Leslee J. Thompson
President and CEO
I continue to learn how to work in this new world where the most important part of leadership is unleashing the power and potential of people who share a global passion for achieving quality in health services for all.
Since that is the heart of what we are as an organization, it must lead in that very same way.
Chief People Officer
In my work I focus on the people. I love learning and had great mentors throughout the years. My family, especially my two sons, challenge my views. They have taught me a lot about myself. I also spent years responding to their question “who is better” and I have repeated again and again… “not better but different”.
The best lessons I've learned: to give credit to others, to embrace and re-evaluate what I need to be happy.
I like to remind myself of the nicest compliments I have ever received “with Suzanne it is not complicated”!
Executive Director, Health Education Assessment and Clinical Partnership
Family and children have always been my number-one priority. Choices in my professional life and development were always based on “what was the impact on my family and children’s success?”
There’s not much I wish my 20-year-old self understood other than the importance of rigour (not rigidity) and discipline to act on your dreams. Experiment and don’t give up!
Executive Lead, Policy and Partner Engagement
Education was always very important, in part because I was the first one in my family to acquire an education beyond high school.
I have wanted to be a nurse since I was 11 years old. So I worked two jobs to save money and completed a BS in Nursing and then an MPA focused on Healthcare Quality and Management.
Education has been so important and something I have reinforced with my children (I have two sons and two daughters), to empower them and help them make better life choices. It’s also better for society, for the same reasons
Growing up, there was never a question in my mind about getting a university degree. I knew it was something I wanted to do and so I set my mind to it, studied hard, and was able to obtain bachelor’s degrees in the fields of psychology, civil and common law, and then pursue a further course of studies for professional designation as a barrister and solicitor.
I have been very fortunate to have been able to do mostly everything I had set out to accomplish in my life. I had excellent role models in my mother and father, a supportive husband, two wonderful children, and the opportunity to have a career working with clients to propose pragmatic legal solutions to complex commercial issues.
My advice to young professionals would be to spend more time “being present” and enjoying what life has to offer (relationships, experiences, etc.) rather than “working” such long hours.
Executive Director, Canadian Accreditation
I consider myself a citizen of the world, having lived, studied and worked in so many countries. One deep insight I have garnered is that there is more that binds us as a human race than what separates us. From my time in Africa, I have been humbled by the resilience of the human spirit in difficult circumstances and economies.
The one thing I would like to share with younger generations would be to have a keen sense of curiosity and seek knowledge wherever you can find it: in formal or informal ways through reading, through listening or other ways. But don’t stop there, share! Share your knowledge, your expertise, your experience for the benefit of others. This is my value system instilled in me by my mother, grandmother and others who were big contributors to society. Finally have fun, laugh a lot, play some mischief, lighten your hearts by bearing no malice. Life is truly a gift to be enjoyed.
Executive Director, International Accreditation
Formal education played a very important role as I left a small town in Ukraine during my school years and ventured to do my A-levels in Britain and then came to Canada for university. Receiving two degrees in international affairs positioned me very well to do what I do today and I was very fortunate to work with and be mentored by some of Canada’s best experts in the field.
My first supervisor used to tell me: “take your time to absorb the experience”. When you are younger you do not appreciate the value of experience as much and you are constantly running after something. At some point you realize that things that used to cause stress are no longer stressful; critical situations have effective solutions and most importantly, you arrive at a place, where you are able and happy to share your knowledge and experience with others and your team’s success brings you more satisfaction than your own – it is very rewarding.
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Growing up, I would watch the news every night with my parents. I was fascinated to see how world issues and complex situations could be summarized and put into perspective. It wasn’t until I went to University where I learned that I could combine my passion of history, politics and communications. I believe we never stop learning, to expand our knowledge and become more informed.
I want my two daughters to grow up in a world where they can see truth to issues and determine what matters to them and raise their voices. I find my career in communications so rewarding as it contributes to how people understand and relate to the world around them.
Regional Director, Quebec and Atlantic
My education and work experience are varied in different sectors. I started as an economist, became a clinician in the health system then executive manager before joining Accreditation Canada.
I consider myself privileged to have been surrounded by great people in my professional and personal development.
If I had to start over, I’d not change anything because the life that I’ve lived gave me the tools to become who I am today.
And something about me, I like to dive into philosophy and also enjoy racing cars.
Director, Surveyor Secretariat
Both my parents had post-secondary education but my mother, like many mothers at that time, left her job as a teacher to take care of her three kids. She never went back to teaching and focused on her children and family. I now have two girls and stress to them the importance of being financially independent, having a professional career while also having a work-life balance. You never know what life will throw at you and you need to be able to stand on your own feet.
There is more than one way to get to where you want to be. Life is full of plan Bs and these can also lead to a happy and successful life.
My work experience is varied, from Dairy Queen to working as a clerk at the Ottawa Hospital to motivational speaker. I think professional awards and recognition are important because they give motivation to some and uplifts those who might not feel recognized for doing the work they’ve done.
If there is one thing I wish my 20-year-old self would understand is her worth.
Oh, and something about me you may be surprised to learn is that I used to play the bagpipes.