Club News

NAC President Peter Herrndorf Hosts Harvard Club


3345On November 25, 2014, the Harvard Club of Ottawa assembled at the National Arts Centre for its Annual General Meeting. But before getting down to business, the Club was treated to a lecture by NAC President, and Harvard alumnus, Peter Herrndorf.

Mr. Herrndorf joined the NAC in the late 1990s. After years of budget cuts and frequent changes in leadership, the Centre was suffering “financially, emotionally, and artistically”. Mr. Herrndorf was determined to transform the institution. He quickly set out to develop a vision for the Centre, recruit the best staff, and build public confidence.

Over the years, his hard work paid off. Among other accomplishments, the NAC has run 12 surpluses in the last 15 years. The number of NAC subscribers has ballooned to 30,000. And NAC shows have travelled to the UK and China.

But Mr. Herndorff isn’t resting on his laurels. For the remainder of his tenure, he hopes to increase the Centre’s international presence, showcase more     Aboriginal art, promote Canadian arts education, and oversee a significant renovation to the NAC building. 


Club Explores Concept of "Dignity" with Dr. Donna Hicks

pic - dignity2

Dignity plays a critical role in human interactions. Respecting others’ dignity promotes the development of “meaningful relationships”. Conversely, violating dignity often results in “aggression, even violence, hatred, and vengeance”. Yet, few people truly understand the concept of dignity.

On this premise, Dr. Donna Hicks spoke before the Harvard Club of Ottawa on May 8, 2014.  A professor at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and expert in conflict resolution, Dr. Hicks has become a leading authority on dignity over her 20 year career.

During the talk, Dr. Hicks helped define dignity as more than just “respect” and “honour”.  She explained how to identify dignity violations, weaving in fascinating anecdotes from her experiences in Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland, Columbia, and the Middle East. Finally, she closed by enumerating the 10 ways to honour the dignity of others (by accepting their identify, acknowledging their views, apologizing for past violations etc).

For more information on Donna Hicks and her book, “Dignity: The Essential Role it Plays in Resolving Conflict”, please visit:



Club Members Enjoy Talk with Morris Rosenberg



On January 22, 2014, members of the Harvard Club of Ottawa were treated to a salon discussion with Morris Rosenberg (LLM 1979), former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. In addition to reflecting on his own career, Mr. Rosenberg offered his insights on the changing global order and the implications and challenges for Canada. He also described the internal forces shaping Canadian governance and the changing relationships between Parliament, the Executive, and the Courts. 

During the course of the discussion, Mr. Rosenberg recommended further readings and videos. Please find the links below:



Harvard Alumni Renew Ties

harvard ladiesOttawa Citizen, December 1, 2013

Not a tweed jacket or smoking pipe was in sight Tuesday as members of the Harvard Club of Ottawa got together at the downtown Heart and Crown pub to stimulate their minds over some pints of beer or a little vino.

With more than 400 graduates of the elite American Ivy League school living in the area, the club, which has between 80 and 90 members, regularly holds off-the-record salons with public figures, book club evenings, panel discussions and other events.

"For most of us, going to Harvard meant (a) we met fantastic professors and (b) we met fantastic students," the club's volunteer president, Lewis Auerbach, told Around Town. "So, the club is about, in a very minor way, recreating some of that and also staying in touch with the university."

Among the Harvard University alumni at the pub were Margaret Huber, a leading figure in the Canadian Foreign Service, crisis communications consultant Barry McLoughlin and Dr. Robert Cushman, former chief executive of Champlain LHIN. He introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Jack Kitts, chief executive of the Ottawa Hospital and chair of the Health Council of Canada.

Later, a presentation was made of a framed letter of appreciation and congratulations to the club, signed by one of Canada's most famous Harvard grads, Gov. Gen. David Johnston.



Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative Slides

Topics of this presentation include:

  • The nature of addiciton according to addicts and experts.
  • A research program for finding out about addiciction.
  • Why do we believe that addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease when the data says otherwise.
  • Some reasons why self-destructive drug abuse persists. 

Read more ...