2016 Zenith Award Winners

Marc-André Blanchard is an esteemed lawyer from Québec who in April became Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In this role, Ambassador Blanchard works to advance Canada’s interests, promote international development, security and human rights, and to keep our government informed on multilateral issues. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Blanchard had been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of McCarthy Tétrault LLP, one of the country’s most prominent law firms. He also has a long history of political involvement, as the former president of the Québec Liberal Party and, more recently, as a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s transition team. Ambassador Blanchard holds several degrees including a Master's in Public Administration and a Master’s in International Affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He is a Lexpert Rising Stars alumnus, and in 2013 was named one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer.



Douglas Rienzo, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Doug Rienzo is founding Chair of Osler’s Diversity Committee (DC), which has implemented several important initiatives: Doug led the creation of an enhanced pregnancy and parental leave policy for associates; he was the mover behind a policy enabling formation of legal professional resource groups such as the Asia-Pacific Affinity Network, Osler Women Lawyers Network and Osler Pride Network; the DC helped create a maternity/paternity leave buddy program matching leave-taking associates with partners who are parents, to provide guidance around associate leaves; he supported diversity and inclusion and unconscious-bias training and led a 2015 Pride event; he encouraged the firm to create a Quiet Room, where Osler people of any religion, or no religion, can engage in prayer, reflection or meditation. Doug hosts biannual Town Hall Meetings to highlight DC initiatives and, under his leadership, Osler has undertaken two firm-wide diversity surveys.

Linc Rogers, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Since 2007, Linc Rogers has been active in diversity and inclusion initiatives at Blakes. Linc is a former President of the Ottawa Black Law Students’ Association of Canada and serves on Blakes’ diversity and inclusion committee, taking a leadership role in several diversity-and-inclusion initiatives. He is the principal author of the firm’s diversity-and-inclusion webpage and founder of the Blakes diversity network, promoting diversity within Blakes and the broader legal profession. He has led several diversity-network initiatives, including a presentation by Justice Russell Juriansz of the Court of Appeal for Ontario on best practices before the court and diversity in the legal profession; a roundtable on business development through a diversity lens; and a Blakes client seminar on diverse religious holidays. Linc has organized presentations on the US Supreme Court case on marriage equality and inclusive leadership.