Rick Blickstead was appointed President and CEO of the Canadian Diabetes Association effective October 1, 2013, with a mandate of overseeing the CDA’s mission to lead the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure.
Mr. Blickstead joined the CDA after almost 11 years as CEO of the Wellesley Institute, a Toronto-based population health research and policy institute. He has experience working with multiple stakeholders in this role and previously in executive leadership roles with Peoples Jewellers, Wal-Mart, Dylex, Holt Renfrew and RONA. He has a diverse background in strategic leadership, organizational and board governance, and operational excellence. Mr. Blickstead is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto, a Fellow of the Social Innovation Generation at MaRS and has been the operational team leader for Seeing is Believing, an initiative of the Prince’s Trust (UK) and Prince’s Charities Canada. He has an MBA from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto and has completed the non-profit leadership certificate joint program at the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government. He is also a member of several boards, including the Toronto Central LHIN, Young Presidents/World Presidents Organization, and Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Policy and Advocacy Committee.
He is an accomplished leader and strategic health care thinker who is passionate about our mission and commitment to help people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure, and brings a wealth of knowledge, education and experience to the Canadian Diabetes Association and the people it serves.
Mr. Blickstead states that one in four Canadians is living with diabetes or prediabetes and that number is projected to rise to an alarming one in three by 2020. “Together, with the commitment of dedicated staff and volunteers and through the unwavering support of funding and program partners, we will work hard and work quickly to improve the lives of the people we serve and are about to serve. This is the commitment we make to all people in Canada affected by diabetes today and the growing population of tomorrow.”