Thomas Paul d’Aquino C.M., B.A., J.D., LL.M., LL.D.
Chair, Emeritus Board
Member, American Friends of the National Gallery of Canada
Thomas d’Aquino is the Chair Emeritus of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation. He is a Founding Director of the Foundation and has served as Chair of the Board of Directors since 2002.
He is a Distinguished Patron of the National Gallery of Canada and the founder of the Distinguished Patrons – a group of philanthropists who support the goals of the National Gallery and which today make up over 150 members. He also is the founder of the Distinguished Business Leadership Circle of the Gallery which consists of leading Canadian companies lending support to the Gallery via the Gallery Foundation. He also serves as the Chair of the Gallery Foundation’s Stewardship Committee.
Mr. d’Aquino has played a leading role in fundraising for the National Gallery and in launching the Foundation’s Planned Giving initiative. During his tenure and to date, the Foundation has raised over $73 million in cash and pledges, and has facilitated donations of art-in-kind to the national collection in excess of $61 million FMV. In 2017, he organized and chaired the highly successful Canada 150 Art for the Nation Summit which convened at the Gallery distinguished art historians, collectors, philanthropists, museum directors and special guests including leaders from government, business and the voluntary sector.
Mr. d’Aquino is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, corporate director, author and educator. He is Chairman of Thomas d’Aquino Capital and Chairman and Chief Executive of Intercounsel Ltd., a private venture development and strategic consulting company.
Mr. d’Aquino’s business career spans over four decades. From 1972 to 1975, he worked with an international management consulting firm in London and Paris. He started his own business in 1976 winning strategic consulting mandates from a number of leading companies in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. From 1981 to 2009, he served as Chief Executive, President and member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), an organization composed of the chief executives of 150 of the country’s leading enterprises and pre-eminent entrepreneurs. Mr. d’Aquino assumed leadership of the Council in its formative stages when it was known as the Business Council on National Issues. Upon his retirement from the CCCE as of January 1, 2010, member companies accounted for $850 billion in annual revenues, $4.5 trillion in assets, and were responsible for the majority of Canada’s private sector exports, investment and training. In recognition of “his exemplary leadership”, he was named by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives Board of Directors, a Distinguished Lifetime Member. (As of January 2016, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives has been renamed the Business Council of Canada.)
Earlier in his career, Mr. d’Aquino served as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Pierre Trudeau, and as Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa lecturing on the law of international trade and global business transactions. He also worked with two of Canada’s leading law firms, as Special Counsel and Senior Counsel. He is acknowledged as one of the private sector leaders in advancing the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mr. d’Aquino organized the first-ever APEC CEO Summit held in Vancouver in 1997 and served as Co-Chairman. As head of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, he led the first Canadian CEO Missions to China and India and remains active in Asia Pacific affairs.
Born in British Columbia, Mr. d’Aquino attended the Universities of British Columbia, Queen’s and London (University College and the London School of Economics). He holds B.A., J.D. (LL.B.), and LL.M. degrees, and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from Queen’s, Wilfrid Laurier and Western Universities.
Mr. d’Aquino is the recipient of numerous honours including the Order of Canada, the Order of Ottawa and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals for service to Canada. He also was named a Knight Commander (Commendatore) by the President of Italy and was awarded Mexico’s highest foreign honour, the Aguila Azteca by the President of Mexico. He and his wife Susan Peterson d’Aquino live in the Heritage Village of Rockcliffe Park in Ottawa. In 2018, their residence built by architect Hart Massey was designated a National Historic Site by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Together they co-chair the Thomas d’Aquino and Susan Peterson d’Aquino Foundation for Business Leadership, Public Policy Innovation and Excellence in the Arts.