As Vice-President, Strategy & Innovation, Dr. Rick Huijbregts oversees strategic planning and partnership development to ensure George Brown College remains well positioned to evolve and adapt for the digital and rapidly changing future. He strives to advance community and industry innovation while providing students with relevant and hands-on learning opportunities through applied research and entrepreneurship.
Rick is responsible for shaping George Brown’s vision for 2030 and developing the corresponding business strategy. He leads the Registrar’s Office, Marketing and Recruitment, Publishing, and the International Centre. Rick is also responsible for Alumni Relations, Applied Research, Capital Planning, Entrepreneurship, Facilities Management, Institutional Research, and Strategic Partnerships.
Among his many career accomplishments so far, Rick spent 12 years with Cisco, most recently as Vice-President of Digital Transformation and Innovation at Cisco Canada. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his transformational work in municipal innovation in Canada. Rick is still also a frequent speaker and thought leader in matters of innovation, digital transformation, and Smart Cities and serves on various Smart City advisory boards such as Toronto, Markham, and Vaughan. Rick is a faculty at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design Executive Education where he focuses on Smart Cities, Smart Buildings, and Digital Transformation.
Before moving into his current role, Rick was an Executive-in-Residence at George Brown and Chair of the Building Automation Program Advisory Committee. In honour of his many contributions to the college, in 2017 he was granted an honorary Honours Bachelor of Technology (Construction Management).
As VP, Digital Transformation and Innovation at Cisco Canada, Rick engaged in digitization and business development in many sectors, including education, health care, oil and gas, financial services and real estate. Prior to his VP role, Rick was General Manager for Cisco Canada’s Smart + Connected Communities practice and he was Managing Director Americas, Internet of Everything (IoT) and Industry Solutions Acceleration. Before his time at Cisco, he was the Executive Director of the Center for Design Informatics at the Harvard Design School and was co-founder and CEO at Edificium, an internet-based construction collaboration platform.
Rick holds a Doctorate from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a Master’s of Science from Delft University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from the Tilburg Polytechnics College in the Netherlands.