Founder of The McLean Group in 1972, David McLean has played an integral role in the evolution and growth of the enterprise and remains Chairman of the Board. Mr. McLean became full time Chairman and CEO in 1985, leaving a successful law practice to lead management teams, which he continued to do until the appointment of his son, Jason, as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2010.
An outspoken champion of entrepreneurship, education and community service, Mr. McLean is a distinguished leader in Canadian business and academic communities whose career has earned him four Honourary Doctorates of Law (University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and Royal Roads University), an appointment to the Order of British Columbia and an appointment as Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD Fellow, 2006).
In 1994, he played an important role in the transformative privatization of CN Railway (the then largest IPO in Canadian history). Mr. McLean was appointed to the Board of Directors of CN (Canadian National Railway Company) in 1979 and later elected Chairman in December 1994. He retired as Chairman in April 2014 and was elected “Chairman Emeritus”. Mr. McLean has served as Chairman of the Vancouver Board of Trade, Chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of Coastland Wood Industries. For many years he was the Chairman and Director to Concord Pacific Group Inc., a public real estate company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, which was privatized in 2002. Additionally, Mr. McLean has served as a Director of De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, Northwestel Inc., Canac Consultants Limited and NuWest Development Group Inc.
Mr. McLean has written a book called “A Road Taken” which is the story of his life with an emphasis on his role as a director of CN for 28 years and Chairman of the Board for 20 years. He is the longest serving Chairman in the history of CN and upon his retirement CN named their rail yard in West Vancouver “McLean Yard” in his honor. He is the only non-operating person to ever be so honored.
With a lifelong interest in education, Mr. McLean has served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the University of British Columbia, Founding Chairman of the Centre of North American Business Studies at Simon Fraser University and co-chaired the University of Alberta’s capital campaign.
Mr. McLean's environmental, philanthropic and community interests include a commitment to preserving Canada’s wetlands (Ducks Unlimited Canada), and he is the only Canadian director of Wetlands America Trust, which is the foundation supporting Ducks Unlimited in the United States. He was also the Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’s Charter for Business for many years.
Mr. McLean is currently Chairman of the VGH + UBC Hospital Foundation, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Canadian Studies at the University of California at Berkley, a director of the Gairdner Foundation and a director of the Trudeau Foundation.