Board Members

Our board is comprised of community and national leaders in Canadian defence and security that help guide the strategic direction of the CDA Institute.


Lieutenant- General Guy R. Thibault, CMM, MSC, CD

Chair Of The Board
Former Vice Chief Of The Defence Staff

Lieutenant-General Guy R. Thibault retired from the Canadian Forces (CF) in August 2016 after 38 years of service. As a General Officer, he served as Commander Land Force Central Area; Deputy Commander Canadian Army; as well as the Defence Deputy CIO/CF J6 and Communications and Electronics Branch Leader.

From 2011-2013 he served in as the first Canadian Chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board an entity of the Organization of American States. He concluded his military service as the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff serving three years as the second in command of the CF and was responsible and accountable to the Chief of the Defence Staff and the Deputy Minister to coordinate and direct strategic programs to ensure defence policy and strategic objectives were achieved.

Brussels, Belgium, June 29, 2018, assignment for the Canadian Embassy at Nato © Fred Guerdin

Kerry Buck

Former Canadian Ambassador to Nato

Ms. Buck (BA Hons, Political Science, University of Western Ontario; Common Law and Civil Law, LLB, BCL, McGill University) joined Canada’s then Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1991.

She most recently served as Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council (NATO). From 2011 to 2015 she served as Political Director and Assistant Deputy Minister for International Security and Political Affairs. Prior to that, she held Assistant Deputy Minister portfolios for Africa and for Latin America and the Caribbean, and was the head of the Afghanistan Task Force. She has also served in a number of other senior positions at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, including Director General for the Middle East and Maghreb, Afghanistan, Public Diplomacy and Federal-Provincial Affairs, and Director for Human Rights. She was also posted to the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

Outside of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, Ms. Buck served in the Privy Council Office as Director of Operations for Machinery of Government Secretariat, as Director of Policy and International Programs at the Canadian Human Rights Commission, with the International Development Research Centre and the Constitutional Law Bureau of the Office of the Attorney General of Ontario.

Ms. Buck speaks English and French. She is married to Michael Pearson and has a son and three step-daughters.


Renée Filiatrault

Renée Filiatrault has served three ministers of national defence for Canada. From 2009-2010 she served as a foreign service officer in Afghanistan with Task Force Kandahar. Renée is a regular commentator on defence and security matters and has appeared on CBC’s The National, Power & Politics, The Current, and CTV’s The National and Question Period. Renée holds an Honours degree in Political Science from McMaster University and is accredited with Information Operations Battlefield Officer training with the Canadian Forces. Renée sits on the Advisory Board for the Network for Strategic Analysis, and is a Fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Renée has received the Operational Service Medal for South-West Asia, the General Service Medal for Afghanistan and was awarded the Commander Joint Task Force Afghanistan Commendation while in theatre. 


Lieutenant-general Marquis Hainse (Ret’d) CMM, MSC, CD

Former Chief of the Army Staff and Commander of the Canadian Army

Lieutenant-General Hainse (Ret’d) was born in Saint-Joseph de Coleraine, Québec and grew up in Thetford-Mines. He enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1977 and pursued part of his undergraduate studies at the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean. He also holds a master’s degree in Public Administration and an advanced graduate diploma (DESS) in International Management Studies from l’École nationale d’administration publique in Quebec City.

Having been deployed to Haiti, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Afghanistan, he subsequently spent two years in Italy, as the Deputy Commander Allied Joint Force Command Naples, upon being promoted to Lieutenant-General. LGen Hainse completed his final military career assignment in 2018 as the Canadian Military Representative to NATO in Brussels, Belgium.

Happily married to Traci for the past 32 years, they are now enjoying retirement by traveling and spending more time with their three sons.


Mike Hamilton

Svp, Sales and Distribution, Marketing
RBC Insurance

As SVP, Chief Sales & Distribution officer, Mike Hamilton is responsible for leading the RBC Insurance Sales and Distribution, and Marketing teams across Canada and across multiple channels. This includes 2000 employees serving our personal and business clients across our life, health, home, auto, travel, wealth, group and creditor products in addition to all marketing support. RBC Insurance’s sales forces include: a network of over 50 stores; a contact centre; digital channels; and advisors who are focused on group and small business clients. In addition, there is a team that provides relationship management for our third-party broker and travel agency network.

Mike also leads the national office Sales and Distribution team, consisting of sales enablement, training, communications, and sales support professionals who help drive productivity, revenue growth and improve the client experience.

Mike joined RBC in February 2013 and has over 20 years of experience from various senior roles in North American financial services companies. He has extensive knowledge of the finance industry, having held senior positions at a number of blue- chip insurance companies. Mike has a strong track record of leading and developing top-performing sales teams, growing organizations, and creating an exceptional client experience.

Mike holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Norwich University, Military College of Vermont. Early in his career, Mike spent ten years serving in the U.S. Army while engaging in three combat tours. He retired as a Captain post his command 220th.

Mike is married and has three teenage daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, tennis, and skiing, as well as many outdoor activities. Mike gives back to the community by being involved in Military Veteran Affairs, TPL, Canada Company, Treble Victor, and Ronald McDonald House.


Vice-admiral Darren Hawco, VADM(Retd) CMM, MSM, CD

Former Canadian Military Representative to Nato and Chief of Force Development
Executive Advisor Deloitte Canada

VAdm (Retd) Darren Hawco is a former military officer and executive with extensive public service, military and allied experience in policy development, strategic planning, and capability standardization and development. Currently an Executive Advisor with Deloitte Canada, Darren’s recent uniformed Flag officer appointments included Canada’s Military Representative to NATO in Brussels (2018-2020), Chief of Force Development (2015-2018), Director General Cyberspace (2013-2015), and Commander of the Atlantic Fleet (2012-2013). As Canada’s MILREP, he was directly involved in the development of the NATO Military Strategy, as CFD he was the military pen for the 2017 Defence policy Strong Secure Engaged, and as DG Cyber, he was responsible for the initial development of Canada’s defensive and offensive cyber program. Academically, Darren has a BAdmin from the College Militaire Royale (1989), a Masters in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College (2004) and a Masters in Defence Policy and Public Administration from the Royal Military College (2008).


Daniel Jean

Former National Security and Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada

Daniel Jean had a stimulating career in the federal public service for more than 35 years when he retired from his position of National Security and Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada in May 2018 after several positions as Deputy Minister, in particular Foreign Affairs and Canadian Heritage. Earlier in his career, Daniel worked on international and migration-related issues, both in Canada and abroad, including 2 postings in Haiti, 2 separate assignments in the United States, and 1 in Hong Kong.

A Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs of the University of Ottawa, a Distinguished Fellow at the Canadian School of Public Service and an Associate Fellow at the Multidimensional Conflicts Observatory of the UQAM/Chaire Raoul-Dandurand, Daniel graduated in 1988 with a Master of Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences in international relations and economics from the University of Ottawa in 1982. He has a keen interest in international relations; Canada-U.S. relations; national security issues and how they interact with the economy; migration matters; and governance. Daniel currently serves on a number of advisory committees and non-profit boards.


Naresh Raghubeer

Managing Partner and Co-founder
Sandstone Group

Naresh Raghubeer is a managing partner and co-founder of Sandstone Group. Naresh was ranked by the Hill Times Newspaper as one of the top 100 lobbyists in Canada in February 2021. He is passionate, driven and results oriented. He has proven that effective public affairs and government relations depends on (i) clear communications; (ii) building trust and (iii) working collaboratively with all stakeholders across government.

After four successful years at Davie Shipbuilding (Quebec) and its sister company, Federal Fleet Services (Ottawa) holding executive roles as Vice President Communications and Regulatory Affairs and then Vice President Federal Government Relations, Naresh decided to establish Sandstone Group to continue to deliver exceptional government relations support to clients across the spectrum. During his time at Davie Shipbuilding he was able to help the senior executive management team to reset the company’s public image and relationship with the Government of Canada during extremely difficult times and then supported the efforts to win contracts and significantly increase the order book.

Naresh is also an advocate for a strong national security and defence posture for Canada. This has been demonstrated during his work in the Senate of Canada where he supported senators on the National Security and Defence Committee, including its Chair between 2012-2017.

Prior to working in the Senate, Naresh was a consultant supporting clients in the public policy and energy sector. He has also worked at the provincial government level between 1996-2003.

In April 2021, he was appointed a Director to the Board of the Conference of Defence Association Institute, Canada’s premier national security and defence association.


Gordon Venner

Former Associate Deputy Minister, Department of National Defence, Canadian Diplomat and Ambassador

In a forty-year career in public service Mr Venner also served as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Foreign and Defence Policy in the Privy Council Office, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Middle East and Afghanistan in the Foreign Affairs Department, and as the Government’s G8 Sous-Sherpa and APEC Senior Official. He has significant experience in the Government’s multilateral relationships including in the G7, the G20, the OECD, APEC, and NATO. He served as Counsellor in the Canadian Mission to the European Union 1996 to 2000, and as Ambassador to Iran 2004 to 2006. He began his career in provincial and municipal government.

Mr Venner holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Western Ontario, and a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics.

He is married to Marilyn Venner and they have one son.


Stéfanie Von Hlatky

Canada Research Chair in Gender, Security and the Armed Forces
Director, Centre for International and Defence Policy
Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University

Stéfanie von Hlatky is the Canada Research Chair in Gender, Security and the Armed Forces, co-director of the MINDS Network for Strategic Analysis and an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University. Her research focuses on NATO, gender and the armed forces, military interventions, and defence policy. Her new book, Deploying Feminism: The Role of Gender in NATO Military Operations, will be published with Oxford University Press in September later this year. Stéfanie von Hlatky is the founder of Women in International Security-Canada, the Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel at the Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment and the co-host of the security and defence podcast Battle Rhythm.


HCOL Jeff Westeinde

Partner at Theia Partners and President of Zibi Canada
HCOL for the 33 Combat Engineering Regiment

Mr. Westeinde is an active investor and entrepreneur in both the cleantech and real estate sectors with investments in solar energy, technologies that promote the beneficial re-use of waste and significant real estate and property development holdings.

Jeff is a partner with the THEIA Partnership which is developing Zibi, the ambitious $1.7 billion real estate development project in heart of Canada’s Capital. Jeff serves as the President of Zibi Canada. Jeff is also the Executive Chairman of Milestone Environmental Contracting Inc., the Chairman of Envirogreen Technologies Ltd. and a Director of Nucor Environmental Solutions Inc.

Mr. Westeinde has been distinguished as Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young, named one of Canada¹s Top 40 under 40 by the Globe and Mail, and won the Young Alumni Award from the University of Western Ontario. Jeff is active on numerous charitable, civic and industry initiatives. He is the Founding Chairman of Invest Ottawa, the Founding Vice-Chair of Ottawa’s Innovation Center at Bayview Yards, a past member of Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Council, is the Honorary Colonel of the 33rd Combat Engineers Regiment and serves as the Ontario Chair of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council. He formerly served on the Brownfields Advisory Task Force for Canada’s National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy.

Jeff’s is an avid outdoorsman whose passion for mountain climbing (he has summited 3 of the world’s “7 Summits”), skiing, golfing and fishing are but a distant second behind his love for his family.


Lgen Christine Whitecross (Ret’d)

Former Commander of Military Personnel Command

Lieutenant-General Chris Whitecross enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1982, joining the Canadian Military Engineers after serving four years with the Cadet Program. Successive postings have taken her from Germany to almost every province in Canada, notably to undertake a range of staff duties such as those of A4 Airfield Engineering Operations at 1 Canadian Air Division, Winnipeg; Executive Assistant to the Chief of the Air Staff at National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa; Director of Infrastructure and Environment Corporate Services for the Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment); Joint Engineer, Canada Command; and Chief of Staff for Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment).

Lieutenant-General Whitecross has also performed the duties of G1/G4 for the Force Engineers of the United Nations Protection Force (Yugoslavia) while deployed to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia; Wing Construction Engineering Officer, Greenwood; Commanding Officer, 1 Construction Engineering Unit, Moncton; Commander, Joint Task Force (North), Yellowknife; Deputy Commander, Canadian Operational Support Command, Ottawa; Deputy DCOS Communications, ISAF HQ, Kabul, Afghanistan; and Canadian Armed Forces Chief Military Engineer at National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa.

Lieutenant-General Whitecross has a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University and a Masters in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada She is also a graduate of the Advanced Military Studies Course and the Command and Staff Course, both conducted at the Canadian Forces College. Awarded the Order of Military Merit at the level of Commander (CMM), she was also presented with the United States Defense Meritorious Service Medal for her service at ISAF HQ, and the Meritorious Service Medal (United States) for her service as the International Military Sports Council (CISM) Secretary General. Lieutenant-General Whitecross was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women of 2011 and then again in 2016, and she is the 2018 recipient of the CDAI Vimy Award.

In February 2015, Lieutenant-General Whitecross was appointed Commander of the Canadian Forces Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct, and assumed the duties as Commander, Military Personnel Command in June 2015 upon promotion to Lieutenant-General. In November 2016, Lieutenant-General Whitecross was appointed Commandant of the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy. She retired from the Canadian Armed Forces upon her return to Canada in 2020.

Jeannine Clément

Dr Youri Cormier

Executive Director, CDA & CDA Institute


Valerie Aji, CPA, CMA

Financial Officer and Treasurer, CDA & CDA Institute


Yves Brodeur

Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to NATO

Yves Brodeur was born in Montréal, and is a graduate of Université Laval in Québec City. He became a member of the Senior Management team of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada in 2003, first as Director General (Communications) and then as Assistant Deputy Minister and Political Director (Afghanistan, International Security). Mr. Brodeur was Ambassador to Turkey from 2005 to 2007 and Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to NATO from 2011 to 2015.

As a professional diplomat since 1982, Mr. Brodeur had a diverse career cumulating high responsibility mandates at the Privy Council Office, Headquarters as well as various Canadian diplomatic missions abroad. He was also Spokesperson and Head of Communications at NATO from 2001 to 2003.

Ambassador Brodeur retired in 2015.

Yves Brodeur est natif de Montréal et a complété ses études universitaires à l’université Laval de Québec. Il a accédé au rang d’ambassadeur en 2005. Il a aussi été membre de l’équipe de haute direction du ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Commerce international du Canada depuis 2003, d’abord à titre de Directeur général (Communications) puis de Sous-ministre adjoint et Directeur politique (Afghanistan, Sécurité internationale). 

Diplomate de carrière au service du ministère des Affaires étrangères du Canada depuis 1982, Monsieur Brodeur a eu une carrière très diversifiée cumulant des postes de responsabilité tant au Conseil Privé, à la Centrale qu’à l’étranger au sein des missions diplomatiques du Canada ainsi qu’à l’OTAN dont il a été le porte-parole de 2001 à 2003. Il a été Ambassadeur auprès de la République Turque (2005-2007) et Ambassadeur et Représentant permanent du Canada à l’OTAN (2011-2015).

L’Ambassadeur Brodeur est à la retraite depuis 2015.


HCOL Chiko Nanji

Group Chief Executive Officer Founder and Sole Owner of Metro Supply Chain Group
Hcol of the Army Intelligence Regiment

Mr. Nanji is a prominent Canadian businessman based in Montreal and Toronto. In 1972 his family along with all those of Indian or Pakistani descent were expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin. The Nanji family chose Canada as their new home. Landing that same year, the family took up residence in Montreal. On the completion of his education

Mr. Nanji set out to establish a career in business. Mr. Nanji is now the Group Chief Executive Officer, founder and sole owner of Metro Supply Chain Group. Metro operates approximately 45 logistics centers in North America and Europe and employs over six thousand people.

Mr. Nanji is also Chairman of LDC Logistics Development Corporation, a leading real estate, development and investment company. Mr. Nanji is an active philanthropist who through his Nanji Family Trust continues to provide significant financial support to a wide range of causes including to various hospitals, educational institutions and Ismaili charities. Mr. Nanji is the Exclusive Vimy Award Sponsor 2018-2020- an annual award presented at the CDA Institute gala, that recognizes Canadians who have made outstanding commitments to Canadian security and defence.


Richard B. Fadden O.C.

Former National Security and Intelligence Advisor tothe Prime Minister and CSIS Director 

Richard Fadden was National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of Canada (2015-2016). Previously, he was Deputy Minister of National Defence (2013-2015) and served as Director of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (2009-2013). He also served as Deputy Minister for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2006-2009) and Natural Resources Canada (2005-2006). He was President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (2002-2005) and Deputy Clerk and Counsel in the Privy Council Office (2000-2002), during which he assumed the additional duties for Security and Intelligence Coordinator in 2001. Over the course of his career, Richard worked in a variety of positions in the Department of External Affairs, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, Natural Resources Canada and the Treasury Board Secretariat. He holds a Graduate Diploma in Law from the University of Ottawa, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Montreal and a B.A. (Political Science) from McGill University. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017.



Blake C. Goldring

Executive Chairman at AGF Management Limited

Blake C. Goldring is the Executive Chairman of AGF Management Limited. He first joined AGF in 1987 and held a series of senior positions before being appointed President in 1997, CEO in 2000, and Chairman in 2006. Under his leadership, AGF has grown to be a premier independent asset management company with operations in Canada, the United States and Europe. Prior to joining AGF, he worked in corporate banking for a major Canadian bank.

Mr. Goldring sits on a number of private company and not-for-profit boards including the CD Howe Institute, Library and Archives Canada and is the Founder and Chair of Canada Company: Many Ways to Serve, a charitable, non-partisan organization created to connect business and community leaders with Canada’s military.

Blake has received numerous honours in recognition of his personal and professional achievements. He is a past recipient of the CDA Institute’s Vimy Award, received an honorary doctorate from the Royal Military College of Canada and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Victoria College, University of Toronto. He received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and in December 2018, he was named a Member of the Order of Canada.

He holds an Honours BA in Economics from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Business Administration from INSEAD in France. He is also a member of the Toronto Society of Financial Analysts, a CFA charterholder and a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers.


General (Ret'd) Ray Henault

Chairman, Strategic Advisory Board at ADGA Group

General Ray Henault, CMM, MSC, CD, LLD, BA is a forty-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces. His military career began in 1968 as a fighter pilot. He also completed multiple tours as an instructor and helicopter pilot.

General Henault’s career has included a wide variety of command and staff positions including Commander of 444 Tac Hel Squadron in Germany, Base Commander CFB Portage la Prairie, Commander of 10 Tactical Air Group, Chief of Staff Operations at Air Command Headquarters in Winnipeg, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff and Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff.

In June 2001, he was appointed Chief of the Defence Staff and was in command of the Canadian Forces on 9/11. He subsequently guided and managed the CF response to the terrorist attacks for nearly four years. In 2004, he was elected by his peers as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (CMC) in Brussels, Belgium, a position he assumed from June 2005 until his retirement from the Canadian Forces in 2008. In that capacity, he represented all NATO Chiefs of Defence at NATO HQ in Brussels; acted as the Senior Military Advisor to the North Atlantic Council; and, held the highest military position in the North Atlantic Alliance.

General Ray Henault is also a graduate of Canada’s National Defence College and the École supérieure de guerre aérienne (ESGA) in Paris, France.

He is also the longest-serving 4-star General in Canadian history and retired from the Canadian Forces in August 2008. General Henault is now the Chief Strategic Advisor and Chair of the Advisory Council for the ADGA Group in Ottawa, ON.

In addition, he is a member of the Advisory Council of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and the Commisionaires; the Patron of the Hubbell Awards Foundation in Winnipeg, MB.

He is also the Past President of the Canadian Defence Association (CDA) Institute in Ottawa. General Henault has more than 5000 hours of military and civilian flying time and remains active as a pilot.

KABUL, 25 March 2021 - Official Photography portrait shoot of UNAMA SRSG Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Afghanistan for all UN UNAMA digital platforms. UNAMA Photo / Fardin Waezi.

Deborah Lyons

Former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)

Deborah Lyons completed her appointment as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of the UNAMA in June 2022, after having spent over two years leading the UN’s operations during this tumultuous period. She has spearheaded the UN’s support to the peace efforts, increased regional cooperation on Afghanistan, led the preparations for the successful 2020 Afghanistan donor conference in Geneva, oversaw the UN’s continued operations after the Taliban takeover in August 2021, advocated for measures to stabilize the macroeconomic environment tittering under sanctions, and facilitated sustained international engagement while serving as a strong and visible advocate for the rights of all Afghans.

Ambassador Lyons is a diplomat with 25 years of professional experience in international relations, political affairs, security management, and development efforts. She served as Ambassador of Canada to Israel (2016 -2020), as Ambassador of Canada to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (2013 -2016), and as Deputy Ambassador at the Embassy of Canada in Washington (2010 -2013).

She has held several senior positions with Canada’s Department of Global Affairs, including as Assistant Deputy Minister for Strategic Policy and Planning and Chief Strategist, Director-General for North America Commercial Affairs, and Director for International Finance. Immediately upon entering the foreign service, she served at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo for five years leading relations with Japan in the high-tech sector.

She has also worked with Canada’s Department of Natural Resources, the Privy Council Office, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. Prior to joining the Government of Canada, Ms. Lyons owned and managed an environment consulting firm.


Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin

Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin spent her formative years in Pincher Creek, Alberta and was educated at the University of Alberta, where she received a B.A. (Honours) in Philosophy in 1965. She pursued her studies at the University of Alberta and, in 1968, received both an M.A. in Philosophy and an LL.B.

She was called to the Alberta Bar in 1969 and to the British Columbia Bar in 1971 and practised law in Alberta and British Columbia. Commencing in 1974, she taught for seven years in the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia as a tenured Associate Professor.

Her judicial career began in April 1981 when she was appointed to the Vancouver County Court. In September 1981, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. She was elevated to the British Columbia Court of Appeal in December 1985 and was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in September 1988. Seven months later, in April 1989, she was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. On January 7, 2000, she was appointed Chief Justice of Canada. She is the first woman in Canada to hold this position.

In addition to her judicial duties at the Supreme Court, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin chaired the Canadian Judicial Council, the Advisory Council of the Order of Canada and the Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute. She is the author of numerous articles and publications. She retired on December 15, 2017.


Hon. Peter MacKay

Former Minister of National Defence

Peter MacKay was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. After graduating with an arts degree from Acadia University in 1987, he studied law at Dalhousie University and was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in June 1991. With strong family ties to the local area, he returned to New Glasgow to open a private law practice specializing in criminal and family law. In 1993, he accepted an appointment as Crown Attorney for the Central Region of Nova Scotia. He prosecuted cases at all levels, including youth and provincial courts as well as the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mr. MacKay was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 1997. He was re-elected in his northern Nova Scotia constituency in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011. On May 18th, 2011, Mr. MacKay was reappointed as Minister of National Defence. Mr. MacKay also serves as Regional Minister for Nova Scotia.

In his first five years in the House of Commons, he served as House Leader for the Progressive Conservative caucus. On May 31, 2003, Mr. MacKay was elected Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. In March 2004, following the unification of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance Party, he was named Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Prior to his current responsibilities, Mr. MacKay served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway.

He has served on several volunteer boards, including New Leaf and Tearmann House as well as being active in Big Brothers-Big Sisters, the Pictou County Senior Rugby Club and the YMCA.

A sports enthusiast, Mr. MacKay enjoys running, rugby, baseball, football and hockey. He is married to human rights activist Nazanin Afshin -Jam MacKay.


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