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Advisory Council

Rona Ambrose

David Coletto

Gary Doer

Bruce Donaldson
Richard Fadden

Meredith Lilly
Peter MacKay

Janice MacKinnon
David MacNaughton
Kathleen Monk

John Manley (Chair)
Susannah Pierce
Jeffrey Simpson
Stéfanie von Hlatky
Brad Wall


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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.

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David Coletto

David Coletto is CEO and a founding partner of Abacus Data, a full-service market research and strategy firm based in Ottawa and Toronto. With over a decade and a half of experience in the industry, David and his partners founded Abacus eleven years ago and since then it has grown into one of Canada's most respected market research firms.

David has worked with many of Canada’s leading associations, corporations, and non-profits including Cooperation Canada, Oxfam, Shaw Communications, the Canadian Medical Association, the Bank of Canada, and the Canadian Real Estate Association.

He earned a PhD in Political Science from the University of Calgary in 2010 and is an adjunct professor at Carleton University. He is the host and producer of inFocus with David Coletto a new podcast that explores the intersection of public opinion, politics, public policy, and consumer behaviour.

He’s a Millennial, a foodie, a cyclist, and an avid traveller. He’s been tracking Canadian public opinion and consumer trends on technology, news consumption, and public policy for years and is one of Canada’s leading experts on generational change and Millennials in particular.

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Gary Doer

Gary Doer was the 23rd Canadian Ambassador to the United States and former Premier of Manitoba. 

Mr. Doer won three consecutive elections as Premier of Manitoba. In 2005, he was named by Business Week magazine as one of the top 20 international leaders on climate change. His government introduced balanced budgets during each of his ten years in office. As Premier, he led strategic investments in health care, education, and infrastructure. 

Mr. Doer was appointed as Canada's Ambassador to the United States in 2009. During his six-year tenure, he worked with leaders in both Canada and the U.S. at the state and federal level to ensure Canada's entry to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and helped to negotiate a presidential permit for the construction of the Detroit-Windsor Bridge. Mr. Doer worked to have hydro-electric power recognized as renewable energy in the U.S. and assisted in ushering a new cooperative approach to regulatory reforms. As Canada's chief advocate in the U.S., Mr. Doer garnered support for harmonizing light vehicle emission standards and, as part of the Beyond the Border Action Plan, was directly involved in the signing of the border pre-clearance agreement in 2015, which enables the legitimate flow of trade and travel between Canada and the U.S. 

In 2011, the World Affairs Council awarded Mr. Doer its distinguished diplomatic service award. He is currently volunteering as Co-Chair of the Wilson Center's Canada Institute, based in Washington, D.C. He hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is married with two daughters. 

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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.

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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. He serves on a number of boards and comments on public policy issues. 

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.

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Meredith Lilly

Meredith Lilly is an Associate Professor at Carleton University where she holds the Simon Reisman Chair in International Affairs focused on trade policy. Dr. Lilly is a national award-winning researcher with extensive experience in public policy development and executive branch decision making. She previously served as Foreign Affairs and International Trade Advisor to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and oversaw within the Prime Minister’s Office the conclusion of Canada’s free-trade negotiations with the European Union, South Korea, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership among other files. Her current research is focused on international labour mobility and Canada-US trade relations. She is also a frequent media commentator on North American trade relations and the US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA).

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Peter MacKay

The Honourable Peter MacKay served in the Parliament of Canada for over 18 years as a cabinet minister in high-profile portfolios, including Justice and Attorney General, Department of National Defense, Foreign Affairs and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. He chaired the Government National Security Committee for almost 10 years. He started his legal career in Nova Scotia as a Crown Prosecutor (Criminal Law Division) and worked as a general practitioner before entering politics. Peter earned a B.A. from Acadia University in 1987, and his LL.B. from Dalhousie University in 1990. He is entering his 30th year as a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society and is also called to the bar in Ontario.

Peter will focus in GPS, particularly on defense modernization, justice reform, infrastructure and economic development, and will leverage his extensive public sector and legal experience to deliver executive advisory support, serving clients in the public and private sectors.

Peter has tremendous leadership experience as a former senior cabinet minister in the country's federal government. While at the helm of critical government portfolios, he confronted issues of national importance with pragmatism and resourcefulness—working diligently and passionately to strengthen the country for all Canadians. He will continue to be a champion of our country's future as a thriving nation and we're pleased to welcome him to the firm.

Peter also serves on the National Board of Special Olympics Canada, Wounded Warriors Canada , and chaired at Boost , a child and youth advocacy organization.  He has been a long time supported of Big Brothers , Big Sisters.

He is married to human rights advocate Nazanin Afshin-Jam, and they have three young children.

Peter is applying his experience and expertise to achieve successful results, while also helping Atlantic Canadian organizations and businesses thrive.

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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 and many articles on public policy issues.  She has also served as the Chair of the Board of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, as a board member of the Canada West Foundation and is currently on the advisory board of the Global Affairs Institute. As a cabinet minister in Saskatchewan, she held various portfolios including Minister of Finance, Minister of Social Services, Minister of Economic Development, and Government House leader. From 2010 to 2015 she served as Chair of Canada’s Economic Advisory Council.  In 2017 she was appointed to the federal advisory panel on NAFTA and the environment.  In 2019 she chaired the Blue-Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s Finances.  She is on the Board of Governors of the University of Alberta, is an Executive Fellow at the University of Calgary School of Public Policy, a Professor of fiscal policy at the School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan and a Senior Fellow and Member of the National Council at the C.D. Howe Institute.    

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David MacNaughton

David MacNaughton became Canadian President of Palantir Technologies, a data analytics and software firm based in Denver, in September 2019. Prior to this appointment, he was Canada’s Ambassador to the United States for three and a half years. In his capacity as Ambassador, David was a key member of the Canadian team that renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement. He travelled extensively in the United States and Canada, building support for Canada’s position in the negotiations and seeking input from Canadian Premiers and business and labour leaders across Canada.

David has had a long and successful career as an entrepreneur in the private sector in Canada, having built an international consulting company. He has also served at a senior level in both federal and provincial governments, and spent several years as an advisor to one of Canada’s leading investment banks. He has served on Boards of both private companies and not-for-profit organizations over the years.

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Kathleen Monk

Kathleen Monk is a seasoned campaign strategist, award-winning communicator, and successful entrepreneur. As President of Monk + Associates, an independent public affairs agency, she works with clients to build strategies that shape public opinion and secure public affairs victories. She was the founding Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute and prior to that, served as Director of Communications for NDP leader Jack Layton’s historic 2011 federal campaign. 

Kathleen appears weekly as a commentator on CBC and has been named one of the 100 most influential people in government and politics by The Hill Times. Before entering her career in politics, Kathleen worked in newsrooms in Toronto, Ottawa, and Washington, D.C. Kathleen is a board member of CIVIX, a non-partisan charity dedicated to building engaged citizenship among young Canadians and holds an MSc in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics.

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John Manley (Chair)

The Honourable John Manley, P.C., O.C., joined Bennett Jones LLP as Senior Business Adviser in September 2019. He is best known as a former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the Canadian Parliament from 1988 to 2004 as M.P. for Ottawa South. From 1993 to 2003 he was a Minister in the governments of Prime Minister 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, which he refers to as his "moment of fame," TIME Canada named him "2001 Newsmaker of the Year" (and gave him some free copies of the magazine). 

After a 16-year career in politics, Mr. Manley returned to the private sector in 2004 where he has continued to be active in public policy, as a media commentator, speaker and adviser to governments of differing political stripes. He is a Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute, the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, and the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is a founding member of the Wilson Center Global Advisory Council. a past member of the Brookings Institution International Advisory Council and Chair of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI) Advisory Council. 

In the private sector, Mr. Manley has practiced law, and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of Canada (from 2010 to 2018). He has been a very active corporate director, and currently serves as the Chair of CAE, and is a board member of TELUS. He is past Chair of CIBC, where he continues to chair the bank's US subsidiaries.

An Officer of the Order of Canada, Mr. Manley graduated from Carleton University in mathematics and political science, and in law from the University of Ottawa where he was the gold medalist and subsequently law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada, Bora Laskin. He is the recipient of many awards and honours, including honorary doctorates from 6 Canadian Universities. He is also an honorary chief of the Blood Nation of Alberta.

He was born, raised and continues to live in Ottawa where he enjoys his RedBlacks season tickers, and on Upper Rideau Lake, Ontario where he would always rather be.

 

His every day is made better by his 4 grandsons and 2 granddaughters who are perfect in every way.

 

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Susannah Pierce

Susannah Pierce is the President and Country Chair and GM Renewables and Energy Solutions of Shell Canada. Previously, she served as External Affairs Director of LNG Canada. Roles prior to this included Vice President, Value Chain Integration, Shell Canada; Vice President, Communications, Upstream International, Shell Canada; and before joining Shell in 2009, Susannah was head of US Public Sector Affairs for TransCanada Pipelines.

Susannah has a Masters from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. from The George Washington University. Born in Canada but living the balance of her life in the US and Europe, Susannah now considers BC home for the long term with her two children.

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Jeffrey Simpson

Jeffrey Simpson is the most decorated journalist in Canada. An Officer of the Order of Canada, he also received eight honorary doctorates and numerous national writing awards, including the Governor-General’s Prize and the Donner Prize for the best book on public policy, the National Newspaper Award (twice) and the National Magazine Award. He also won the Hyman Soloman Award for public policy journalism, the Arthur Kroeger Award for contributions to public policy, and the Charles Lynch prize for coverage of national politics.

For 32 years, his national affairs column in The Globe and Mail was essential reading for decision-makers and informed Canadians across the country. In that column, and in hundreds of public speeches and lectures, he ranged over an enormous number of domestic and international issues, from politics to health-care, from climate-change to economic and fiscal policy, to Canadian-American relations and the Middle East. In addition to making presentations at conferences here and abroad, he moderated many conferences. He retired from column-writing at The Globe and Mail in mid-2016, but continues to be invited to speak at or preside over conferences across Canada.

He has written eight books, numerous magazine articles, appeared regularly on television in English and French, and was a guest lecturer at such universities as Oxford, Edinburgh, Harvard, Princeton, Brigham Young, California and more than a dozen universities in Canada. He has been a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California; a Skelton-Clark Fellow and Brockington Visitor at Queen’s university; a distinguished visitor at the University of Alberta; and a member of the Georgetown University Leadership Seminar. He appeared frequently in English and French on television and radio.

He has been a member of the board of trustees of Queen’s University, the board of overseers of Green College, University of British Columbia; the advisory councils of the Robarts Medical Research Institute and the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western university; and the editorial board of the Queen’s Quarterly. He was vice-chairman of the City of Ottawa Library Board and was awarded the William Watkinson Award for outstanding contributions to the Canadian library community.

Jeffrey has taught as an adjunct professor at the Queen’s University Institute of Policy Studies and the University of Ottawa Law School. He is an emeritus senior fellow at the University of Ottawa Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. He was a juror for the Charles Taylor Prize for non-fiction books in 2008 and for the Cundill Prize for history in 2011, 2012 and 2017. He is also a member of the Trilateral Commission.

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Stéfanie von Hlatky

Stéfanie von Hlatky is an associate professor of political studies at Queen’s University, Director of the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP) and co-director of the Network for Strategic Analysis. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Université de Montréal in 2010, where she was also Executive Director for the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies. She’s held positions at Georgetown University, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Dartmouth College, ETH Zurich and was a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at the University of Southern California’s Centre for Public Diplomacy. She has published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science, the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, Contemporary Security Policy, International Politics, the Journal of Global Security Studies, International Journal, European Security, Asian Security, as well as the Journal of Transatlantic Studies and has a book with Oxford University Press entitled American Allies in Times of War: The Great Asymmetry (2013). She has also published four edited volumes, including The Future of US Extended Deterrence (co-edited with Andreas Wenger) with Georgetown University Press (2015) and Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism: Assessing Domestic and International Strategies (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020). 

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Brad Wall

Brad Wall served as the 14th Premier of Saskatchewan. Winning majorities in 2007, 2011 and 2016 he was Premier for 10 years until retiring from politics in early 2018.

Under Wall’s leadership, the Saskatchewan party secured over 60% of the popular vote in both 2011 and 2016, the highest vote percentages in Saskatchewan history.

Wall’s government implemented an ambitious goal-oriented growth plan in 2007, updated in 2012. The plan focused the government on competitive taxes (historic reductions in income tax, property tax and small business tax), effective but efficient regulations, balanced labor laws, historic and strategic infrastructure investment, diversification through innovation (first ever patent box innovation tax incentive in North America), as well as international engagement and export promotion.

At the end of Wall’s tenure there were 60,000 more jobs in Saskatchewan, 160,000 more people, a 46% increase in exports including an 84% increase in merchandise exports, and a 123% increase in wholesale trade.

During this decade of growth Saskatchewan also earned its first ever AAA credit rating which it maintained through a difficult and prolonged commodity price down cycle. The government also paid down its operating debt by $1 billion and had the second lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the country.

Wall credits the people, the private sector, and the natural resources strength of Saskatchewan for its transformation into a ‘have’ province whose economy is forecast by RBC to lead the country in growth in 2018 and 2019. He believes, however, that government policies are key to
setting the tone and creating the right environment for sustained economic growth.

He has often said that growth is not an end in itself. Rather it is the quality of life that is supported by a strong economy and a strong but competitive tax base that should be the goal.

Wall’s government used the strength of sustained growth to transform the longest wait times for surgery into among the shortest in Canada though private sector innovations, eliminated a waitlist for group homes spaces for the intellectually disabled, built 40 new and replacement schools and funded the construction of the Children’s Hospital - a first for Saskatchewan.

Brad is married to Tami, a Civil Engineer, who is involved in leadership roles with the Red Cross and in local music. They have 3 grown children and live in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

Brad is a music lover ...outlaw country music, Cash and Elvis top his list. He may or may not own Waylon Jennings’ 1973 Eldorado.

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