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.



Christine Thomlinson, Rubin Thomlinson LLP and RT Workplace Training

Chris Thomlinson has led development of training for employers across the country that supports diverse, respectful and inclusive workplaces. Sessions covering respect at work, accommodation at work, investigating human rights breaches, advanced workplace investigation techniques, sexual harassment and mental health issues in the workplace aim to enhance employees’ respect for each other. Her clients have included police forces, universities, municipalities and professional services firms. Chris developed a program for the Ontario Hospital Association, which is being delivered province-wide through 10 webcasts. Topics include identifying and dealing with harassment and discrimination, as well as best practices to promote harassment- and discrimination-free workplaces. As Co-managing Partner and Co-founder of the firm and a training company, Chris has built two businesses, which are highly diverse, including members from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, place of origin, sexual orientation and age.