for federal Parliament as a Progressive Conservative. He was one of the longest-serving board members of the Sierra Club of CanadaIn 2012, he led a campaign that resulted in the renaming of the Ottawa River Parkway to the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. In 2018, Plamondon launched an initiative to establish the Wellington National Mall in the Parliamentary Precinct. Other community contributions include serving on the board of directors of the Sierra Club of Canada, committees of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, and the YMCA. Plamondon also supports literacy programs in public schools, local writers' festivals, and minor hockey. 


Bob's most recent of his five books is now available on Amazon.

JEAN CHRÉTIEN’s critics have said he was a man with a short attention span — a small-town hick who stumbled his way to become Canada’s 20th prime minister. Whatever credit the Chrétien government deserved was often given to Paul Martin, the heir apparent who was touted to be the brains behind the operation. But while Chretien was the subject of ridicule, he was quietly giving his competitors — both inside and outside of the Liberal party — a master class in politics, leadership, and nation-building. His decisions, which often ran counter to elite opinion, fundamentally reshaped and strengthened Canada as it entered the 21st century. Relying on new evidence, detailed analysis and exclusive interviews with former cabinet ministers, provincial premiers, political staff, strategists, and high-ranking bureaucrats – many of them speaking publicly for the first time – bestselling author and historian Bob Plamondon tells the surprising inside story of the Chretien years, including: · What Chretien would have done if the 1995 referendum had ended in a vote for separation · How Chretien kept Canada out of the US-led war in Iraq · Why a lifelong Liberal was the most conservative prime minister in Canadian history · The shocking details of the Chretien-Martin feud Until now, the story of Chretien’s time as prime minister has been largely misunderstood. Plamondon sets the record straight and provides compelling lessons about political leadership and problem-solving from a critical chapter in Canadian history.

"Having written two volumes on Chretien back in the day, I can assure you that Plamondon's book has much to add. I highly recommend it."

From the Literary Review of Canada:
"...[Bob Plamondon[ has contributed something rather unique to the existing scholarship.... going deeper into the political woods than most have ever ventured...  e has helped prove that Chrétien’s fable is not one of a sneaky snake, but rather of a crafty fox who used his down-to-earth personality, pseudo-populist demeanour, faux fiscal prudence, and heaps of political smarts to charm Canadians for more than a decade.

From Rick Van Loon - former President of Carleton University 
The Shawinigan Fox is an enjoyable and easy read for Canadian political junkies and very suitable for even the casually interested.
Written in a straightforward style characterized by short punchy paragraphs, some data and lots and lots of anecdotes based on extensive interviews, it makes a strong case for its protagonist...While the book is highly favourable to Chretien, it is not a hagiography. For example the prime minister's handling of the sponsorship scandal and the shady dealings that led up to it lead Plamondon to assess the scandal as one of the very worst in Canadian history. Overall, this is a very well done popular political biography with lots of fascinating detail about the Chretien years. There will no doubt be other, perhaps even more fully researched and maybe more neutral, but they are unlikely to be a better read.

Subpages (1): Op-eds 2016 Post Media