Zabeen Hirji

Strategic Advisor Talent and Culture: former Chief Human Resources Officer, RBC

Zabeen is a strategic advisor to the private and public sector.  A thought leader in the Future of Work, talent, leadership, reskilling and upskilling, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, Zabeen is a frequent speaker, writer, and media commentator, bringing a practical perspective from her senior leadership experience.  Currently in her Purposeful Third Act, she creates impact through activating her purpose “to unlock the potential of people and build inclusive prosperity.”

Zabeen had a distinguished career at RBC, and until her retirement in 2017, was Chief Human Resources Officer for 10 years, covering 80,000 employees in 40 countries.  She was part of RBC’s Group Executive Committee which set the strategic direction of the bank and also held responsibility for brand, communications, and corporate citizenship.

Currently, as Executive Advisor Future of Work, at Deloitte, Zabeen advises clients on people and culture issues key to their transformation agendas and sustainable success.  She leads a forum of CHROs from 20 leading private and public sector organizations to help drive their own performance and growth, as well as broader prosperity by building a skilled, inclusive, and resilient workforce. She is also a Director at Sleep Country Canada and Chair of the HR Committee, and is Senior Advisor to Knockri, an AI-based HR start-up that enables organizations to recruit and promote a more diverse workforce.  She is Executive-in-Residence at Simon Fraser University (SFU) Beedie School of Business and visiting professor at the Public Policy Institute at Kings College, London, UK.  Zabeen is a Special Advisor to the Clerk of the Privy Council on Public Service Renewal, and serves on the Mayor of Toronto’s Advisory Panel for Economic Recovery.  Active in the not-for-profit sector, she is past Chair of CivicAction, and former member of Governing Council, University of Toronto.

She has received numerous recognitions, including the Canadian HR Awards, Ivey Business School Lifetime Achievement in HR Leadership, Governor General’s Meritorious Service medal for Diversity and Inclusion, SFU Outstanding Alumni Award, WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame inductee. Zabeen holds an MBA from SFU and an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.