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Darren Hawco is a retired naval officer with 36 years of service to Canada. The youngest of four boys, Hawco was born in Montreal where he was fortunate enough to grow up in a loving home, attending local primary and secondary schools prior to joining the Canadian Armed Forces through enrollment in the College Militaire Royale de St-Jean (CMR) regular officer training program.

VAdm (Retd) Hawco followed a traditional naval formation with five major international deployments, including one-year off of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia in 1993/1994, three 7-month deployments to the Persian Gulf in 1998, 2001, and 2006, and a 1-year deployment to Afghanistan in 2010/2011.  Transitioning to the strategic level within National Defence, Hawco commanded the Atlantic Fleet in 2012/2013, led the development of the CAF cyber offensive and defensive capability in 2013/2015, was the Chief of Force Development (aka chief strategic planner and capability integrator for the future of the CAF) in 2015/2018, and was Canada’s Military Representative to NATO on the Military Committee in 2018/2020.

Academically, VAdm (Retd) Hawco has a Bachelor of Administration from CMR (1989), a Masters in Defence Studies from Royal Military College of Canada (2004), and a Masters in Defence Policy and Public Administration, Royal Military College of Canada (2009).

VAdm (Retd) Hawco’s core competencies revolve around his experience as a senior officer and executive within National Defence.  He has led numerous transformation, innovation and strategy initiatives including shaping NATO’s Military Strategy to reflect Canadian interests (2019); all military policy and capability elements of Canada’s Defence Policy Strong Secure Engaged (2017); military capability investment planning and integration, experimentation, and strategic human resource planning (2015-2018); offensive and defensive cyber capability development (2013-2015); and the Royal Canadian Navy Strategic Review (2010-2011). He is an accomplished military officer and executive with demonstrated ability to deliver in a national and international context, given his extensive public service, military and allied experience in policy development, strategic planning, and capability standardization and development. A gifted communicator in English/French, Hawco is very experienced briefing and advising at Ministerial- and Deputy-level.  His particular strengths involve turning understanding into a Vision, and then collaborating and leading departmental, interdepartmental, and international efforts to bridge vision to planning reality.

Darren has recently taken off the uniform (Sep 2020) and joined Deloitte as an Executive Advisor, where he provides expert advice in business design and strategy within a Defence Security and Justice context to Government of Canada and to global defence and security clients.  This enables him to continue to serve Canada and our allies by working to solve important problems identified by senior government officials.

Darren, his bride and their four adult girls (D1:27, D2: 25, D3:23, and D4:20) are enjoying life in NCR, living, loving, studying, working, cooking, gaming, walking, and chatting together.


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  • Canadian Global Affairs Institute Staff
    published this page in Fellows 2020-11-10 17:08:36 -0500
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