The Honourable Perrin Beatty is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the 192,000-member Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada’s largest and most representative national business association. In his capacity as president and CEO, Mr. Beatty is the principal spokesperson advocating the policy positions of the Canadian Chamber’s members to the federal government, international organizations, the media and the general public.
Prior to joining the Canadian Chamber in August 2007, Mr. Beatty was the president and chief executive officer of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).
A descendant of one of Canada’s most prominent manufacturing families, Mr. Beatty grew up in Fergus, Ontario and graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1971. A year later he was elected to the House of Commons as a Progressive Conservative and in 1979 he was appointed Minister of State (Treasury Board) in the government of Joe Clark, at the time the youngest person ever to serve in a federal Cabinet. He held six additional portfolios in subsequent Progressive Conservative governments, including National Revenue in 1984, Solicitor General in 1985, National Defence in 1986, Health and Welfare in 1989, Communications in 1991 and Secretary of State for External Affairs in 1993.
Following the 1993 federal election, Mr. Beatty joined a number of private sector boards and worked as a consultant in the field of communications. He was a honourary visiting professor with the Department of Political Science, University of Western Ontario, where he taught a course in communications technologies and public policy. As well, he wrote a weekly column on government and politics for a major Canadian newspaper. In 1995, Mr. Beatty was appointed president and CEO of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a position he held until joining CME in August 1999. In 2008, Mr. Beatty was named chancellor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
In recent years, Mr. Beatty has served on a number of Canadian government advisory committees, covering issues that include border management, government operations, privacy and international trade. He currently chairs the Private Sector Advisory Board. He is also a member of the advisory council of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian International Council.