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.`

LGen (Ret’d) Michel Gauthier, CMM, MSC, CD
Senior Fellow, former Commander of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command

Michel (Mike) Gauthier was born in Longueil, Quebec into an Air Force family. After growing up in Germany, Montreal and Ottawa, he embarked on a 36-year military career, retiring as an Army lieutenant-general in 2009. In his final appointment in uniform, he served as the first Commander of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command from 2005 to 2009, with responsibility for leading the CAF’s international operations, including counter-insurgency operations in Southern Afghanistan from their inception in 2006.

He was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross in 1993 for exceptional leadership on operations with UNPROFOR and he was invested into the Order of Military Merit as Commander in 2007. Following his military career, Gauthier joined Allen-Vanguard Corporation where he served as an Executive Vice President responsible for international business development until late 2013.

He is currently a Senior Fellow with the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School in Public and International Affairs where he teaches a course on Warfare in the 21st Century. He is Vice-Chair of the CDA Institute and is also on the Board of Directors of Team Rubicon Canada, a charitable organization that deploys volunteer veterans on disaster relief operations. He also acts as a senior facilitator and lecturer in support of several advanced programs at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto.

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.

Major General David Fraser, CMM, MSC, MSM, CD
Former Commander of Operation Medusa in Afghanistan

Major-General (Ret.) David Fraser is the President of Aegis Six Corporation of Toronto. Mr. Fraser was commissioned as an Infantry Officer following graduation from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1980. He served in various command and staff positions in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry from platoon to Division throughout an illustrious 30 year career.

Most notable, he commanded the NATO coalition in southern Afghanistan in 2006. He is a graduate of the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in Toronto, holds a Master’s of Management and Policy and is a graduate of the United States Capstone Program (Executive School for generals). His honors and awards including the Commander of Military Merit, the Canadian Meritorious Service Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, the United States Legion of Honor and Bronze Star (for service in Afghanistan), and awards from the Netherlands, Poland, and NATO.

He is the recipient of the Vimy award for contributions to leadership and international affairs and the Atlantic Council Award for international leadership. Upon his departure from the military, Mr. Fraser joined the private sector and, along with his partners, created Blue Goose Pure Foods. Mr. Fraser joined INKAS® Armored Vehicle Manufacturing as their Chief Operating Officer in 2015. In 2016, he founded Aegis Six Corporation, which aims at addressing the needs of capacity building abroad and for the private sector within Canada.

Mr. Fraser currently works with the Bank of Montreal on their Canadian Defence Community Banking Program, serves as a director of Route1, Inc., Open Text, the Canadian Forces College Foundation, is a member of The Prince’s Charities Advisory Council as well as the Conference of Defence Association Institute board. Mr. Fraser is also a mentor at the Ivey Business School and is the co-author of the national best seller, Operation Medusa, The Furious Battle that Saved Afghanistan from the Taliban.

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.

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. 

Louise Mercier
Senior Vice President, Rubicon Strategy

Named as one of Canada’s Top 10 Defence Lobbyists in 2018, Louise Mercier is best known for providing clear, crisp strategic counsel to clients who want to  win large complex multi-million-dollar equipment programs.

Louise Mercier is the Senior Vice President of Defence Procurement at Rubicon Strategy, and as a high-profile senior industry defence consultant, she is expert in Canadian military procurement practices and policies. Louise brings twenty-five+ battle-hardened years of experience to the Canadian military acquisition process and is regularly sought to strategize win-plans and untangle complex issues.

As an active volunteer, Louise Mercier has helped to raise millions of dollars over the last 30 years for various charities across Canada. In 2011, she was awarded the Admiral’s Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of exceptional service to the RCN, and in February 2013, was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. She currently sits as a volunteer on a variety of boards, most notably the CDA Institute Board and the Perley Rideau Veterans Health Centre Foundation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Officers of the board / non-voting

Dr Youri Cormier

Dr Youri Cormier

Executive Director, CDA & CDA Institute

VALERIE AJI, CPA, CMA

VALERIE AJI, CPA, CMA

Financial Officer and Treasurer, CDA & CDA Institute

ROBERT BOOTH, QC

ROBERT BOOTH, QC

Honorary Counsel

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