CDA Institute Board of Directors

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.`

Kerry Buck
Former 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.

Richard B. Fadden, O.C.
Former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister and CSIS Director

Mr. Richard B. Fadden was the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister from January 19, 2015 to March 31, 2016. Previously he was the Deputy Minister of National Defence starting in May 2013, he served as the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service from 2009 until 2013. He has also served as the Deputy Minister for Citizenship and Immigration Canada from 2006 to 2009, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada from 2005 to 2006, President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency from 2002 to 2005, and Deputy Clerk and Counsel in the Privy Council Office from 2000 to 2002. In early 2001, he took on the additional position of Security and Intelligence Coordinator.

In the course of his career, Mr. Fadden worked in a variety of different positions across the Government of Canada including in the Department of External Affairs, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, Natural Resources Canada and the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Mr. Fadden holds a Graduate Diploma in Law from the University of Ottawa, a Bachelor of Laws from the Université de Montréal, and a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from McGill University. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is a native of the Province of Quebec.

He is married with two children. Currently, he serves on a number of boards, is a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and speaks on a variety of public policy issues.

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.

Paul Hindo, Executive Chairman
Cyber Defence Corp (CYDEF)

Paul brings of decades of entrepreneurial expertise as Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Cyber Defence Corp (CYDEF).  A serial entrepreneur and active angel investor, Paul has been a successful developer of businesses in Canada and internationally, including being the inaugural chair of DNA Genotek.

Keeping people safe and secure is one of Paul’s guiding principles. He is a Director and member of the Ex Committee for the Canadian Defense Association Institute and was the Ontario Chair of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council, now Director Emeritus. In 2017, Paul was appointed by the Minister of National Defence as the Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Army, only the second person to ever hold this prestigious appointment.

Giving back to the community is one of Paul’s other core tenets. Over the last three decades, he has had extensive involvement in various public and community organizations ranging from public health, mental health, veteran care, education and community building. He has served on more than 20 different boards and committees and continues to serve in many organizations. 

Paul co-founded CYDEF because he wanted to make the world a safer place. With cyber security being the new and ever evolving battleground, he believes that dramatically new innovations are the way to tackle those challenges. 

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.

Naresh raghubeer
Federal Government Relations

Naresh Raghubeer is an experienced public affairs and government relations specialist. He previously served as Vice President, Federal Government Relations, Davie Shipbuilding after serving its sister company, Federal Fleet Services as Vice President, Communications and Regulatory Affairs from 2017-2019. He has spent over 20 years in the development, communication and implementation of public policy including as Director of Policy and Parliamentary Affairs in the Senate of Canada (senior staff) in the office of the Chairman of the Standing Committee on National Security and Defence. During this time, he contributed to the committee’s review of legislation related to Canadian Security Intelligence Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Communications Security Establishment Canada and oversaw the development and publishing of more than 25 reports on key topics including: Border Security; Ballistic Missile Defence; Terrorism; UN Deployment and re-equipping of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Vice-Admiral Drew Robertson (Ret’d) CMM, MSM, CD
Former Director of NATO Policy and Director General International Security Policy

VAdm Robertson began his career with the Canadian Forces in 1973. He commanded HMCS ANNAPOLIS and then the east coast flagship HMCS ATHABASKAN during a NATO deployment in the 1990s. Command of the Canadian Atlantic Fleet in 2001 lead to sailing as the commander of the Canadian Task Group when it deployed to the international campaign against terrorism in the weeks after 9/11. That led to command of a multi-national task group of ships from seven nations in the waters across the North Arabian Sea and into the Persian Gulf.

His senior shore postings included Director of NATO Policy in 1998 and Director General International Security Policy in 2003. He took command of Canada’s navy in 2006. During his tenure the fleet served worldwide. At the same time, work was progressed to modernize or develop all of the platforms that will make up the future fleet. The Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship design was begun and contracts for the mid-life refit of our frigates and the long term maintenance of our submarines were signed.

His continuing concern throughout his command was to develop a new approach to building Canada’s government fleets. He initiated work toward a multi-decade strategy that would give the marine industry, including shipyards in particular, the confidence they needed in successive Governments’ plans it they were to invest in the infrastructure and personnel that are indispensable for industry revitalization and success. After VAdm Robertson had retired in 2009 that work led to what was eventually to become the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy and now the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

In recent years he has been an active member of the CDA Institute board of directors while also supporting the Naval Association of Canada. After the 2015 election that support included arguing for defence investments in front of both the House and Senate committees.

Dr. Elinor Sloan
Professor of International Relations at Carleton University

Elinor Sloan is Professor of International Relations and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Carleton University. A graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, she holds an MA from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, and a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston.

Prior to joining academia, she was a strategic analyst in Ottawa’s National Defence Headquarters, and a logistics officer in the Canadian Armed Forces regular force. The author of many books and articles, Professor Sloan writes and publishes in the field of international security studies, with a special focus on Canada, the United States, NATO and Northeast Asia.

Born in Quebec City and raised in Pinawa, Manitoba, she and her husband Tom live in Ottawa with their two sons, Thomas and Will, and beloved dog Macgregor.

Edison Stewart
Former Assistant Deputy Minister of Public Affairs, Department of National Defence (2013-2017)

Overall lead for some 500 communicators across the country. Work included the 2017 defence strategy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, which foresees spending of $530 billion in the following 20 years; Operation HONOUR, action to eliminate sexual misconduct in the CAF; Operation IMPACT, the deployment of Special Forces and the RCAF against ISIS; and the annual CAF recruitment advertising, one of the largest ad spends in the GOC. 

Former Director General of Communications, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2006-2013), former acting DG of Communications at Health Canada (2004-2006), and former Director of Strategic Communications, Director of Media Relations, at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. (2000-2004).

Former reporter with The Toronto Star (Ottawa), The Canadian Press (Ottawa. Montreal, Fredericton). Graduate of the University of New Brunswick.

Gordon Venner
Former Associate Deputy Minister of National Defance and Canadian Diplomat and Ambassadar

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.

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.

Officers of the board / non-voting

Dr Youri Cormier

Dr Youri Cormier

Executive Director, CDA & CDA Institute



Financial Officer and Treasurer, CDA & CDA Institute



Honorary Counsel

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