Edifice Tabaret

Leadership Academy

Risk. Discover. Be.

About the Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy at the University of Ottawa is a campus-wide initiative stemming from a partnership between the Faculties of Law, Engineering and Social Sciences based on the proposition that to be an effective leader, and to provide effective action, one must include a focus on being. The Leadership Academy is built around a cluster of ideas, practices, projects, course offerings and professional training on the thriving science of leadership.

Académie de leadership

Upcoming training and course offerings

Transformational Leadership

April 2023 – Transformational Leadership – Intensive Interdisciplinary Training Course

The Leadership Academy at the University of Ottawa will be giving its 3rd annual offering of an intensive six-day interdisciplinary leadership training course to faculty and administrative staff, as well as alumni and members of the public in 2023.

The course will be offered on campus on April 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28, 2023.

This model, centered on leadership as a way of being, encourages participants to create futures that lead to action. In the spirit of collegiality and interdisciplinarity, we will explore an inclusive and comprehensive vision of leadership that emphasizes producing lasting transformations for individuals, teams and organizations.

The takeaways

  • Access to a new approach to leadership as a way of being and acting (and not as a product of charisma, characteristics, title, or authority);
  • Significant breakthroughs in one’s professional and personal lives – in any environment, under any circumstances;
  • Identification of ways of being that are interfering with the possibility of exercising leadership effectively;
  • Support in developing or creating one’s own leadership project;
  • Reconnection with one’s power to make things happen, and with the source of aliveness that generates the desire to make noteworthy contributions to others;
  • Discovery of how to deal with personal or organizational inertia and lack of motivation in teams; working in a way that speaks to every member of a team;
  • Reframing of one’s roles (researcher, professor, support staff, parent, public servant, etc.) as opportunities for self-expression and contribution to something bigger than oneself.

What you agree to:

  • Full participation – 3 Thursdays and 3 Fridays, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Completion of preparatory readings before the start of the course, approximately 50 pages


Register before April 1, 2023.

For more information on the course and registration fees send an email to [email protected].

groupe Academie de Leadership

Leadership in Academia and in Life

Being a student in the 21st century demands much more than having specialized knowledge. To that effect, the course Leadership in Academia and in Life offers a training that deviates from the traditional teaching model, based on the addition of knowledge, to adopt a more experiential model that promotes discovery learning. Through this course, you will have access to a new approach to leadership: you will see and live leadership as a way of being and acting that is accessible to all and not necessarily linked to notions of charisma, title or authority; you will design and carry out your own leadership project; and you will know how to make significant changes in your professional and personal lives – in any environment and under any circumstances.

Generally, there are two or three opportunities during the year to undertake the leadership training as an academic course (for credit) over the course of a regular 12-week academic term (either in the fall or the winter).  The Leadership Academy also offers an intensive version of the course each spring, taking place over the course of six days in April or May.  This intensive offering is available to anyone, but specifically targets professionals, scholars and members of the staff.  Each version of the course carries associated costs.

If you are interested in registering for leadership training via one of the offerings described above, please contact Professor Margarida Garcia ([email protected]) for more information and next steps.

Training program: A transformational experience

The Leadership Academy’s training program is based on the renowned leadership training course “Being a leader and the effective exercise of leadership: an ontological-phenomenological model”, co-designed by Werner Erhard (independent thinker), Michael C. Jensen (Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, Harvard Business School), Steve Zaffron (Founder and Head of Research and Development, Vanto Group) and Jeri Echeverria (Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, California State University System (ret.)). The training evolves through a series of structured dialogues designed to bring about leadership mastery in any situation. Drawing on insights from a range of fields, including neuroscience, linguistics and philosophy, the course shows that leadership is not an intrinsic quality that leaders possess; it is a way of being that is open to all of us and which can be brought to any leadership challenge.

Richard Dube

The course encourages participants to imagine a created future, and to allow the possibilities of that future to influence how they live in the present, with its set circumstances. Participants engage in this endeavour by way of a course leadership project – simultaneously a playground in which to experiment with the course’s teachings and an opportunity to influence a situation in their lives requiring leadership.

Participants who have taken the course have engaged in leadership projects on an exceptionally wide range of topics, from addressing violence against women in a family context, to understanding the effects of isolation on elderly people. Other projects have sought to directly engage with different communities, from, for example, providing free CPR and AED training that is linguistically and culturally adapted to an underserved community, to creating institutional initiatives that aim to promote student mental health and well-being. The course provides participants with the tools they need to create and see their way through projects that can only occur through their intervention and contribution.

If the approach is of interest, Werner Erhard and Michael Jensen (with Kari Granger) wrote the Chapter entitled “Creating Leaders: An Ontological / Phenomenological Model” for the book The Handbook for Teaching Leadership: Knowing, Doing, and Being, edited by Scott Snook, Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer; Nitin Nohria, HBS Dean and George Baker Professor of Administration; and Rakesh Khurana, Dean of Harvard College.

Our team: Interdisciplinarity and different perspectives

Margarida Garcia

Margarida Garcia

Margarida Garcia is a jurist, criminologist and sociologist. She holds the position of Assistant Dean, Research (2017-2021), and Professor at the Faculty of Law (University of Ottawa), and also teaches at the Faculty of Social Sciences. She teaches leadership, epistemology and the methodology of research in law. Her interdisciplinary work focuses on the theme of innovation and the obstacles to innovation in law reform (especially in the area of criminal law and human rights) and in institutional change. Her research focuses on the concept of human rights and relies on the contributions and active participation of Canadian, European and South American judicial actors (especially judges and crown prosecutors). She is currently undertaking research on leadership in times of crisis and on the concept of failure. Her work explores social and normative innovation at the crossroads of the legal and non-legal knowledge produced by law and by the social sciences. This is an approach that Professor Garcia considers essential for understanding the development of standards in a multicultural, pluralistic and diverse world.

Marc Dubé

Marc Dubé

Marc Dubé is a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He is the former Vice-Dean Research for his Faculty and has also served as Department Chair. He is a Fellow of both the Engineering Institute of Canada and the Chemical Institute of Canada. He performs research in sustainable polymer reaction engineering: making polymers from renewable materials such as starch, cellulose, lignin, limonene and glycerol to make coatings and adhesives that have a lower impact on the environment. Marc is committed to mentoring his uOttawa colleagues to help them achieve their top performance in not only teaching, research and academic service, but in living balanced, happy and fulfilling lives.

Richard Dubé

Richard Dubé

Richard Dubé is a Full Professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa and a member of the Canada Research Chair in Legal Traditions and Penal Rationality. His main fields of interest lie in the sociology of law. His current research focuses on reform of the criminal justice system, its fundamental principles and objectives, modern theories of punishment, and the conditions necessary for the emergence of innovative ideas in the field of criminal justice. His work has been the subject of several publications, notably in the journals Les Cahiers de droit, Droit et Société, Champ pénal and Déviance et Société. He has also co-edited a book on the topic of sentencing entitled Modern Criminal Rationality: Theoretical Reflections and Empirical Explorations, published in 2013 by the University of Ottawa Press. He is currently working on the development of a sociological theory of dysfunctional social systems.

Cintia Quiroga

Cintia Quiroga

Cintia Quiroga is Assistant Dean Research at the Faculty of Law. She is committed to sustaining the development of creative, innovative and inclusive research environments that promote collaboration among disciplines and the use of multiple methods to connect with diverse communities. Trained initially in developmental psychology methods, she has a varied experience in interdisciplinary research, having worked on large-scale longitudinal research projects, particularly in schools, hospitals, and communities with vulnerable or equality seeking groups. She teaches research methodology at the Faculty of Law and is interested in knowledge mobilization. Cintia Quiroga is a member of the Research Centre for the Future of Cities.

Andrew Kuntze

Andrew Kuntze

Andrew Kuntze works as the Research Communications Strategist at the Research Office of the Faculty of Law. He collaborates with researchers in law to promote the visibility of their work, developing innovative textual and visual narratives to support knowledge mobilization. Committed to telling stories that bring research to life, Andrew oversees research award nomination files, as well as all research-related communications, including knowledge dissemination campaigns on social media networks. Andrew has been trained in the delivery of ontological leadership course material and has served as a part-time professor in the Common Law Section, delivering the course Law, Life and Leadership to students. Andrew holds a Master’s degree in English Language and Literature.

Research: Exploring the ontological paradigm

Beyond the ontological training courses, the Academy has a major research component exploring the thriving science of leadership. As just one example, a large study, “Leadership in Times of Crisis, Failure and Breakdown: What Does it Mean? What Does it Look Like?”, is currently being conducted by Professors Margarida Garcia and Richard Dubé.

As a hub for ontological leadership, the Academy aims to attract people from the region, across the country and around the world to contribute to its cutting-edge work on the ecology of effective and transformational leadership. With this in mind, it will organize specialized events and will continue to develop an extensive research agenda around ontological inquiry, in addition to tailored workshops and training and mentoring services.

More information on these offerings will be made available soon.


The alumni community: sharing, collegiality, support

The Alumni Community

The Leadership Academy alumni community is an assembly of people who have participated in a leadership course at the University of Ottawa derived from the course "Being a Leader and Effective Leadership: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model". Both (former) students as well as professors and administrative staff (from all Faculties) are welcome to become a member.

This project, led by Coline Moreau, a doctoral student from the Faculty of Social Sciences, offers the opportunity for participants of the leadership course to continue climbing the “mountain with no top” after the course is completed. It creates an opportunity for alumni to stay in the conversation of the course, to have the opportunity to share their discoveries and experiences, to support each other in their journeys and to have the opportunity to maintain contact with colleagues who have had the same experience.

Meetings are held on a monthly basis. They will take place via Zoom. The meetings will be bilingual, French-English. 

To register or be kept informed of the meetings program, please send an email with your contact details to the following address: [email protected].

Coline Moreau


“This course starts with the bold promise that any participant, whatever their background, position or inclination, will come out of it being a leader and exercising leadership as their natural self-expression. And it totally delivers. For me, it opened up a whole realm of possibilities for being a leader that I wasn’t even aware of, convincing me in a deep way that I could give to a leadership situation what it required, whether I thought this was the ‘kind of person’ that I was or not. I left the course empowered, with the conviction that I could be an effective agent of change in my milieu”.

Marie-Eve Sylvestre
Faculty of Law (Civil Law Section), University of Ottawa

“This experience was not only transformative professionally, it also was at a deep personal level. At the time I took the course, I was preparing for my promotion to full professor and reflected on the steps required to diversify my skillset and possibly take on a more senior leadership position. Unfortunately, this period also coincided with the news of terminal illness in our family. Thanks to the ontological context in which the course took place, my leadership project came naturally. I did not work on my own professional advancement. Rather, as a caregiver, I led our young family through the devastating loss of a parent and partner. I imagined a future for our children in which life was possible, yet different from what we had originally planned for; different from what others will experience. Our family is forever changed yet empowered by the ordeal that comes with premature death. It took everything this course is about, behaving authentically and with integrity, working towards something bigger than oneself, while taking it all in, on the court. I remain accountable for this vision for as long as I remain a parent, equipped with a set of skills that will evolve and develop as we age together. As I reflect on it, both personal and professional advances were made. I think it is one of the exceptional emergent properties of this approach”. 

Alexandre Poulain
Full Professor and Vice-Dean of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships
Faculty of Science, University of Ottawa

« J'ai eu la chance incroyable de participer à la formation en présentiel à Ottawa en mai 2022. Le contexte était pour moi extraordinaire, loin de mon quotidien et de mon pays et cela m'a permis de profiter pleinement de la formation en leadership transformationnel. L'équipe des formateurs est d'une grande humanité et leur attitude ouverte, exempte de tout jugement, offre un espace d'expression très précieux pour les participants. Les règles du jeu sont précises; elles m'ont guidées pour adopter la posture d'écoute indispensable pour intégrer les messages forts. Les interactions entre les participants étaient très enrichissantes aussi, avec une prise de recul bien accompagnée par l'équipe qui anime les séances.  Certains moments (notamment au travers des exercices mais parfois tout simplement par la pratique de l'écoute authentique) ont été de vrais instants de révélation pour moi. Cette formation laisse des traces profondes et impacte aujourd'hui encore ma manière d'être et d'agir, en particulier dans l'exercice de mes fonctions ».

Estèle Jouison-Laffitte
Vice-présidente, Orientation et Insertion Professionnelle
Université de Bordeaux, France

« Le Leadership inclusif – est un cours particulièrement intense et surtout totalement enrichissant! Lire, voir, entendre, réfléchir et expérimenter les enseignements du cours est transformateur à coup sûr. Ce cours devrait être obligatoire pour tous !! »

Eva Ottawa
Professeure et Directrice du programme de certificat en droit autochtone
Faculté de droit (Section de droit civil), Université d’Ottawa

“This is much more than a course on leadership, it is an opportunity for professional development, introspection and personal growth. The course instructors are the perfect guides on a journey that will change you. I came into the course having had many leadership opportunities. Yet my vision of what leadership is was challenged, and expanded in many ways! This provided me with a new perspective, positively impacting how I felt and how I interacted with others. I also often use and reflect on the course material years after taking it. I have recommended this journey to close colleagues, envying them and hoping they get as much out of this experience as other participants and I did! “

André Beauchemin
Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Interim),
University of Ottawa

« L’expérience offerte par ce cours a été profondément transformatrice pour tous les aspects de ma vie. L’approche du leadership en tant que manière d’être m’a permis de prendre conscience et d’agir sur mes attitudes et représentations limitant mon accès au leadership authentique, qu’il s’agisse de la peur de l’échec ou de celle de décevoir. En pavant la voie à une manière d’être et d’agir plus intentionnelle et libre, ce cours m’a outillé de manière durable pour exercer mon leadership de manière plus efficace, courageuse et satisfaisante ».

Sophie Thériault
Professeure titulaire et Vice-doyenne aux études
Faculté de droit (Section de droit civil), Université d’Ottawa

« Le programme de formation de l’Académie, c’est un exercice de prise de conscience, d’introspection, de découverte de soi . On est dans la réflexion qui, à terme, fait naturellement de nous un meilleur leader. Le cours nous amène à recontextualiser les choses, de sorte qu’on émerge de chaque rencontre énergisés et beaucoup plus productifs. C’est une des expériences les plus marquantes de ma vie – ça a changé ma façon d’enseigner et ma vie quotidienne. »

Terry Skolnik
Associate professor and Co-Director, uOttawa Public Law Centre
Faculty of Law (Civil Law Section), University of Ottawa

“This Transformational Leadership training had me look at what I really cared about in the world and the difference I wanted to make in my communities. The course led me to look beyond my own success in teaching, research and publishing. I saw the possibility of creating a world transformed through powerful partnerships between university and community in areas of shared passion. And I discovered that this new kind of leadership was more about listening, authenticity and the empowerment of others in taking action in areas of mutual concern”. 

Rebecca Ward
Research Associate
Brock University
Private Practice Psychologist

“When I enrolled in the Inclusive Leadership intensive course, I expected to learn “textbook” leadership strategies; however, I finished the course having gained a new understanding of myself and what it means to lead with integrity. This course has helped me to identify my personal and professional strengths, reconnect with my passion for teaching and fostering relationships, and develop tools to overcome significant feelings of “imposter syndrome” in my career. Having spent the past seven months putting this course into practice, I have experienced tangible improvements in my personal and professional life. This leadership training has been transformational, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn and participate”.

Drew Taylor
Senior Specialist, Field Placement and Experiential Learning and Part-Time Professor
Faculty of Social Sciences (Criminology Department), University of Ottawa

« Le cours de Leadership inclusif est une formation qui a eu un impact transformationnel énorme sur moi. Très différent de ce qu’on connaît d’un cours traditionnel, il m’a offert des outils pour réfléchir à ma vie (personnelle et professionnelle), mais surtout des outils pour vivre ma vie en descendant « des gradins » pour sauter à pieds joints dans mon « carré de sable ». Je l’ai vécu comme une certaine libération qui devenait essentielle pour avancer vers là où je veux être.  Sept mois après la fin du cours, j’en ressens encore les bienfaits et je suis enthousiaste d’expérimenter ce que la formation continue de m’apporter ».

Marie-Lyne Vachon
Gestionnaire, stages et formation pratique
Faculté des Sciences sociales (Département de criminologie), Université d'Ottaw

« Ce cours a été formateur à plusieurs niveaux, mais la prise de conscience du contrôle que j’aie sur mes actions et sur mes décisions a été des plus utiles. Cette prise de conscience a été possible parce que cette formation de leadership met l’accent sur la façon d’être et d’agir. Donc, une personne peut être extravertie ou introvertie, son leadership est défini par ses actions et non sa personnalité. Le leadership est beaucoup plus diversifié et moins stéréotypé! »

Sochetra Nget
Doyenne adjointe
Faculté de droit, Université d’Ottawa

« J’ai aimé la conception hautement interactive de ce cours et le réel ancrage de ce dernier dans ma réalité, tant professionnelle que personnelle. Le fait qu’il soit donné sur le cours de plusieurs semaines m’a permis de mieux assimiler, mais aussi prendre un meilleur recul par rapport au contenu et réflexions. Les échanges avec les autres participants ont fait toute la différence pour moi et j’ai trouvé qu’il s’agit-là d’une opportunité unique de développement professionnel donnée par une équipe bien rodée et à l’écoute de nos diverses aspirations. Je le recommanderais sans aucune hésitation à tout.e employé.e qui a à cœur de (re)prendre en mains les rênes de sa vie. Merci!”

Sophie Wauquier
Agente de développement – Carrefour communautaire
Université d’Ottawa

"This is fabulous course at so many levels. It is about leadership, of course, but it causes you to reimagine what leadership means and, more importantly, to make it part of what you do as a natural way of being (as opposed to a new knowledge set that you make note of during a course and perhaps soon forget). Leadership of this kind is relevant to managers, deans and directors; but it is also relevant to individuals who are doing their best to be good leaders just in the context of their own lives. In the decade before taking this course, I had been a leader of the first kind, and I am sure that I would have found it immensely valuable if I had taken it before trying to fulfil those roles. But at the time of taking the course I was more focused on personal projects. The course allowed me to move from projects that were bogged down by a myriad of doubts and obstacles to projects that were real and ready to be acted upon. Along the way, there was a lot of sharing with colleagues – it was a real pleasure getting to know them better in this way, and of course to benefit from their insights and suggestions. The team that runs this leadership course is nothing short of extraordinary: friendly, supportive, knowledgeable, inspirational. I am so grateful to them. I am very glad that I took this course and would take it again, and would surely benefit just as much, if differently, if I did. I recommend it strongly to others”.

Peter Oliver
Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
Formerly Vice-Dean (French Program), Vice Dean Research and Co-Director of the Centre de droit public uOttawa Public Law Centre

"Through the exercises and reflections, this course changed my relationship with myself and revolutionized my way of being and acting in the world."

Coline Moreau
Doctoral candidate in Criminology
University of Ottawa

"This is a unique course that allowed me to learn more about myself. It has provided me with a toolkit that I can rely on to exercise leadership effectively."

Jaskeerat Heera
Student, Faculty of Law
University of Ottawa

"The course helped shift my perspective and boost my confidence. It taught me to live life with wonder, and be present in the moment. I learned to get out of my head to truly be ‘out here’ and seize opportunities with the confidence that, I came to learn, I already had within me."

Aena Poologarajah
Student, Faculty of Law
University of Ottawa

"En tant qu’ancien sergent de police, coach d’athlètes, membre du CA d’une association sportive nationale et dirigeant d’entreprise, mener des hommes et des femmes fait partie de ma vie depuis plus de 25 ans. Malgré cette expérience, je me suis surpris à revoir le leadership d’une manière éclairante, utile, efficace, entière et profonde. Avec un grand sourire, à 55 ans, ce cours m’a permis d’évoluer alors que je croyais avoir compris...."

Alfredo Muñoz
Student, Faculty of Law
University of Ottawa

"I am eternally grateful to Professors Garcia and Kuntze for delivering this course, for allowing me to rediscover motherhood with my son, revealing my love for law school, restrengthening my commitment to environmental justice, and most importantly, for redirecting me on the path of my personal journey into being. This course is worth so much more than credits. It is not a lesson plan but a practical roadmap to being that this course gifts its students. I highly recommend this course be offered to law students before beginning their 1L semester. I truly believe in its potential to transform the culture and learning of law and leadership for a more positive experience that will pay dividends to all students’ mental health and wellness."

Sundeep Virdi
Student, Faculty of Law
University of Ottawa

Leadership Academy Team

Contact Information

Email: [email protected]

Photos : Marta Sobral Garcia

plan rapproché de mains d'une personne qui envoie un texto