Advisory Council

Rona Ambrose

Ian Brodie

Jean Charest

Laura Dawson

Bruce Donaldson

Richard Fadden


Bob Fowler

Dan Hays

Janice MacKinnon

Jack Mintz

Kathleen Monk

Marie-Lucie Morin


John Manley (Chair)

Bob Rae
Christopher Waddell
Rob Wright



Rona Ambrose

The Honourable Rona Ambrose is a dynamic national leader, a champion for the rights of women and girls, former Leader of Canada’s Official Opposition in the House of Commons and former leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Rona knows politics. She successfully rose to lead the largest political party in Canada. After her tenure as leader, the Conservative Party has the highest membership in its history and is viewed as competitive, more modern and inclusive. Rona is proud to be the first leader of the Party to march in a gay pride parade. Pundits say "Rona made it look effortless", accomplishing all of this while also being named the most civil parliamentarian.

Rona knows policy. As a key member of the federal cabinet for a decade, Rona solved problems as a minister of the crown across nine government departments, including serving as Vice Chair of the Treasury Board for several years and chair of the cabinet committee for public safety, justice and aboriginal issues. As a self proclaimed 'policy geek', Rona is personally responsible for the development of several federal policies, ranging from industrial strategies in military procurement to health innovation to improvements to sexual assault laws. Rona is a determined public policy expert who understands that government actions can have a real impact on families and businesses across the country.

As a proud Westerner, Rona is keenly aware of the domestic political, geopolitical and policy forces affecting the energy sector. As the former environment minister responsible for the GHG regulatory regime in place across several industrial sectors today, she understands the challenges facing the fossil fuel industry.

She is a passionate advocate for women in Canada and around the world and led the global movement to create the “International Day of the Girl” at the United Nations. She has spent her life passionately fighting for disadvantaged women and girls. She is responsible for ensuring that aboriginal women in Canada were finally granted equal matrimonial rights. She successfully fought for the creation of a Canadian refugee program to bring Yazidi women and girls who have been sexually enslaved by ISIS to safety in Canada.

When she’s not working (which is rare), Rona is usually found with hiking boots making her way up to the summit. In addition to serving as an independent corporate director, Rona is a Global Fellow at the Wilson Centre Canada Institute in Washington DC focusing on key Canada US bilateral trade and competitiveness issues. Rona has received many meaningful awards for her advocacy and public policy over the last decade.




Ian Brodie

From 2006 to 2008, Brodie worked as the Chief of Staff for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In this role, he demonstrated a deep knowledge of the public policy process and the political context of difficult government decisions. He developed strong experience in dealing with competing interests and demanding stakeholder organizations. Earlier, serving as Mr. Harper’s Chief of Staff in opposition, Brodie led the effort to draft Stand up for Canada!, the Conservative Party's 2006 election platform.

Brodie was the first permanent Executive Director of the Conservative Party following the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the PC Party. He built a professional, national institution focused on organization and election readiness, with best-in-class fundraising, membership
development and information technology. He also oversaw preparations for the Conservative Party's successful national convention in Montreal.

After leaving government, Brodie moved into international and multi-lateral finance working as Strategic Advisor at the Inter-American Development Bank. He worked as IDB's 'Sherpa' for the 2012 Summit of the Americas in Cartagena and represented IDB at G-20 meetings. He also
worked with Hill & Knowlton Canada advising blue-chip clients on their public affairs strategies and interactions with government.

From 1997-2003, Brodie was Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Calgary and a B.A. (Hons) in Political Science from McGill University. His 2002 book, Friends of the Court, was the first comprehensive study of interest group litigation in Canada. His academic work has been published in Comparative Politics, Canadian Journal of Political Science, and elsewhere.





Jean Charest

Partner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Premier of Québec (2003-2012)
Member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada

As Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and Premier of Québec, Jean Charest is one of Canada’s best known political figures.

As Minister of the Environment, he led his country’s delegation at the 1992 Earth Summit on the economy and the environment in Rio and  was praised for his leadership role among G7 countries on climate change and biodiversity.

The Charest government has been a world leader on the environment and climate change, and best known for a major initiative for the sustainable development of Northern Québec called “Plan Nord”.

Under his leadership, Québec experienced a sustained period of economic prosperity with stronger economic growth from 2008 to 2012 than the US, Europe, Canada and Ontario, despite a global financial and economic crisis.

For the International arena, his administration was the most active in the history of Québec. Thus, the Charest government initiated an unprecedented labour mobility agreement between France and Québec, and convinced Canada and the European Union to negotiate a broad economic partnership.

Jean Charest is a Partner at McCarthy Tétrault. He provides invaluable expertise to the firm’s clients with his in-depth knowledge and experience with public policy, corporate Canada and international matters. As a strategic advisor with a unique perspective, he supports clients on complex transactions, projects and international mandates, as they navigate the global business environment.





Laura Dawson

Laura Dawson is the President of Dawson Strategic and provides advice to business on cross-border trade, market access and regulatory issues.  Previously, she served as senior advisor on U.S.-Canada economic affairs at the United States Embassy in Ottawa. 

Dawson contributed to the launch of the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council, the Border Vision Strategy, and the bilateral Government Procurement Agreement.  She is a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a Senior Fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and a member of the International Economic Council of the CD Howe Institute.

Her client work focuses on advocacy and strategic planning in subjects including cross-border trade, investor-state dispute settlement, labor mobility, government procurement, technical barriers, energy, telecommunications, financial services, softwood lumber, foreign investment review and corporate-social responsibility in the extractive sector.

From 1998 to 2008, she was a senior associate at the Centre for Trade Policy and Law advising governments in developing and transition economies on trade and investment issues. Dawson taught international trade, Canada-U.S. relations and policy analysis at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and holds a PhD in political science.

Twitter: @dawsonstrategic






Bruce Donaldson

Vice-Admiral (Retired) Bruce Donaldson served for 36 years in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Royal Canadian Naval Officer. During this busy career, he travelled over most of Canada, and much of the world, in a variety of operational and management roles.

Bruce was the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff from July 2010 until his retirement in September 2013. As VCDS, and second in command of the Canadian Armed Forces, he not only commanded the VCDS Group, with its varied and wide-ranging mandate, but was also responsive to the Deputy Minister and Chief of Defence Staff for corporate matters.

During his time as VCDS, Bruce was directly involved in managing the full spectrum of the defence institution. He led the development and execution of the twenty-plus billion dollar Defence Services Programme, and the long range strategic and capability planning for the institution. He was central to the planning and implementation of several phases of defence renewal and transformation, working closely with leaders in DND and the CAF. He also directed and oversaw the security and policing functions in DND and the CAF, and worked at the highest levels across the institution and government in major procurement, personnel and financial management, and the resolution of conflict, problems and issues.

Prior to his appointment as VCDS, Bruce commanded Canada Command in the crucial period during which were held the 2010 Vancouver Games and the G8/G20 summits. Previous to that, he had spent 18 months as Director of the Strategic Joint Staff - the operations manager for the CAF - and two years in command of the Canadian Pacific Fleet. His earlier command appointments include the frigate HMCS VANCOUVER, the Sea Training Staff on the West Coast, and the destroyer HMCS ATHABASKAN, while
flagship for the Canadian Atlantic Fleet.

Bruce holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Carleton University in Ottawa, and a Masters of Arts in International Relations and Maritime Strategic Studies from Dalhousie University in Halifax. He is a graduate of both the Command and Staff Course and the National Security Studies Course at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. He is also a member of the initial cadre of the Senior Leadership Programme run by the Canada School of Public Service.

Since retiring from the CAF and relocating to Victoria BC, Bruce has worked with CFN Consultants, a leading consultancy firm specializing in defence and security issues. He is also one of two Board-appointed members of the Royal Roads University Board of Governors, and he chairs the Salvation Army Advisory Board in Greater Victoria. When he is not engaged in these pursuits, he spends time on the water in his sailboat, in the garden pulling out weeds, and on the golf links losing balls. He is a student of Tai Chi
and classical guitar.





Richard Fadden

Mr. Richard B. Fadden was the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister from January 19, 2015 to March 31, 2016. Previously he was the Deputy Minister of National Defence starting in May 2013, he served as the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service from 2009 until 2013. He has also served as the Deputy Minister for Citizenship and Immigration Canada from 2006 to 2009, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada from 2005 to 2006, President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency from 2002 to 2005, and Deputy Clerk and Counsel in the Privy Council Office from 2000 to 2002, during which he assumed the additional duties of Security and Intelligence Coordinator in February 2001. Over the course of his career, Mr. Fadden worked in a variety of different positions across the Government of Canada including in the Department of External Affairs, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, Natural Resources Canada and the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Mr. Fadden holds a Graduate Diploma in Law from the University of Ottawa, a Bachelor of Laws from the Université de Montréal, and a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from McGill University.

He is a native of the Province of Quebec. He is married with two children.




Bob Fowler

During his 38 year Public Service career, Bob Fowler was the Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Ministers Trudeau, Turner and Mulroney, Deputy Minister of National Defence, Canada’s longest serving Ambassador to the United Nations (where he represented Canada on the Security Council in 1999 and 2000 and issued 2 ground-breaking reports on sanctions-busting in Angola, which cut off UNITA’s access to the arms bazaar and led to the end of the civil war which had ravished Angola for 25 years). He was Ambassador to Italy and the 3 Rome-Based UN Food Agencies, Sherpa for the Kananaskis G8 Summit (for which he chaired the creation of the Africa Action Plan), and the Personal Representative for Africa of Prime Ministers Chrétien, Martin and Harper. Mr. Fowler retired from the Federal Public Service in the fall of 2006, and is now a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

In July 2008, The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, appointed Mr. Fowler to be his Special Envoy to Niger, with the rank of Under-Secretary-General in the Secretariat of the UN.

While acquitting his UN mission, Mr. Fowler and his colleague, Louis Guay, were captured by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) on 14 December 2008, and held hostage in the Sahara Desert for 130 days.




Dan Hays

Dan Hays has been a member of the Macleod Dixon law firm (now Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP) since his call to the Bar in 1966.  He is a senior partner with Norton Rose Fulbright and has been active in different practice areas, most recently in corporate commercial and international operations.  He was appointed to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Trudeau in 1984 and retired from the Senate in 2007.

During his years in the Senate, Dan held a number of leadership positions and at different times served as Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources and the Special Committee on Senate Reform 2006.  He has been a proponent of and has written about Senate modernization and reform. 

He served as President of the Liberal Party of Canada from 1994 to 1998.  In 1999 he was appointed Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, and in 2001, Prime Minister Chretien appointed him Speaker of the Senate, a position he continued to hold under Prime Minister Martin.  Following the 2006 federal general election, he was appointed Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.  On January 22, 2007, he was made a Privy Councillor by Prime Minister Harper.

Dan is proud to have served as an Honourary Colonel (now retired) of the King's Own Calgary Regiment.  He is a graduate of the University of Alberta, B.A. 1962 and the University of Toronto, LLB 1965.  Dan lives in Calgary.





Janice MacKinnon

Janice MacKinnon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a member of the Order of Canada, and a former Saskatchewan Finance Minister. She has a PhD and M.A. from Queen’s University and an Honours B.A. from the University of Western Ontario She is the author of three books, The Liberty We Seek published by Harvard University Press, While the Women Only Wept and Minding the Public Purse and she has written many articles on public policy issues.  She has also served as the Chair of the Board of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, a board member of the Canada West Foundation and is currently an advisor to the Eco-Fiscal Commission. Between 1991 and 2001 she was a cabinet minister in Saskatchewan and held various portfolios including Minister of Finance, Minister of Social Services, Minister of Economic Development, and Government House leader.  During her tenure as Finance Minister Saskatchewan became the first government in Canada to balance its budget in the 1990s.  She is an Executive Fellow at the University of Calgary School of Public Policy and Professor of fiscal policy at the School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan. She also provides commentary and analysis of Canadian fiscal issues, health policy and politics.   She was a member of the National Task Force on Financial Literacy.  She also served as Chair of Canada’s Economic Advisory Council from 2010 to 2015.  In 2013, she was chosen as one of Canada’s top 25 Women of Influence.





Jack Mintz

Dr. Jack M. Mintz is the President’s Fellow of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary as of July 1, 2015 after serving as the Palmer Chair and Director since 2008.

He also serves on the boards of Imperial Oil Limited, Morneau Shepell and is chair and Vice-President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.  As of September 1 2015, he has been appointed as the National Policy Advisor for the accounting firm EY.

He serves as an Associate Editor of International Tax and Public Finance and the Canadian Tax Journal, and is a research fellow of CESifo, Munich, Germany, and the Centre for Business Taxation Institute, Oxford University.

Dr. Mintz held the position of Professor of Business Economics at the Rotman School of Business from 1989-2007 and Department of Economics at Queen’s University, Kingston, 1978-89. He was a Scholar-in-Residence at Columbia Law School 2016; Visiting Professor, New York University Law School, 2007; President and CEO of the C. D. Howe Institute from 1999-2006; Clifford Clark Visiting Economist at the Department of Finance, Ottawa; and Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty of Management, University of  Toronto, 1993 – 1995. He was founding Editor-in-Chief of International Tax and Public Finance, published by Kluwer Academic Publishers from 1994 – 2001.

He chaired the federal government’s Technical Committee on Business Taxation in 1996 and 1997 that led to corporate tax reform in Canada since 2000. He also has served as chair of the Alberta Financial and Investment Policy Advisory Commission in 2007 that reviewed saving policy of the Alberta government.  In addition, in 2009, he served as the Research Director of the FPT Research Working Group on Retirement Income and he was also the author of the Summary Report on Retirement Income Adequacy.  He served on the federal Panel on Healthcare Innovation in 2013-14 as well as the Minister of Finance’s Economic Advisory Council from December 2008-June 2015.

Dr. Mintz has consulted widely with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, federal and provincial governments in Canada, and various businesses and non-profit organizations.

Dr. Mintz became a member of the Order of Canada in 2015 as well as receiving the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for service to the Canadian tax policy community. Widely published in the field of public economics, he was touted in a 2004 UK magazine publication as one of the world’s most influential tax experts. Alberta Venture magazine has recognized him as one of the fifty most influential Albertans in 2008, 2010 and 2013. The Financial Post named him one of the five most influential Canadians in regulation in 2012.





Kathleen Monk

Kathleen Monk is a Principal with Earnscliffe Strategy Group, and is a senior strategic communications and campaign strategist with over 15 years of experience in media, politics and the not-for-profit sector. She is trusted by political and business leaders to navigate complex public strategy issues, and excels at bringing together diverse stakeholders to tell authentic stories that deliver results.

A prominent and highly sought media commentator on politics and public affairs, Kathleen appears regularly on CBC The National’s preeminent political panel, The Insiders, and has been named one of the 100 most influential people in government and politics by The Hill Times.

She was the founding Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute, a progressive organization focused on public policy and training. Prior to that, she served as Director of Strategic Communications for former NDP leader Jack Layton. Before entering her career in politics, Kathleen worked in newsrooms in Toronto, Ottawa and Washington, D.C.

Kathleen holds an MSc in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics, where she was awarded a Chevening Scholarship by the British Council and holds an Honours BA from Trent University. She remains an active volunteer with Equal Voice where she focuses on how to field, nurture and promote more women candidates to every level of political office in Canada.





Marie-Lucie Morin

Marie-Lucie Morin served as the executive director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean at the World Bank from 2010 to 2013.  Prior to joining the World Bank, she was appointed national security advisor to the prime minister of Canada and associate secretary to the Cabinet in November 2008. From 2006 to 2008, she served as deputy minister of international trade, and from 2003 to 2006, as associate deputy minister of foreign affairs.

Ms. Morin acquired extensive experience abroad during postings to San Francisco, Jakarta, London, and Moscow. In 1997, she became Canada's ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Iceland, a position she held until 2001. She was awarded the Governor General’s 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal. In 2011, she received the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada’s (APEX) Global Public Servant Award. Ms. Morin was made “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur” (France) in 2012.

Ms. Morin is married to Nicolas Temnikov; they have one daughter and three sons.




John Manley (Chair)

The Honourable John Manley, P.C., O.C., is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of Canada.  

Mr. Manley is a former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada. He was first elected to Parliament in 1988, and re-elected three times. From 1993 to 2003 he was a Minister in the governments of Jean Chrétien, serving in the portfolios of Industry, Foreign Affairs and Finance, in addition to being Deputy Prime Minister.

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Mr. Manley was named Chair of a Cabinet Committee on Public Security and Anti-terrorism, serving as counterpart to Governor Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. In recognition of the role he played following 9/11, TIME Canada named him "2001 Newsmaker of the Year". 

After a 16-year career in politics, Mr. Manley returned to the private sector in 2004.

Since leaving government, Mr. Manley has continued to be active in public policy, as a media commentator, speaker and adviser to governments of differing political stripes.

In addition to his role as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council, Mr. Manley serves on the boards of several publicly traded companies and is active in the not-for-profit sector.

An Officer of the Order of Canada, Mr. Manley has received honorary doctorates from Carleton University and the universities of Ottawa, Toronto, Western Ontario and Windsor.




Bob Rae

Bob Rae is a senior partner at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, where he works with First Nations across Canada as legal counsel, advisor, and negotiator.  He served as Ontario's 21st Premier from 1990 to 1995 and Interim Federal Leader of the Liberal Party in 2011- 2013.   He was named Queen's Counsel in 1984, appointed to the Privy Council of Canada in 1998, named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, received the Order of Ontario in 2004 and Companion of the Order of Canada in 2015.‎ In addition to his legal practice, Bob teaches at the University of Toronto as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the School of Public Policy and Governance (SPPG). He has also written five books, most recently "What's Happened to Politics". He has a regular column in the Globe and Mail and also does ADR work with ADR Chambers.




Christopher  Waddell 

Christopher Waddell is an associate professor and director of Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication in Ottawa. He also holds the school’s Carty Chair in Business and Financial Journalism.

He joined Carleton in July 2001 after 10 years at CBC Television News. From 1993 to 2001, he was the network's Parliamentary Bureau Chief in Ottawa. From 1995 to 2001 he was also Executive Producer News Specials for CBC Television, responsible for all national news specials and federal and provincial election and election night coverage during those years.

Between 1984-91 he was at the Globe and Mail where he served in a number of positions including reporter in Report on Business, economics reporter in Ottawa covering among other things the Canada-US free trade negotiations, Ottawa bureau chief in the 1988 federal election In the period from 1990-91 he was associate editor and then national editor of the paper.

He has won two National Newspaper Awards for business reporting and programs he supervised at CBC Television won six Gemini awards for television excellence.

He received a Ph. D in Canadian history from York University in Toronto in 1981, completing a thesis on price and wage controls and consumer rationing in Canada in World War II.

With David Taras of Mount Royal University in Calgary he is the editor of and a contributor to How Canadians Communicate IV: Media and Politics published in May 2012 by Athabaska University Press and How Canadians Communicate V: Sports to be published by Athabaska in 2014.




Rob Wright

Rob Wright served as Canadian Ambassador to China from 2005-2009. He served as Ambassador to Japan from 2001-2005.

From 1995-2001 he was Canadian Deputy Minister for International Trade.

Over his 38 years in public service in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade other appointments included:

  • Deputy Head of the Canadian Embassy in Washington,

  • Director General responsible for Canada-U.S. relations,

  • Deputy Head of the Canadian Delegation to the WTO Uruguay Round of Trade Negotiations, and,

  • Delegation to the GATT Tokyo Round of Trade Negotiations.

He has also served as a Director of Export Development Canada (EDC), Chairman of the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) and Commissioner of the Northern Pipeline Agency. During his appointment in China he was concurrently accredited as Canadian Ambassador to Mongolia.

He was born in Montreal and attended McGill University.

He retired from public service in 2009.  In addition to enjoying retirement, he writes, lectures and consults on Canada’s relations with China and Japan and on Canada’s foreign and trade policies.


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