Past Speaker Series

Current Speaker Series Listing:

2018 Speaker Series
2017 Speaker Series
2016 Speaker Series
2015 Speaker Series
2014 Speaker Series
2013 Speaker Series

2012 Speaker Series
2011 Speaker Series

2010 Speaker Series

2009 Speaker Series
2008 Speaker Series

2018 Speaker Series

In 2018 we inaugurated a luncheon series hosted at the Calgary Petroleum Club. The general concept remained as in the past speaker series - each event provided for corporations, couples or individuals to enjoy a thought-provoking discussion about the issues that confront our province and the nation.

Lunch Dates and Speakers:

  • April 4, 2018: Canada’s 21st Century National Security Challenges – Richard Fadden, former National Security Advisor and Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)

  • June 28, 2018: Vision 2050: A New Perspective on Nuclear Energy in Canada – John Barrett, President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA)

  • September 6, 2018: Alberta Exports Water Expertise Globally – Shauna Curry, CEO of CAWST (Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology)

  • November 30, 2018: The Impact of Cannabis in Canada – Jonathan Denis, Advisor of the Canadian Cannabis Chamber and former Alberta Minister of Justice, and Roojin Habibi, Research Fellow at York University’s Global Strategy Lab.





2017 Speaker Series

John Millar
February 21, 2017, Calgary Golf & Country Club

John Millar is the President of the information technology security assurance firm Digital Boundary Group (DBG). John earned an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University (1993) and a law degree from Western University (1993). He also has a Bachelor of Physical Education degree from the University of Manitoba (1974).

Prior to founding Digital Boundary Group, John practiced law in the High Tech and E-Business Practice Group of Harrison Pensa LLP, having been a founding member of the group. He remains a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Information Technology Section and the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association.

John has over 30 years of senior level management experience with national and international companies. He is a member of Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Applied Information Sciences – Security Degree Program Advisory Council, is a past Governor of the University of Western Ontario and is past Chair of Fanshawe College’s College Advisory Committee – Information Technology.

John is also an Associate Member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is an active member of the I.A.C.P. Computer Crime and Digital Evidence Committee.


From left to right:
Alf Sailer from ATB Corporate Financial Services and
speaker John Millar


John Weekes
January 24, 2017, Calgary Golf & Country Club

John Weekes, a senior business advisor at Bennett Jones LLP, is an expert in international trade policy and trade agreements. Since retiring from the Canadian public service in 1999 he has been working with a variety of private sector and government clients on international trade and economic matters. He served the Canadian government for over 30 years in many roles including: chief negotiator for NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), Ambassador to the WTO (the World Trade Organization), and Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, in the then Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. 



 From left to right:
Alf Sailer from ATB Corporate Financial Services and
speaker John Weekes


2016 Speaker Series

Sarah O. Ladislaw
November 15th, Calgary Golf & Country Club

Sarah Ladislaw is Director and Senior Fellow in the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, where she concentrates on the geopolitics of energy, energy security, energy technology, and climate change. She has been involved with CSIS’s work on the geopolitics portion of the 2007 National Petroleum Council study and the CSIS Smart Power Commission, focusing particularly on energy security and climate issues. She has published papers on U.S. energy policy, global and regional climate policy, clean energy technology, as well as European and Chinese energy issues. Ladislaw teaches a graduate level course on energy security at the George Washington University.

Ladislaw joined the Department of Energy (DOE) in 2003 as a presidential management fellow, and from 2003 to 2006 worked in the Office of the Americas in DOE’s Office of Policy and International Affairs, where she covered a range of economic, political, and energy issues in North America, the Andean region, and Brazil. While at the department, she also worked on comparative investment frameworks and trade issues, as well as biofuels development and use both in the Western Hemisphere and around the world. Ladislaw also spent a short period of time working for Statoil as their Senior Director for International Affairs in the Washington office. Ladislaw received her bachelor’s degree in international affairs/East Asian studies and Japanese from the George Washington University in 2001 and her master’s degree in international affairs/international security from the George Washington University in 2003 as part of the Presidential Administrative Fellows Program.


 From left to right:
Matthew Littlejohn from ATB Corporate Financial Services and
speaker Sarah O. Ladislaw


Kim McConnell
October 23rd, Calgary Golf & Country Club

Kim McConnell is the founder of AdFarm, one of the largest agricultural marketing communications firms in North America.

In 1984, Kim started the business in the basement of his house. In 2007, he stepped down as CEO. Today Kim likes to say that he “just plays”.

Over the years, Kim has led many national and international brand and marketing assignments for many respected companies including Farm Credit Canada, Dow AgroSciences, Bayer CropScience, Agrium, Cargill, UFA and RBC Royal Bank. He has been the catalyst behind many industry initiatives including advancing the Canadian beef industry, the Canadian seed industry and recently has spearheaded an initiative to build greater public trust in food and farming.

In addition to numerous creative and marketing awards, under Kim’s leadership AdFarm was recognized as one of “Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies”, and in 2006 was recognized as the 3rd Best Place to Work in Canada.

Kim is also the recipient of many national business awards including ‘Agri-Marketer of the Year’, finalist for the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year”, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation “Mentor of the Year” and in 2012 he received one of the industry’s highest awards when he was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Kim remains involved with AdFarm and is also director on a number of corporate and volunteer boards. Kim and his family live on an acreage on the edge of Calgary.  Kim is passionate about agriculture, food, youth and the entrepreneurial spirit.


 From left to right:
Kim McConnell from AdFarm and, Alf Sailer, Managing Director,

M&A Advisory Services at ATB Corporate Financial Services



Ariel Cohen

February 23rd Calgary Golf & Country Club

Ariel Cohen, L.L.B., Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert on energy policy, with a particular focus on Russia/Eurasia, Eastern and Central Europe, and the Middle East. Dr. Cohen also has specific expertise in oil and gas mid-stream technologies, including GTL and LNG. He serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG  focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth.

He is also Principal of International Market Analysis Ltd., a Washington, D.C.-based advisory firm specializing in energy, natural resources, political risk and public affairs. Dr. Cohen has extensive experience consulting for U.S. and foreign governments, Fortune 500 companies and major international law firms.

Dr. Cohen is a Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., where he was a Senior Research Fellow until July 2014. He frequently testifies before U.S. Congressional committees and conducts White House, Pentagon, and intelligence community briefings.

He has published over 700 articles, 6 books and monographs and 30 book chapters. He writes for U.S. and international media and regularly  appears on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and others.


 From left to right:
  Ariel Cohen and Ian Wild from ATB Corporate Financial Services


Kenneth P. Green

January 20th, 2016, Calgary Golf & Country Club

Kenneth P. Green is Senior Director of Natural Resource Studies at the Fraser Institute. He received his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), an M.S. in Molecular Genetics from San Diego State University, and a B.S. in Biology from UCLA. Mr. Green has studied public policy involving energy, risk, regulation, and the environment for nearly 20 years at public policy research institutions across North America including the Reason Foundation, the Environmental Literacy Council and the American Enterprise Institute. He has an extensive publication list of policy studies, magazine articles, opinion columns, book and encyclopedia chapters, and two supplementary textbooks on climate change and energy policy intended for middle-school and collegiate audiences respectively. Mr. Green’s writing has appeared in major newspapers across the US and Canada, and he is a regular presence on both Canadian and American radio and television. Mr. Green has testified before several state legislatures and regulatory agencies, as well as giving testimony to a variety of committees of the US House, US Senate and the House of Commons.


 From left to right:
  Ian Wild from ATB Corporate Financial Services and Kenneth P. Green


Richard Wheeler
November 24, 2015, Calgary Golf & Country Club

Richard Wheeler is Managing Director of the Center for Energy Security Dialogue, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in California, USA. Previous to accepting his current role, Mr. Wheeler worked in Vienna, Austria as the senior energy security adviser for the OSCE, the world's largest regional intergovernmental security organization; before that he worked in the upstream oil and gas industry in both external relations and project management roles, spending several years in Russia and the Caspian region. He is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN), and has a Master's Degree from the Georgetown University's Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. He speaks fluent Russian.


 From left to right:
  Jon Horsman from ATB and Richard Wheeler


Raad Alkadiri
October 29, 2015, Calgary Golf & Country Club

Raad Alkadiri is Managing Director for Petroleum Sector Risk at IHS Energy Insight.  An experienced international country risk specialist, he has worked for almost 20 years as an executive advisor on above-ground risk to oil and gas companies, national oil companies and governments worldwide.  He also has high-level government policy-making experience with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Raad was instrumental in developing IHS Energy’s petroleum sector risk capability to assess the impact of political, economic and sectoral factors on investment opportunities and decision-making in oil and gas producing states.  His own particular areas of expertise include risk identification and mitigation, engagement strategy, and long-term investment planning.  Raad also developed and leads the Iraq Advisory Service, a retainer providing in-depth analysis of Iraq's ongoing political developments and its emerging business environment.

Prior to joining IHS Energy in 2013, Raad was a partner at PFC Energy, where he led the Markets and Country Strategies practice.   From 2003 to 2004, he was Policy Advisor and Assistant Private Secretary to the UK Special Representatives to Iraq, based in Baghdad.  He remained an external policy advisor to the Iraq Director at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office before being appointed Senior Policy Advisor to Her Majesty's Ambassador in Baghdad from 2006 to 2007. Prior to joining PFC Energy in 1998, Raad was the Middle East analyst and Deputy Managing Editor at the U.K.- based consultancy Oxford Analytica, where he focused in particular on political and economic developments in the northern Persian Gulf States and the Israel-Palestine conflict. He has also held teaching posts in politics and international energy studies at the University of St Andrews (1990-1991) and at the School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University (2000-2001).

Raad holds a D.Phil. in International Relations from St. Antony's College, Oxford University, and an M.Phil. and M.A. from the University of St. Andrews.  He is a fluent Arabic speaker and has spent extensive periods living and traveling in the region.


 From left to right:
  Ian Wild from ATB Corporate Financial Services and Raad Alkadiri 



2015 Speaker Series

Kevin Book

March 3, 2015, Calgary Golf & Country Club

Kevin Book heads the research team at ClearView Energy Partners, LLC, an independent research firm that serves institutional investors and corporate strategists. Mr. Book’s primary coverage areas include oil, natural gas, coal and refined products.
Mr. Book appears frequently within print and broadcast media, contributes to policy forums convened by government and private organizations and meets with top Washington decision-makers. Mr. Book has also testified before several House and Senate Committees.

He is a member of the National Petroleum council, a self-funded advisory body to the Secretary of Energy, and a nonresident Senior Associate with the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Prior to co-founding ClearView, Mr. Book worked as a senior energy analyst for a national investment bank. He holds an M.A. in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a B.A. in economics from Tufts University.


 From left to right:
 Kevin Book and Ian Wild from ATB Corporate Financial Services



Michal Moore
February 17, 2015, Calgary Golf & Country Club

Dr. Michal Moore is an energy economist and Area Director, Energy and Environmental Policy at The School of Public Policy. He is also a visiting Professor of Economics and Systems Engineering at Cornell University in New York and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy. He teaches courses on energy markets and policy, carbon valuation and policy, and regulation.

He was formerly the Chief Economist at National Renewable Energy Lab at Golden, Colorado and regulatory commissioner with the California Energy Commission. Recent publications include articles and papers on geothermal energy, energy conservation, electricity system planning and evaluation, incorporation of renewable power, bioenergy, and geological storage of CO2.  


From left to right:
Jim Reader of ATB Corporate Financial Services and Michal Moore


Gary Roughead, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired)

January 14, 2015, Calgary Golf & Country Club 

Admiral Roughead is a 1973 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He became the 29th Chief of Naval Operations in September of 2007, after holding six operational commands. He is one of only two officers in the history of the Navy to have commanded both the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific Fleets.

Ashore he served as the Commandant, U.S. Naval Academy. He was the Navy’s Chief of Legislative Affairs, responsible for the Department of the Navy’s interaction with Congress. Admiral Roughead was also the Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Command during the massive relief effort following the tsunami of 2004. Admiral Roughead is the recipient of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and various unit and service awards. He has also received awards from several foreign governments.

In retirement, Admiral Roughead is an Annenberg Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and serves on the boards of directors of the Northrop Grumman Corporation and Theranos, Inc. He is a Trustee of Dodge and Cox Funds, the CNA Corporation and The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He advises several companies in the national security and medical sectors and is the Co-Chair, with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts, of the North American Forum.


2014 Speaker Series

Gal Luft Dinner
March 10, 2014, Calgary Golf & Country Club
On March 10, 2014, Dr. Gal Luft gave a talk entitled "Mega-trends in Global Energy Security"

Dr. Gal Luft is co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) a Washington based think tank focused on energy security. He is a senior adviser to the United States Energy Security Council and co-chairman of the Global Forum on Energy Security in Beijing. Dr. Luft is also chairman of the board of Nation-E, an energy and cyber security company. He specializes in strategy, geopolitics, energy security, cyber security and natural resources. Newsweek Magazine called him a “tireless and independent advocate of energy security,” the business magazine Poder called him “one of the most recognizable figures in modern energy and security issues,” and Esquire Magazine included him in its list of America’s Best and Brightest.

Dr. Luft has published numerous studies and articles on security and energy issues in various newspapers and publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, Commentary Magazine, LA Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He is co-author of Energy Security Challenges for the 21st Century (2009,) Turning Oil into Salt: Energy Independence Through Fuel Choice (2009) and Petropoly: The Collapse of America’s Energy Security Paradigm (2012). He appears frequently in the media and consults to various think tanks and news organizations worldwide. Dr. Luft holds degrees in international relations, international economics and strategic studies and a doctorate in strategic studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS,) Johns Hopkins University.


From left to right:
Ian Wild of ATB Corporate Financial Services and Dr. Gal Luft


Christopher Sands Luncheon
July 11, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
Dr. Sands is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, where he directs the Initiative on North American Competitiveness and concentrates on regional economic integration and policy coordination. He has written extensively on policy conflict and coordination related to manufacturing, the automotive industry, energy, labor markets, regulation and border security. His publications have focused on topics like North American competitiveness, Canada-US border issues, and the Canada- US—Mexico energy relationship. 

Sands is also a professorial lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and the G. Robert Ross Distinguished Professor of Canada-U.S. Business and Economic Relations at Western Washington University. He has taught at the American University School of Public Affairs, and has lectured at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State and for the US Department of Homeland Security. In 1999-2000, Dr. Sands was a Fulbright Scholar and visiting fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa. His PhD is in Canadian studies and international economics from Johns Hopkins University.


Stephen Saideman Dinner
April 3, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
Stephen Saideman holds the Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. His research interests are in the fields of international security, comparative foreign policy, civil-military relations, and ethnic conflict.

Before joining Carleton University, Prof. Saideman was Canada Research Chair in International Security and Ethnic Conflict. Prior to that, Prof. Saideman spent 2001-2002 on the U.S. Joint Staff working in the Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate as part of a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship. He has also taught at Texas Tech University and the University of Vermont. He has won two awards for teaching.

He has written The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy and International Conflict; For Kin or Country: Xenophobia, Nationalism and War (with R. William Ayres); and NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone (with David Auerswald). He has written on nationalism, ethnic conflict, civil war, and civil-military relations in leading academic journals, including International Organization and International Studies Quarterly. Professor Saideman writes online at, Political Violence at a Glance, Duck of Minerva and his own site ( He also tweets too much at @smsaideman. He has also appeared in more traditional media (newspapers, television and radio) in Canada and the U.S. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, which is where he also earned his M.A. He received his B.A. from Oberlin College.


John Hamre Dinner
March 10, CG&CC, Calgary
On March 10, 2014, John Hamre gave a talk entitled "The Geopolitics of the Current Energy Revolution."

John Hamre was elected President and CEO of CSIS in January 2000 and named Pritzker Chair in December 2012.  Before joining CSIS, he served as the 26th U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense.  Prior to holding that post, he was the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) from 1993 to 1997.  As Comptroller, Dr. Hamre was the principal assistant to the Secretary of Defense for the preparation, presentation, and execution of the defense budget and management improvement programs.  In 2007, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates appointed Dr. Hamre to serve as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board.

Before serving in the Department of Defense, Dr. Hamre worked for 10 years as a professional staff member of the Senate Arms Services Committee.  During that time, he was primarily responsible for the oversight and evaluation of procurement, research, and development programs, defense budget issues, and relations with the Senate Appropriations Committee.

From 1978 to 1984, Dr. Hamre served in the Congressional Budget Office, where he became its Deputy Assistant Director for National Security and International Affairs.  In that position, he oversaw analysis and other support for committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. 

Dr. Hamre received his Ph.D, with distinction, in 1978 from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, where his studies focused on international politics and economics and U.S. foreign policy.  In 1972, he received his B.A., with high distinction, from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, emphasizing political science and economics.  The following year he studied as a Rockefeller Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

You can download the presentation here.

 From left to right:
John Hamre and Ian Wild of ATB Corporate Financial Services


Duncan Hawthorne Dinner
February 12, CG&CC, Calgary
Duncan Hawthorne is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bruce Power, the largest independent power generator in Ontario. With roughly 30 years in the power generation business, Duncan began his career as a craft apprentice in the Scottish electricity industry and advanced to hold senior positions in power companies in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. As the executive lead during the acquisition of several power plants in North America, Duncan was responsible for the acquisition of the Bruce nuclear facility and the formation of Bruce Power.

Duncan is an active advocate for the nuclear industry and is the Past Chairman of the Canadian Nuclear Association and current Chairman of the prestigious Board of Governors of the World Association of Nuclear Operators – Atlanta Centre.

Duncan’s leadership has been recognized by his peers through a series of awards such as the Ontario Electricity Association Leader of the Year and the Ian McCrae award for leadership in the Canadian nuclear industry. He has also been honoured by the Association of Power Producers of Ontario with their 2004 Hedley Palmer Award for outstanding contributions to Ontario’s electricity generation industry and by the Energy Council of Canada as their 2005 Canadian Energy Person of the Year.

Duncan is a chartered engineer with an honours degree in control engineering and an MBA from Strathclyde University in Scotland. He is a Fellow of both the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

 From left to right:
Ian Wild of ATB Corporate Financial Services and Duncan Hawthorne


Jim Prentice Dinner
January 9, CG&CC, Calgary
The Honourable Jim Prentice PC, QC is Senior Executive Vice-President and Vice-Chairman of CIBC and joined the Bank in January 2011. In this role, he is responsible for expanding CIBC's relationships with corporate clients across Canada and internationally. He also provides leadership on strategic initiatives for the Bank.

He speaks extensively on behalf of the Bank and is a respected authority on foreign investment, energy and the environment.

Mr. Prentice holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University. He was designated as a Queen's Counsel in 1992 and a Privy Councillor in 2006.

From 1980, Mr. Prentice practiced law in Calgary, Alberta for more than 20 years, specializing in the litigation of property rights and the resolution of aboriginal land claims. During that time he was involved in a wide range of community, philanthropic and political activities at the provincial and national level.

Mr. Prentice ran for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003 and was subsequently elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for Calgary North Centre in 2004. He was re-elected in 2006 and 2008.

From 2006 to 2010, he served as one of the most senior Ministers in the Canadian Government. He chaired the Operations Committee of Cabinet and served variously as the Minister of Industry, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. During his tenure, he also sat as a member of the Priorities Committee of Cabinet.

Upon his retirement from public life in late 2010, the Prime Minister of Canada described Mr. Prentice's role as that of the 'Chief Operating Officer of the Government of Canada' between 2006 and 2010.

In addition, Mr. Prentice managed the Government's environmental, energy and climate change agenda through to the Copenhagen Climate Conference. In that capacity he also served as Canada's principal intermediary on the Clean Energy Dialogue with the Obama administration.

His tenure as Canada's Minister of Environment was marked by a dramatic expansion of Canada's National Park system. He remains a passionate conservationist.

Mr. Prentice is a member of the Board of Directors of Bell Canada (BCE Inc.), a member of the Board of Directors of CPR and a member of the Board of Directors of Coril Holdings Ltd. He is the Canadian Chairman of the Trilateral Commission. He serves on the International Advisory Committee of Lafarge Group. He serves as a Governor of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and as a Governor of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.

You can download a copy of Prentices's speech here.  

 From left to right:
Ian Wild of ATB Corporate Financial Services and The Honourable Jim Prentice 


2013 Speaker Series

George Friedman Dinner
December 3, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
George Friedman is the Chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996 that is now a leader in the field of global intelligence.  Dr. Friedman guides Stratfor’s strategic vision and oversees the development and training of the company’s intelligence unit.

Dr. Friedman is the author of The New York Times best-seller The Next Decade which forecasts the major events and challenges that will test America and its presidents over the course of the next decade.  Dr. Friedman’s previous book, The Next 100 Years was also a New York Times best-seller and was published in over 20 languages.  His other books on warfare and intelligence include America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge.

A very popular keynote speaker, Dr. Friedman is in high demand at numerous conferences and industry-specific events for major financial firms and many Fortune 500 companies.  He has briefed the Australian Command and Staff College, Elgin Air Force Research Laboratory, U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College and many other military and government organizations.  Dr. Friedman is frequently invited to speak internationally, including in Turkey, Germany, Poland, Azerbijan, Australia and New Zealand.  The world’s top media organizations regularly ask Dr. Friedman to appear as an international affairs expert.


John Negroponte Dinner
November 21, CG&CC, Calgary
On Thursday, November 21, 2013, John Negroponte gave a talk entitled, "“Canada & the World Speaker Series: Energy and North American Security"

John D. Negroponte joined McLarty Associates as Vice Chairman in 2009, following a distinguished career in diplomacy and national security. Ambassador Negroponte held government positions abroad and in Washington between 1960 and 1997 and again from 2001 to 2008.

He has been ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, the United Nations, and Iraq. In Washington he served twice on the National Security Council staff, first as director for Vietnam in the Nixon Administration and then as deputy national security advisor under President Reagan. He has also held a cabinet level position as the first director of national intelligence under President George W. Bush. His most recent position in government was as deputy secretary of state, where he served as the State Department’s chief operating officer.

While in the private sector from 1997 to 2001, Ambassador Negroponte was executive vice president of the McGraw-Hill Companies, with responsibility for overseeing the company’s international activities. During those years he was also chairman of the French-American Foundation. In 2009 Ambassador Negroponte began a part-time position at his alma mater, Yale University, as a distinguished senior research fellow in grand strategy and as a lecturer in international affairs. Ambassador Negroponte serves as Chairman of the Council of the Americas/Americas Society. He is also Co-Chairman of the U.S.-Philippines Society, a member of Secretary of State Clinton's Foreign Affairs Policy Board, and Chairman of The Intelligence and National Security Alliance.

Ambassador Negroponte has received numerous awards in recognition of his more than four decades of public service, including the State Department’s Distinguished Service Medal on two separate occasions, the highest award which can be conferred by the secretary of state, and on January 16, 2009, President Bush awarded Ambassador Negroponte the National Security Medal for his outstanding contributions to U.S. national security.


 From left to right:
John Negroponte and Ian Wild of ATB Corporate Financial Services  


Jack Granatstein Luncheon
October 21, Terminal City Club, Vancouver;
Jack Lawrence Granatstein was born in Toronto on 21 May 1939. He attended Le Collège militaire royal de St-Jean , the Royal Military College, Kingston, the University of Toronto, and Duke University, served in the Canadian Army, then joined the History Department at York University, Toronto where he is Distinguished Research Professor of History Emeritus. Granatstein was a member of the Royal Military College of Canada Board of Governors, and from 1998 to 2000, he was the Director and CEO of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

Granatstein has been an Officer of the Order of Canada since 1996 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 1982. His book, The Generals (1993), won the J.W. Dafoe Prize and the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography. Canada’s National History Society named him the winner of the Pierre Berton Award for popular history (2004), and the Canadian Authors Association gave him its Lela Common Award for Canadian History in 2006. In 2008, the Conference of Defence Associations awarded him its 75th Anniversary Book Prize as “the author deemed to have made the most significant positive contribution to the general public’s understanding of Canadian foreign policy, national security and defence during the past quarter century.” He holds a number of honorary degrees.

Granatstein writes a monthly newspaper column for CDFAI and in each issue of Legion Magazine. He writes on Canadian national history--the military, defence and foreign policy, Canadian-American relations, the public service, and politics, and he comments regularly on historical questions, defence, and public affairs in the media and speaks frequently here and abroad. He is the author of numerous scholarly and popular books and articles. He is a member of the Advisory Council for CDFAI.

On October 21st, 2013, he gave a talk entitled, “Another Decade of Darkness for the Canadian Forces? What will it mean for the RCN and ship building in BC?”


David Bercuson Luncheon
September 23, Terminal City Club, Vancouver
Dr. Bercuson has published in academic and popular publications on a wide range of topics specializing in modern Canadian politics, Canadian defence and foreign policy, and Canadian military history. He has written, coauthored, or edited over 30 popular and academic books and does regular commentary for television and radio. He has written for the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Calgary Herald, the National Post and other newspapers. David Bercuson is Director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary and Program Director for CDFAI.

On September 23rd, 2013, he gave a talk entitled, ""Why the United States will Always be Canada’s best bet and not China."


Colin Robertson Luncheon
June 3, Vancouver Club, Vancouver
Colin Robertson is a Senior Strategic Advisor for McKenna, Long and Aldridge LLP and Vice President, CDFAI. On June 3rd 2013, he gave a talk about the potential  implications of President Barack Obama's re-election on US recovery and any implications thereof for Canada.

You can download a PowerPoint presentation of Robertson's discussion here


Don Campbell Dinner
February 5, CG&CC, Calgary
Donald W. Campbell is Senior Strategy Advisor with Davis LLP. He has a lengthy background in the international arena in both the public and private secor. From 2000-2007 he was Group President at CAE Inc. His distinguished career with Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade includes serving as Deputy Miniter of Foreign Affairs and G8 Sherpa 1997-2000, Canadian Ambassador for Japan 1993-1997, Deputy Minister of International Trade 1989-1993 and Canadian Ambassador to Korea 1984-1985.

He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation (APF) and Co-Chair of the 26 nation Pacific Economic Cooperative Council. He currently heads an APF Task Force examining and making recommendations on Canada's investment in Asia Pacific regional institutions and agreements.  


 From left to right:
Donald Campbell and CDFAI Director of Programs, Dr. David Bercuson


Yuen Pau Woo
Dinner, March 7, CG&CC, Calgary
Yuen Pau Woo is President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.   He is a thought leader of contemporary Asian affairs and trans-Pacific relations.  He has served on the Standing Committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, and as an advisor/consultant to the World Bank, APEC, the OECD, Asian Development Bank, the Shanghai WTO Affairs Consultation Centre, and the Canadian Ditchley Foundation.  He is also on the Global Council of the Asia Society, a member of the Greater Vancouver Academy of Music, and the Mosaic Institute. 

Mr. Woo has previously worked for the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation.  He is on the editorial board of Pacific Affairs.  As one of Canada’s most respected analysts on Asia, Mr. Woo is frequently consulted by senior officials, business leaders, and civil society organizations.


 From left to right:
Bob Gibson of Stuart & Company Limited and Yuen Pau Woo


2012 Speaker Series              

Wendy Dobson Dinner
November 20, CG&CC, Calgary
Wendy Dobson is a professor at the Rotman School of Management and Co-director of the Rotman Institute for International Business. She is a former Associate Deputy Minister of Finance in the Canadian government and a former President of the CD. Howe Institute, Canada's leading independent economic think tank and a non-executive director of Canadian companies in finance and energy. She is also a director of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation, Senior Fellow at Massey College and member of the Advisory Committee of the Peterson Institute of International Economics. She chairs the Pacific Trade and Development Network (PAFTAD).

She has written extensively on the banking and financial systems of China and India. Her writings include Gravity Shift; Will the Renminbi Become a World Currency?; The Contradiction in China's Banking Reforms; The Transition from Imitation to Innovation: An Enquiry into the Technological Capabilities of China's Firms; Financial Reforms in India and China: A Comparative Analysis; and China's integration into the Global Financial System.


From left to right:
From left to right, Wendy Dobson and Bob Booth of Bennett Jones LLP

Colin Robertson, Scotty Cameron, Jonathan Baron Debate
November 7, Calgary Petroleum Club, Calgary
On November 7, 2012, Scotty Greenwood, Jonathan Baron and Colin Robertson discuss the results of the US election and the challenges ahead for the new Administration and Congress: "What Does it Mean for Canada, Alberta & The Oil Patch".

Scotty Greenwood serves in McKenna Long & Aldridge's Washington DC office as a senior managing director on the International Trade and Public Affairs teams. She is a government relations practitioner, assisting clients with legislative and public policy challenges in the US and Canada.

Jonathan Baron is the founder and principal of Baron Public Affairs LLC, a firm specializing in solutions for mitigating risk created by government policy.

Finally, Colin Robertson is a former Canadian diplomat and a member of the teams that negotiated the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement and the NAFTA.

Jim Boutilier Dinner
October 22, CG&CC, Calgary
Dr. James Boutilier is the Special Advisor (policy) at Canada's Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters in Esquimalt, British Columbia. His particular area of responsibility relates to naval initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Boutilier was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and attended Dalhousie University (BA History: 1960). McMaster University (MA History: 1962), and the University of London (phD History: 1969). Dr. Boutilier served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve from 1956 - 1964 as a navigating officer and in the same capacity in the Royal Navy Reserve from 1964 - 1969.

Dr. Boutillier taught at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, from 1969 to 1971 before
taking up an appointment at Royal Roads Military College in Victoria, Be. He spent twenty-four
years on staff at the RRMC serving as department head and Dean of Arts. He was instrumental in establishing the military and strategic studies degree program at the college and taught courses on naval history, contemporary Asia, the history of the Pacific, and strategic lessons. During that time he was an adjunct professor of Pacific Studies at the University of Victoria and the Chair of the South Pacific Peoples Foundation of Canada.

Dr. Boutilier's field of expertise is Asia-Pacific defence and security. He published RCN in Retrospect in 1982 and has written extensively on maritime and security concerns. He lectures nationally and internationally on political, economic, and security developments in the Asia-Pacificregion.

Dr. Boutilier is a member of the Canadian Consortium on Asia-Pacific Security and serves on the
Canadian board for the Council on Security Cooperation in Asia-Pacific.


 From left to right:
Michale Shaw of ATCO and Dr. James Boutilier

Kofi Annan Roundtable
September 19, Calgary Petroleum Club, Calgary
On short notice, CDFAI hosted a one hour, in-camera, Chatham House Rule conversation with Dr. Kofi Annan for up to 20 people prior to the Bon Mot Book Club's exclusive and intellectually stimulating dinner evening with the same individual. Most recently serving as the United Nations / League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan has a unique perspective on world order - past, present, and future. Drawing on his experiences and lessons learned during the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, the fighting between Israel, Hezbollah, and Lebanon, the conflicts of Somalia, Rwanda, and Bosnia, and the geopolitical transformations following the end of the Cold War, Annan will be available to candidly discuss his time at the UN, including the ongoing challenges in the context of global politics.

Dr. Annan was not without controversy during his time as Secretary General of the United Nations. He has been quoted as saying that "suffering anywhere concerns people everywhere." From 23 February until 31 August 2012, Annan was the UN - Arab League envoy to Syria, to help find a resolution to ongoing conflict there. He quit after becoming frustrated with the UN's lack of progress with regard to conflict resolution, stating that "when the Syrian people desperately need action, there continues to be finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security Council."


Harvey Rishikof Dinner
May 29, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
On May 29th, 2012, Harvey Rishikof gave a talk entitled “Canada-U.S. Interests: The Future of Relations.”

Canadian born, Harvey Rishikof is currently chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security, and is a senior policy official with the Directorate of National Intelligence and on the Board of Visitors for the National Intelligence University.  He was a Professor of Law and National Security Studies at the National War College (NWC) in Washington, DC. and is the former chair of the Department of National Security Strategy at the NWC.  He specializes in the areas of national security, civil and military courts, terrorism, international law, civil liberties, and the U.S. Constitution. 

Mr. Rishikof’s career includes experiences in the private sector, academia and public service and is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute.  He is a former member of the law firm Hale and Dorr, a Supreme Court Fellow, the former Dean of the law school in Rhode Island, and has been a consultant to the Word Bank and USAID on law reform.  As Legal Counsel to the Deputy Director of the FBI (1997-99), Mr. Rishikof focused on FBI policies concerning national security and terrorism, and served as liaison to the Office of the Attorney General at the Department of Justice.  Mr. Rishikof worked on developing a variety of programs, e.g. National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, and was involved in the drafting of Presidential Decision Directives in the national security area.  

Mr. Rishikof has written numerous law review articles, monographs and book chapters, his most recent book is co-edited with Roger George, The National Security Enterprise, Navigating the Enterprise, (Georgetown Press, 2011).


David Silver Dinner
March 8, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
David Silver is a partner with Bennett Jones (Middle East) LLP.  He represents corporate clients, both inward investing and locally established companies, carrying on business in the Middle East..  David has been engaged in international practice in or related to the Middle East since 1982 and has been a resident in the region for more than 25 years. His presentation offered a short introduction to the Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) and its member countries followed by a discussion on the relative ease of doing business in the GCC countries and their business culture. 


 From left to right: David Silver and CDFAI President Bob Millar

Paul Maddison Dinner
February 16, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
Vice-Admiral Maddison was commissioned in 1980 and in 2008 was appointed Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic in Halifax. Vice-Admiral Maddison was commissioned in 1980, and earned his Bridge Watchkeeping and Above-Water qualifications in HMC Ships Terra Nova and Qu 'appelle. Vice-Admiral Maddison's sea-time has been equally divided between Canada's Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, including Combat Officer of HMCS Skeena (1988), Executive Officer of HMCS Winnipeg (1994), and command ofHMC Ships Calgary (1997) and Iroquois (2002).

Other sea-going appointments have included: Staff AntiSubmarine Warfare Officer to NATO's Commander Standing Naval Force Atlantic (1989), Staff Weapons Officer to the Commander Canadian Task Group deployed to the Persian Gul f(1991), Combat Officer Sea Training Atlantic (1992), Executive Officer Sea Training Pacific (1996), and command of the experimental Standing Contingency Force (2006).

Vice-Admiral Maddison's shore appointments have included: Aide-de Camp to the Governor General (1985), command of a joint Space Control Center crew in Colorado Springs (2000), Director General Maritime Force Development (2005), and Assistant Chief of Military Personnel (2007).

In 2008 Vice-Admiral Maddison was appointed Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic in Halifax. He returned to Ottawa in 2010 to serve as Deputy Commander Maritime Command and Assistant Chief of the Maritime Staff.

Vice-Admiral Maddison was promoted to his present rank and assumed Command of the Royal Canadian Navy in July 2011.

On February 16th, 2012 he gave a talk entitled "The Royal Canadian Navy in the 21st Century".


Michael Novak Dinner
February 2, CG&CC, Calgary
Michael Novak is the Executive Vice-President and a member of the Office of the President at SNC-Lavalin. Mr. Novak spoke as part of CDFAI`s Canada and the World Series: Middle East and North Africa on '40 Years of Doing Business in the Middle East and North Africa, the SNC-Lavalin Experience and perspective on the Future: Significant Challenges, Significant Opportunities.'

To listen to the speech, please click here.


 From left to right: Bob Gibson of Stuart & Company Limited and Michael Novak


2011 Speaker Series

Paul Nelson Dinner
November 14, CG&CC, Calgary
Paul Nelson joined the Corporate Security Department at Nexen on June 1, 2008, after 30 years of federal government service – six with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in British Columbia, and 24 with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Paul’s CSIS experience included counter-terrorism, counter-espionage, and counter-proliferation work at all levels, from front-line investigator and analyst to senior manager, including corporate responsibilities.

In his government career, Paul was posted to Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Canberra, Australia. In addition to his responsibilities at Nexen Inc., Paul is also the Honorary Consul for Australia at Calgary, Alberta, with jurisdiction for the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Paul is married with three children. He enjoys hiking, traveling and spending time with his family.


From left to right:
Bob Booth of Bennett Jones LLP and Paul Nelson


Richard Cohen Breakfast
November 4, Westin Hotel, Calgary
On November 4th, 2011 Richard Cohen spoke about about "Making Conservative Defence Policy" Richard graduated Royal Military College in 1966 and served with both the Canadian and British army, upon his retirement he founded the Marshall Centre Senior Executive Seminars for very senior politicians, civil servants and military leaders.

He served as Senior Defence Advisor to the Minister of National Defence, from 2007 to 2011 and is currently the President of RSC Strategic Connections. Additional accomplishments include:

Graduated Royal Military College (BEng, Chemical) 1966 (Cadet Wing Commander, Sword of Honour), Post Graduate Studies (MSc), Imperial College of Science and Technology, London (Earl of Athlone Fellowship) Rifle platoon commander, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Germany. Rifle company commander, reconnaissance platoon commander, Canadian Airborne Regiment, Valcartier, Edmonton, Student, Canadian Land Forces Command and General Staff College, Kingston, Secretary to COS Operations, Mobile Command, St. Hubert, Quebec, Joined British Army, The Light Infantry (now The Rifles) 1973, Rifle Company Commander; Germany, Northern Ireland, Rifle Company Commander, 2nd King Edward VII’s Own Gurkha Rifles, UK, Hong Kong, Borneo, Deputy Chief of Staff, HQ 8th Infantry Brigade, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Battalion 2IC, The Light Infantry, UK, Germany, Operations Staff Officer, HQ British Forces Falkland Islands, Student, Joint Services Defence College, Greenwich, London, Chief Instructor, Battalion Battle School, British Army Training Team, Zimbabwe, Battalion Commander, 1/9 Co. Antrim Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment, Northern Ireland, British Liaison Officer, US Army Test and Experimentation Command, Fort Hood, Texas, Director and Instructor, Basic Tactics Course, US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Student, NATO Defence College, Rome, Chief, Military Cooperation Branch, International Military Staff, NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Retired from British Army, 1994 Professor of NATO and European Security Affairs, George C. Marshall Center, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, 1994-2002 Founder and Director of the Marshall Center’s Senior Executive Seminars for very senior politicians, civil servants, diplomats and military leaders. President, RSC Strategic Connections, Ottawa, 2003-2007 . Senior Defence Advisor to the Minister of National Defence, August 2007-July 2011; advised the Minister on: o Development of the Canada First Defence Strategy o Canada’s role in Afghanistan, Libya, counter-piracy and other international operations. The defence component of government strategy in the North. Expanding Canada-US defence cooperation. Relations with NATO and international bilateral defence relationships. CF disaster relief organisation and operations at home and abroad. Defence support to other government departments, especially Public Safety; Vancouver Olympics, G-8, etc. Search and Rescue policy development. Policy on major Procurement issues. Defence issues in Quebec and the Western Provinces Resumed role as President, RSC Strategic Connections, Ottawa, 2011


David Pratt Luncheon
October 28, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
On October 8th, 2011 Hon. David Pratt, Senior Vice President Public Affairs, and former Minister of National Defence discusses "Reflections on Where We've Been and the Way Forward fora Canadian Foreign & Defence Policy".

David is a member of the Advisory Council of the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute and served as Senior Parliamentary Expert with the USAID sponsored Iraq Legislative Strengthening Program.

David Pratt is Senior Vice President, Public Affairs for GCI Group. Most recently he spent five months in Baghdad, Iraq as a Senior Parliamentary Expert with the USAID sponsored Iraq Legislative Strengthening Program – currently the largest legislative capacity building project in the world.

From 2004-2008, he served as Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) where his focus was on humanitarian issues. He also led the CRC’s ‘Auxiliary to Government’ project which promoted a new relationship between the CRC and governments at all levels.

Mr. Pratt served as an elected representative at the municipal, regional and federal levels for 16 years. He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 and was Chair of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs from 2001 to 2003. He served as Canada’s 36th Minister of National Defence in 2003-04.

He is a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute.


Michael Bell Dinner
October 20, CG&CC, Calgary
Former Ambassador Michael Bell is currently Paul Martin (Sr.) Senior Scholar in International Diplomacy at the University of Windsor. He is also Co-chair of the Old City Jerusalem Initiative, a major study focussed on the future governance of the Old City. From 1967-2003, he was a Foreign Service officer, having spent 36 years in the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, primarily focused on the Middle East. He was Canada's Ambassador to Jordan (1987-90), Egypt (1994-98) and Israel (1990-92 and 1999-2003). He has also chaired the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq, with projects administered through the United Nations and World Bank.

He was Chief of Staff to the Right Honourable Robert Stanfield respecting the Jerusalem Embassy affair in 1978-79 as well as Director of the Middle East Relations Division in DFAIT from 1983-1987. Mr. Bell has been a Senior Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and at the Munk Centre at the University of Toronto.

To listen to the speech, please click here.


From left to right:
Michael Bell and Bob Millar, president of CDFAI

Richard Giguere Luncheon
October 13, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
A native of Quebec City, Brigadier-General Richard Giguère enrolled in the Canadian Forces under the Officer Candidate Training Plan in August 1979 and completed his infantry officer training at the Combat Training Centre at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick. Upon graduation, he joined the ranks of the Royal 22e Régiment (R22eR).

Between 1980 and 1991, he served with three battalions of R22eR in various command and staff positions, including in Lahr, Germany, and during the Oka Crisis in 1990. He was posted to the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean in 1991 and then to Paris in 1993. Brigadier-General Giguère graduated from the Collège Interarmées de Défense and left France in 1995 to join the ranks of 1 Battalion, R22eR, as unit deputy commanding officer. It was in that capacity that he served in Haiti from March to October 1996 as part of a United Nations mission.

Promoted Lieutenant-Colonel in 1997, he was posted to Kingston, Ontario, to the Director Land Strategic Concepts, where he worked on developing the army of the future. In July 1998, he returned to Québec City and took command of 2 Battalion, R22eR and the Citadelle of Québec. He participated in a number of exercises with his unit and, among other things, managed the arrival of the Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV III) at 5 Canadian Mechanised Brigade Group.

On completing his command tour in June 2000, he was sent to University Laval to start work on a PhD in political science while occupying a research position at the Institut québécois des hautes études internationales (IQHEI). In the summer of 2001, he was posted to the Royal Military College as a lecturer in the Department of Politics and Economics. He moved to Montréal in July 2002 to become the Operations Officer (G3) for Land Forces Quebec Area. Following promotion to Colonel, he was deployed to Kabul from January to July 2004 as Chief of Staff of a multinational brigade. He was then posted to Canadian Defence Liaison Staff in Washington as the Canadian Forces Military Attaché.

Posted to National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa in 2008, he held the position of Director Current Operations, Strategic Joint Staff. In 2009, he was selected for training at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, United States (Combined Warfighting School [JPME-II]). Brigadier-General Giguère was deployed to Kandahar in September 2010 as Deputy Commander of the Canadian Task Force with rotation 5-10 of Joint Task Force – Afghanistan.

A member of the Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference (1987), Brigadier-General Giguère is a recipient of the Chief of Land Staff Commendation and the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation. He has been a member of the US Legion of Merit at the degree of Officer since 2008. He holds a Bachelor’s degree with specialisation in military and strategic studies from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean and a graduate degree with specialisation in strategic studies from the Université Paris-Nord. He assumed command of Land Forces Quebec Area and Joint Task Force (East) on 05 August 2011.


Colin Robertson Luncheon
September 21, Westin Hotel, Calgary
(Rob Huebert spoke instead)
Canada and the United States are currently engaged in three initiatives around border access, regulatory reform and clean energy that would significantly build on the current FTN/NAFTA platform. At the same time, the Harper Government is engaged in a series of negotiations that would widen opportunities for Canadian business in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

A former diplomat, Colin Robertson is Senior Strategic Advisor for McKenna, Long and Aldridge LLP working with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. He is Vice President and Senior Research Fellow at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. He is an Honorary Captain (Navy) assigned to the Strategic Communications Directorate, Royal Canadian Navy.

Living in Ottawa, Robertson writes and speaks on international affairs and he is a commentator on CTV, CBC, CPAC and SUN-TV and a contributor to the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, The Mark and a contributing writer to Policy Options.


David Malone Dinner
June 2, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
On June 2nd, 2011, David Malone, a career foreign service officer, spoke about the future of India and its relationship with Canada. In 2008, he became President of Canada's International Development Research Centre. Previously, he served as Canada's High Commissioner to India and non-resident Ambassador to Bhutan and Nepal from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that, he was Assistant Deputy Minister in Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Dr. Malone's recent book, "Does the Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy", published by Oxford University Press provided background for this presentation.

David M. Malone is a career foreign service officer and an occasional scholar. In 2008, he became President of Canada’s International Development Research Centre. Previously, he served as Canada’s High Commissioner to India and non-resident Ambassador to Bhutan and Nepal from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that, he was Assistant Deputy Minister in Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

He was President of the International Peace Academy, New York. He served as Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations. Earlier foreign assignments took him to Egypt, Kuwait, and Jordan. He is a graduate of l’Université de Montréal, of the American University in Cairo, and of Harvard and Oxford Universities. He has been a Guest Scholar at both the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC and Columbia University, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto. He has published extensively on peace and security issues in a variety of journals. He has written commentary for the International Herald Tribune, The Globe & Mail and a number of other publications. He continues to write for the Literary Review of Canada. Dr. Malone’s recent book, “Does the Elephant Dance? Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy”, published by Oxford University Press will provide the background for his presentation.


Margaret Cornish Dinner
March 9, CG&CC, Calgary
On 9 March, Ms. Margaret Cornish gave the fourth and final lecture in CDFAI’s speaker series “Canada & the World: China.” As Canada now celebrates forty years of diplomatic relations with China and attempts to strengthen its strategic parternship with the country, it is increasingly important for government officials and Canadian citizens to understand China’s investment strategies related to Canada.

Margaret Cornish serves as Senior Advisor (China) and Beijing Representative of Bennett Jones Commercial Consulting Inc. In her presentation, she argued that in a changing global landscape, Chinese energy firms have emerged as key players, but little is known about their intense profit orientation, highly diversified global asset base, or managerial and technical depth.
Canadian firms, she contends, need to capitalize on opportunities to sell services and access new managerial and technical networks in order to make Canada a global leader.

To listen to the speech, please click here.


From left to right:
Margaret Cornish and Bob Gibson of Stuart & Company Limited

David Wright Dinner
February 9, CG&CC, Calgary
On 9 February, Dr. David Wright gave the third lecture in CDFAI’s speaker series “Canada & the World: China”. As Canada now celebrates forty years of diplomatic relations with China and attempts to strengthen its strategic partnership with the country, it is increasingly important for government officials and Canadian citizens to understand China’s investment strategies related to Canada.

Dr. David Wright, an Associate Professor of History at the University of Calgary specializing in imperial Chinese and Mongolian history, spoke on China’s Arctic policy. He noted that one idea being discussed in China is creating an arrangement like that of the Svalbard Treaty of 1920, which would guarantee Canada’s sovereignty over the Arctic, but would give all signatory states the right to develop and exploit the natural resources in the Arctic. He concluded by arguing that Canada must be aware of this and that the Government must make it clear to Chinese officials that Canada’s Arctic sovereignty is not open for discussion.

To listen to the speech, please click here.


From left to right:
Bob Gibson of Stuart & Company Limited, the evening's sponsor, and David Wright 


2010 Speaker Series

Pierre Fournier Dinner
November 29, CG&CC, Calgary
On 29 November, Pierre Fournier gave the second lecture in CDFAI’s new speaker series “Canada & the World: China”. As Canada now celebrates forty years of diplomatic relations with China and attempts to strengthen its “strategic partnership” with the country, it is increasingly important for government officials and Canadian citizens to understand China’s investment strategies related to Canada.

Dr. Fournier, a geopolitical analyst with the National Bank of Canada with an extensive background in financial research and economic policy, spoke on China’s investment strategy in Canada and how the government should respond. Specifically, he addressed the intention behind Chinese investment and if Canada’s strategy towards it makes sense. He also addressed whether Prime Minister Harper’s approach towards China has been successful or not.

To listen to the speech, please click here.


From left to right:
Pierre Fournier and Bob Engbloom of McLeod Dixon, sponsor of the event

Ralph Sawyer
Dinner, September 27, CG&CC, Calgary
On 27 September, Ralph Sawyer spoke at the first lecture in CDFAI’s new four-part speaker series, “Canada & the World: China”. In addition to a strong trade relationship, Canada and China share political, scientific, cultural and academic ties. This year’s series, which will continue into 2011, will shed light into this complex nation.

In his talk, Dr. Sawyer examined Sun-tzu’s Art of War that, according to Dr. Sawyer, continues to impact every conceivable realm of human endevour in China. He argued that in order to understand the PRC’s behaviour today and future developments, the Art of War and its influence must be first understood. He discussed several keys to understanding the text and indicated the core concepts that are exerting the greatest influence in contemporary world affairs.

Ralph Sawyer is an internationally renowned strategic scholar, best selling translator of the Art of War and other Chinese martial treatises, author of seminal Chinese military studies, and consultant to international corporations and intelligence agencies.

To hear his speech, please click here.


 Ralph Sawyer

Nelofer Pazira Dinner
March 16, CG&CC, Calgary
Nelofer Pazira is the fourth, and final, speaker in the CDFAI Afghan Speakers Series. Canada has been involved in the counter-insurgency was in Afghanistan since 2003, pouring both blood and gold into the mission. There are many questions surrounding this part of the globe and each speaker in this series brought their unique perspective to this debate. Nelofer Pazira, the star of the movie "Kandahar", was born in India, into an Afghan professional family in 1973. The family returned to Kabul when Nelofer was a child and she grew up in Kabul during the Russian occupation. Her family fled to Pakistan in 1989, when Nelofer was sixteen. As a refugee, Nelofer lived in Pakistan for one year before emigrating to Canada. She obtained degrees in Journalism and English Literature from Carleton University in Ottawa and is working on her M.A. thesis at Concordia University, Montreal. Since 1996, Nelofer has made two documentary films about Iran.

As a journalist, she has worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Radio, written for Sight & Sound (British Film Institute Magazine), Elm Street, McLeans, The Ottawa Citizen, The Toronto Star, Panorama, and EI Semanal. Nelofer played the lead role in Mohsen Makhmalbaf's film "Kandahar" – a film based on Pazira's life story. The film made her, unwittingly, a representative of a cause: bringing the world’s attention to the tragedy of the Afghan war.

She was awarded "Prix de interpretation" by the New Cinema, New Media – Montreal Film Festival (October 2001). Ms Pazira commented on the human side of this conflict and her perspectives on the future from the Afghan point of view.


From left to right:

Tom Cox, ATCO Group and Nelofer Pazira

John Vance Dinner

February 2, CG&CC, Calgary
Brigadier-General Jon Vance is the third speaker in the CDFAI Afghan Speakers Series. Canada has been involved in the counter-insurgency was in Afghanistan since 2003, pouring both blood and gold into the mission. There are many questions surrounding this part of the globe and each speaker in this series brought their unique perspective to this debate.

Brigadier-General Jon Vance presented at the Calgary Gold and Country Club on the 2nd of February. He joined the Canadian Forces in 1982 and was commissioned into The Royal Canadian Regiment in 1986 following graduation from Royal Roads Military College. Following several postings he found himself posted, in 1993, to 1RCR in Petawawa and served as the Battalion Operations Officer and as a company commander.

In 1994, while employed as the battalion operations officer, he was awarded a Mention-in-Dispatches for his leadership while commanding a task force during the battalion's UN mission in Croatia. B.Gen Vance assumed command of Second Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment in Gagetown, NB in August 2001. After he relinquished command he completed a year of professional development before being posted as a member of the Directing Staff at the Canadian Forces College, Toronto in 2004. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel and served as Chief of Staff Land Force Central Area in 2005.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Military and Strategic Studies and a Master of Arts Degree in War Studies from RMC. He assumed command of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in August 2006 for two very operationally demanding years. Upon relinquishing command, he stood up Task Force 5-09, the Canadian Headquarters that commanded and coordinated Canadian and Coalition civil-military operations in Kandahar Province from February to November 2009.

His talk focused on his time in Kandahar Province, the successes, failures and challenges.


From left to right:
R.S. Millar, CDFAI President, B.Gen Jon Vance, Don Chynoweth, SNC Lavalin Senior Vice-President,
Defence Programs

Colin Robertson Luncheon
January 15, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
Colin Robertson presented at the Rachmen’s Club on 15th of January. His presentation focussed on 'Obama's First Year: Achievements, Disappointments and the Road Ahead'. Colin Robertson spent more than half his career following Canada-U.S. relations and served in New York, Los Angeles and Washington and was a member of the team that negotiated both the Canada-U.S. FTA and NAFTA.

His talk, ecompassing Obama’s first year and the challenges ahead, is especially important as Obama is the first Democrat in over 30 years to be elected President with more than half the popular vote and majorities in both the House and the Senate, Barack Obama promised a new beginning. He wanted an end to political and cultural divisions, a resolution to the economic turmoil, and legislation to reform health care, immigration and education as well as a plan for climate change that would reconcile conflicting energy and environmental pressures.

Arguably the most radical agenda since Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and as ambitious as Lyndon Johnson's civil rights reforms, Obama has faced the realities of the separation of powers and the polarization that now characterizes American political life.


Colin Robertson


2009 Speaker Series

Kitson Vincent Luncheon
December 2, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
On December 2nd Kitson Vincent spoke at the Ranchmen’s Club on how to fight a cultural war. Kit, a good friend of Ian Griffin, Honourary Chair of Research Capital Corporation has pursued an interesting career in television and public policy. For the past 15 years he has been involved in a dynamic and unusual project to rebuild the conditions for popular support of the Canadian Forces.


Ian Hope Dinner
November 4, CG&CC, Calgary
Ian Hope is the second speaker in the CDFAI Afghan Speakers Series. Canada has been involved in the counter-insurgency was in Afghanistan since 2003, pouring both blood and gold into the mission. There are many questions surrounding this part of the globe and each speaker in this series brought their unique perspective to this debate.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Hope presented at the Calgary Gold and Country Club on the 4th of November. He is an instructor at the U.S. Army War College and previous commander of the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2006 where his soldiers experienced intense and sustained combat. He has served in infantry and airborne battalions in the Canadian and British armies and his operational experiences include the Balkans, Africa, and Afghanistan. He has served as a strategic planner with United States European Command and with NATO Headquarters International Security Assistance Force – Afghanistan to formulate a development strategy for that country.

He has been the Canadian liaison officer to United States Central Command in Florida and holds a Bachelor of History Degree (Hon) from Acadia University, a Masters of Military Arts and Science, and a Masters of Strategic Studies. He is enrolled as a PhD candidate in history at Queen’s University. LCol Hope is a graduate of the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies and the U.S. Army War College. His talk provided a realistic and refreshing military perspective on Canadian Forces operations in Afghanistan.

Ian Hope

Matthew Fisher Dinner
September 21, CG&CC, Calgary
Matthew Fisher is the first speaker in the CDFAI Afghan Speakers Series. Canada has been involved in the counter-insurgency was in Afghanistan since 2003, pouring both blood and gold into the mission. There are many questions surrounding this part of the globe and each speaker in this series brought their unique perspective to this debate.

Matthew Fisher presented at the Calgary Gold and Country Club on the 21st of September. Based out of the middle east, Mr. Fisher has covered wars, revolutions, coups and insurgencies in over 150 countries. From Gaza to Kandahar, Matthew Fisher has seen it all and reported on it. Currently he is Canada's longest serving war correspondent in Afghanistan, reporting for Canwest newspapers. Mr. Fisher knows the story of Canada's Afghanistan mission inside and out. He has covered Kabul and Kandahar and spent time with British, Canadian and U.S. troops in the field from the mountainous border within Pakistan to the poppy fields of Helmand province. Mr. Fisher offered an up-to-the minute briefing on what is going on in Kandahar province and the Canadian mission there.


Matthew Fisher

John Malevich Breakfast
May 15, Bow Valley Club, Calgary
On 15 May LCol John J. Malevich, Deputy Director of the Counterinsurgency (COIN) Center in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, spoke at a breakfast in Calgary at the Bow Valley Club. LCol Malevich discussed the nature of insurgency and counterinsurgency, as well as the lessons learned in Afghanistan. In his presentation he noted that the Canadian Forces currently uses a tactical, techonology-dependent approach to counterinsurgency but he stressed that in order to be successful, the CF must adopt a strategic approach in their counterinsurgency operations that addresses the root causes of insurgency.


From left to right:
Breakfast Sponsors Kevin Saruwatari and Sheldon Baranec of Qsine Corporation Ltd with LCol Malevich (in middle)

Barry Cooper
March 23, University of Alberta, Edmonton
On 7 April Dr. Barry Cooper, CDFAI Fellow and Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary, spoke at the University of Alberta’s Business School on “The Evolution of Al-Queda.”

Jamie Cade Breakfast
March 23, International Hotel, Calgary
Colonel Jamie Cade, recently returned Deputy Commander Canadian Task Force – Afghanistan, spoke at a breakfast on 23 March in Calgary. His talk, “The Struggle for Kandahar: Canadian Soldiers Making a Difference in Afghanistan” examined the Canadian military role in Afghanistan and the progress our country’s soldiers are making in Afghanistan, a topic rarely covered by the media.


Jamie Cade

Lewis MacKenzie Luncheon
March 12, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
Major-General Lewis MacKenzie happened to be in Calgary on March 12th and joined some old friends for a discussion on current events.

Perrin Beatty Dinner
January 20, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
On 20 January, CDFAI hosted a dinner in Calgary at which Perrin Beatty shared his views on the changes in the Canadian economy and the relationship between Canada and the U.S. at this time of economic downturn. Perrin Beatty is a member of the CDFAI Advisory Council, former Minister of Defence, and President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.


Perrin Beatty


2008 Speaker Series

Brian Flemming Luncheon
November 10, CDFAI Office, Calgary
On 10 November Brian Flemming, CDFAI Fellow and Canadian policy advisor, spoke on “Canada-U.S. Relations in the Arctic” in Calgary. This talk preceded the December release of a quarterly research paper he wrote for CDFAI, “Canada-U.S. Relations in the Arctic: A Neighbourly Proposal.”


Brian Flemming

Derek Burney Dinner
October 8, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
Derek Burney, spoke on Canada-U.S. relations in a talk entitled “The Audacity of Common Sense” at the Ranchmen’s Club in Calgary on 8 October. This event was held on the eve of a Canada-U.S. relations workshop hosted by Carleton University, in partnership with CDFAI, the Alberta government, and other contributors. Derek Burney is a Senior Research Fellow with CDFAI, a Senior Strategic Advisor to Ogilvy Renault LLP, and a former Canadian Ambassador to the United States.


Derek Burney

Peter MacKay Luncheon
September 2, Sheraton Eau Claire, Calgary
On September 2nd, the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute and the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary hosted a luncheon for military and defence experts at which the Honourable Peter MacKay spoke. At the lunch, the Minister announced the Atomic Veteran’s Recognition Program that recognized the sacrifice of military veterans and DND technology workers who participated in nuclear weapons testing in the United States during the Cold War. The Program will offer financial compensation to those people as well as to those who decontaminated the Chalk River nuclear reactor after two incidents in the 1950s.


From left to right:
the Honourable Peter MacKay and David Bercuson

David Bercuson
April 23, University of Alberta, Edmonton
David Bercuson, CDFAI Director of Programs and Director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, spoke on the Canadian mission in Afghanistan at the University of Alberta on 23 April

Sarah ChayesLuncheon
March 31, Ranchmen's Club, Calgary
Sarah Chayes gave a talk entitled, “Security and Development in Afghanistan: A Reality Check” at the Ranchmen’s Club in Calgary on 31 March. Ms. Chayes is a former National Public Radio journalist, author of The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan after the Taliban, and founder and operator of Arghand, a cooperative in Kandahar.


Sarah Chayes



Elections & Defence Policy -- A Discussion with Ian Brodie

May 24, 2019

(feat. David Perry and Ian Brodie)

Disruptors of the 2020s: The Coming Global Disorder

May 7, 2019

(feat. Colin Robertson and Peter Zeihan)


Trump to visit Japanese warship as country has been quietly building up its military

by Lucy Craft (feat. Stephen Nagy), CBS News, May 24, 2019

Modi wins India election

by Danielle Smith (feat. Ferry de Kerckhove), Global News Radio, May 24, 2019

La Chine à la conquête de l’Arctique

by Marc Godbout (feat. Lindsay Rodman), Radio-Canada, May 24, 2019

Connecting the dots on defence research in Canada

by OpenCanada Staff (feat. Steve Saideman), OpenCanada, May 24, 2019

Eyeing decent trade terms, Abe woos ‘gold buddy’ Trump

by Richard Carter (feat. Stephen Nagy), AFP, May 23, 2019


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