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Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Incorporated as a charitable organization in 2001, the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (formerly CDFAI) is an independent research institute/think tank based in Calgary and Ottawa. It pursues new ideas to focus the national debate and understanding of Canada’s international policies with the ultimate aim of ensuring a more globally engaged Canada. The Institute believes that doing so enhances Canadian security and prosperity. The organization is dedicated to educating Canadians, and particularly those who have leadership roles in shaping Canadian foreign policy, about the importance of Canada always being proactive in world affairs with tangible diplomatic, military and aid assets. Through its Fellows program, the Institute has gathered a group of highly experienced and talented individuals with defence, diplomacy and development backgrounds – both academic and practitioners - who support the organization by authoring research papers and responding to media queries. The Institute also runs conferences and courses, initiates polling, and develops outreach and education projects.
The Canadian Global Affairs Institute was created to address the ongoing discrepancy between what Canadians need to know about Canadian international activities and what they do know. Historically, Canadians tend to think of foreign policy – if they think of it at all – as a matter of trade and markets. They are largely unaware, however, of the importance of Canada engaging internationally in the ongoing struggle to maintain a world that is friendly to the free flow of goods, services, people and ideas across borders and the promotion of human rights. Canadians are largely unaware of the connection between a prosperous and free Canada and a world of globalization and liberal internationalism. As a trading nation, 38% of Canada’s GDP comes from international trade and 84% of exports are traded with the USA. When the world economy is constrained for whatever reason, Canada feels the pinch. It is, therefore, important for Canada to strive for a world that is safe, politically stable and prosperous.
The Canadian Global Affairs Institute believes that Canada is a nation with significant international potential. The world is changing quickly and not necessarily for the better; therefore, new thinking is required to face new challenges. The Institute is an independent organization drawing on the best talent from both academia and the “real” world to provide rigorous analysis of, and workable ideas for, Canada’s international involvement.
Board of Directors – 9 directors focus on governance and stewardship.
Advisory Council – 14 advisors provide feedback on current and future programs.
Staff of Six – President, Director of Programs, Vice President, Senior Analyst, Program Coordinator, and Administrative Coordinator.
Fellows and Consultants – 34 Fellows (and retained consultants where necessary) prepare all research papers, courses, editorial review, and do media contact.
Each of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute’s projects is developed to bring attention to pressing defence and foreign policy issues With the ultimate aim of strengthening Canada’s international role. These projects not only analyze the issues but also offer solutions. By publishing the results of these research projects, the Institute provides policymakers information to carry out policy formulation and administration in a more informed manner. It also allows interested Canadians to become more knowledgeable. The Institute is making a difference and although it cannot take credit alone, it was one of the first organizations to recommend a change away from values-based international rhetoric to investing in assets to help solve international problems. Both the recent Liberal and now the Conservative Government are beginning to do just that.
Expertise for the Media