President & CEO, Cisco Canada
Leadership is not simply a role that you fill; it is an action that you take each and every day. It is this philosophy that guides Cisco Canada President, Rola Dagher. Over her career of more than two decades, Dagher has worked with some of the brightest minds in the technology industry while honing her natural leadership style.
Dagher joined Cisco from Dell EMC where she held a variety of leadership roles in sales, channels, and IT. Most recently, she served as Vice President and General Manager of the Canadian Infrastructure Solutions Group and was responsible for leading the company’s server, storage, networking, solutions, and systems engineering businesses, delivering innovative and disruptive technology solutions. Prior to this, she also held various sales leadership roles at Bell Canada for 15 years.
Since taking on the role as President in 2017, Cisco Canada has quickly emerged as the company’s top globally performing region. Dagher oversees all facets of the company’s business including sales operations, engineering, services, finance, and marketing. Yet, Dagher will be the first to say that her success is a direct reflection of the dedication and drive of the entire Canadian operation. She understands the importance of collaboration, compassion and curiosity – values that she helps instill in her colleagues. Dagher believes in diversity of thought and has made it her mission to empower and nurture employees, regardless of gender, culture, orientation or age.
Her commitment to empowering women is shown in her role as Americas President for Connected Women, a program that encourages more female participation in the high-technology industry. Dagher also advocates for immigrants and mental health awareness which truly defines her as a leader f ar beyond the technology sector.
Most recently, she was awarded the 2019 Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) Woman of the Year award as well as being selected as one of the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant winners for 2019 and CRN’s 2019 Women of the Channel list. She was also named the “Lady of the Cedar” by the Lebanese Embassy and received a 2018 Leadership Award from the Lebanese Chamber Business of Commerce.
Dagher’s work combined with the top-down focus on destigmatizing mental health within the broader Cisco organization, has helped Cisco Canada become recognized as a Great Place to Work for mental wellness and women, as well as a Champion of Mental Health by the Canadian Alliance of Mental Il lness and Mental Health in 2019.
In addition to her role at Cisco, Dagher sits on the board of Cedars Cancer Foundation and is an advocate for pediatric and young adult cancer patients. She is also an active member of the 30% Club, promoting growth through diversity in the workplace. As an active member of the Business Council of Canada, Dagher accompanies her C-suite peers to shape public policy in the interests of a stronger Canada and a better world.
Yet, through all of her accomplishments, Dagher firmly believes that no one achieves greatness in a silo. As one of the few female leaders in technology, she believes that you have to “Learn it. Earn it. And return it.” And this process is one that she continues to work through at every stage of her career.