Our Fellows

The Conference of Defence Associations Fellowship Programme consists of experts and practitioners in academia, the diplomatic core, industry, government, and the armed forces. Our fellows create a core of expertise that the Institute draws upon for its research, analysis, and commentary on current affairs.

Dr Christopher Ankersen, PhD., MSc

Associate Professor
Center for Global Affairs
Areas of Expertise: Continental defence, Canadian Defence Policy, Arctic Security

Dr. Christopher Ankersen is Clinical Associate Professor at the Center for Global Affairs, where he teaches in the Transnational Security concentration. Prior to joining NYU, Christopher was the Security Advisor for the United Nations system in Thailand (2012-2017). Previously, he held positions at the UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2010-2012); the UN Offices in Geneva (2007-2010) and Vienna (2006-2007); and with the Department of Safety and Security in New York, where he was Desk Officer for Iraq (2005-2006).

From 2002 to 2004, Dr. Ankersen was a Ralf Dahrendorf Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has taught at the LSE, the London Centre for International Relations, King’s College London, Carleton University, and the Royal Military College of Canada and has lectured at staff colleges in Canada, Australia, and Denmark. From 2000 to 2005, he acted as a policy and strategy consultant to militaries, governments and private firms in the UK and Canada. From 1988 to 2000, Dr. Ankersen was an officer in the Canadian Forces, serving in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, including on overseas missions with the UN and NATO.

Dr. Ankersen is a member of the Regional Consultative Group for Asia and the Pacific on Civil-Military Coordination in Disaster Relief; a Senior Research Fellow at the German-Southeast Asian Center of Excellence for Public Policy and Good Governance (CPG), Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, Thailand; and a Senior Fellow at the Canadian International Council. He currently serves as an associate editor with the journal International Politics Reviews. Dr. Ankersen is co-founder of the NYU Project on Armed Forces and Society.

His research interests include civil military relations, strategic studies, international security, and crisis/disaster response. He is particularly interested in the geopolitics and transnational security issues of Southeast Asia.

Christopher Ankersen holds a BA (Hons) in International Politics and History from Royal Roads Military College (Canada) and an MSc and PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Dr. Olivier Choinière

Professor, Université du Québec

Dr. Olivier Choinière is a professor in project management at the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) and an affiliated researcher with the Centre for Studies in Governance at the University of Ottawa and the CDA Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in public management from the University of Ottawa and a Master’s degree in public administration from ÉNAP. Olivier has expertise and experience in project, change and risk management as well as corporate governance. He is currently working on a multi-year research project on the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Prior to joining academia, Olivier has successfully completed numerous high-level strategic projects for public organizations, including the Department of National Defence, in addition to having held an executive position in the federal government at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Olivier is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) as well as a Certified Project Manager (Prince 2).

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Colonel Charles Davies (Ret’d)

Areas of Expertise: Defence procurement, National Security and Defence policy, Defence management

Colonel Charles Davies (Retired) is a former Canadian Armed Forces Logistics officer and Public Servant. He held a number of senior positions in the Department of National Defence, including four years as the strategic planning director for the Material Group and three years as the senior director responsible for material acquisition and support policy across the Department. He is also a former chair of the senior NATO committee responsible for Alliance policies and processes related to the acquisition and life cycle management of major defence systems. Since retiring from DND in 2013 he has been researching and writing on defence management, defence procurement, and national security and defence policy issues.

Dr. Andrew Forde

Areas of Expertise: Artificial Intelligence, Information Systems, Big Data Analytics.

Andrew is a partner at KPMG within the Management Consulting, Technology Strategy & Digital Transformation practice, bringing over 16 years of experience in solving complex challenges and leading teams to deliver innovative solutions across various technological and management domains. His expertise lies in developing and validating data programs, guiding technology strategies focused on business needs, and implementing advanced analytics and technology solutions. Andrew specializes in applied AI, data and analytics strategy, engineering ontologies, unsupervised learning, preprocessing, and algorithm development.

Known for his strategic foresight, Andrew has a demonstrated history of guiding numerous organizations in the development and validation of data programs, steering business-focused technology strategies, and deploying advanced analytics and technology solutions. He possesses a specialization in applied AI, data and analytics strategy, engineering ontologies, unsupervised learning, preprocessing, and algorithm development. His methodologies center on creating business value, optimizing organizational priorities, and maintaining robust governance and risk management frameworks.

Andrew excels at connecting data cloud infrastructure with the essential tech to propel AI initiatives and digital transformation. He provides scalable data solutions and the computational might required for real-time data processing and analysis, essential for cutting-edge AI applications. His focus on creating a solid, scalable, and secure infrastructure allows organizations to develop and maintain effective and sustainable AI solutions. This synergy accelerates innovation, improves decision-making, and enhances strategic planning.

He is also an Adjunct Professor of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, sharing his extensive knowledge and insights with budding professionals.

SiLang Huang

Areas of Expertise: Contentious Politics, Digital Authoritarianism, Surveillance, China.

SiLang Huang is a Ph.D. student in the Political Science Department at the University of Toronto, concentrating on Comparative Politics and Public Policy, with a specific interest in transnational repression, labor movement, and digital authoritarianism with an area focus on China. Her research utilizes political ethnography to examine the strategies of digital resistance employed by activists against state mechanisms in authoritarian contexts. She received her master’s degree in political science from the University of Toronto. Also, she completed a Bachelor of Philosophy in International and Area Studies with honours from the University of Pittsburgh. Before she joined the University of Toronto, she was a Toronto-based journalist working with different community members in the Greater Toronto Area. In addition, she worked with Toronto & York Region Labor Council as a digital campaigner, advocating for labor right in Canada. 

Marcus Kolga

Areas of Expertise: Disinformation, Russian and Central and Eastern European issues, Canadian Foreign Policy

Marcus Kolga is an international award winning documentary filmmaker, journalist, digital communications strategist, and a leading Canadian expert on Russian and Central and Eastern European issues. Marcus has a focus on communications and media strategies as tools of foreign policy and defence, and continues to write commentary for national and international media including the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star. He is the co-founder and publisher of UpNorth.eu, an online magazine that features analysis and political and cultural news from the Nordic and Baltic region. He frequently comments on Russian, Eastern and Central European issues on North American radio and television and at foreign policy conferences. Marcus is involved with international human rights organizations and national political organizations. In 2008 he spearheaded an effort to make August 23rd, the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, a Canadian national day of remembrance for the European victims of Nazism and communism – Black Ribbon Day – by drafting a parliamentary resolution that was introduced and passed by Hon. Bob Rae. In 2015, Marcus was awarded the Estonian Order of the White Star by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

Dr P. Whitney Lachenbauer

School for the Study of Canda
Trent University
Areas of Expertise: Arctic Security, Canadian Defence/Foreign Policy, Canadian History

(Paul) Whitney Lackenbauer (pronouns he/him) is Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in the Study of the Canadian North and Professor in the School for the Study of Canada at Trent University. He is Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. He is also a Fellow with the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary History at the University of Toronto; the Arctic Institute of North America; the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary; and an adjunct professor with the Brian Mulroney Institute for Government at St. Francis Xavier University. Whitney specializes in Arctic security, sovereignty and governance issues, modern Canadian military and diplomatic history, and Indigenous-state relations.

Justin Massie

Professor of Political Science
University of Quebec
Areas of Expertise: Canadian Foreign/Defence Policy, International security, Military interventions

Justin Massie is Full Professor of political science at the Université du Québec à Montréal and Co-Director of the Network for Strategic Analysis. He was the 2019 Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Canada-U.S. Relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. His research focuses on the global power transition, multinational military coalitions, and Canadian foreign and defence policy. His work has been published in several journals, including Foreign Policy Analysis, Contemporary Security Policy, Comparative Strategy, Canadian Journal of Political Science, International Journal (winner of the best article published in 2017), Journal of Transatlantic Studies, Canadian Foreign Policy Journal (winner of the best article published in 2008) and Études internationales (winner of the best article published in 2011). He is the author of Francosphère : l’importance de la France dans la culture stratégique du Canada (PUQ, 2013), and co-editor of Paradiplomatie identitaire : Nations minoritaires et politique extérieure (PUQ, 2019) and America’s Allies and the Decline of U.S. Hegemony (Routledge, 2019).


Cleo Paskal

Areas of Expertise: Indo-Pacific region, China, Climate Change

Cleo Paskal is Non-Resident Senior Fellow for the Indo-Pacific, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Washington, D.C.; a Visiting Fellow, Centre d’études et de recherches internationales de l’Université de Montréal (CÉRIUM); and on the International Boards of Advisors of Kalinga Institute of Indo-Pacific Studies, India and the Global Counter Terrorism Council, India.

She has testified before U.S. Congress, is a regular speaker at professional development programs for senior members of the U.S. military and has briefed government departments of the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, the European Union, India and others. She has lectured at, among many others, the U.S. Army War College, Center for Homeland Defense & Security (Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey), Inter-American Defence Board (D.C.), the Royal College of Defence Studies (U.K.), the National Defence College (India), Centre for National Security Studies (Canadian Forces College), NATO, and the National Defence College (Oman).

Ms. Paskal is widely published in both the academic and popular press and recently completed a two-year assignment as research lead on a Chatham House project examining perceptions of strategic shifts in the Indo-Pacific from the points of view of the Unites States, Japan, India, Oceania, the United Kingdom, France and China.

Claire Parsons, Queens University

Areas of Expertise: Counter-terrorism, far-right radicalization and militia groups, and military culture.

Claire Parsons is a Master’s of Arts candidate at Queen’s University in Political Studies. She specializes in Nationalism, Ethnicity, Peace, and Conflict and her research interests include great-power politics, military affairs, international relations, and international security. Her current research project focuses on reducing the recruitment and retention of radical right, white supremacist, and neo-Nazi individuals into the Canadian Armed Forces. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Studies from Queen’s University as well as a Certificate in Law and is looking to pursue a career in policy and strategy advisory for defence issues.​

Gaëlle Rivard Piché

Strategic Analyst
Defence Research and Development Canada
Areas of Expertise: Canadian Defence Policy, Canadian Armed Forces operational strategy, peace operations

Gaëlle Rivard Piché is a strategic analyst for Defence Research and Development Canada. She works closely with the Canadian Armed Forces, providing direct decision-making support through evidence-based research on a wide range of topics. She is currently a fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (Carleton University), where she completed her Ph.D. in International Affairs in 2017. She is also a guest lecturer at the Canadian Forces College and works as a consultant for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on security sector reform and peace operations. In 2014-2015, Dr. Rivard Piché was a Fulbright research fellow in the International Security Program at the Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. As a Ph.D. candidate, she conducted extensive field research in Haiti and El Salvador between 2012 and 2015, looking at the consequences of security sector reform on public order and violence. To that end, she also did an internship at the United Nations’ Department of Peace Keeping Operations in New York in 2013.

Dr. Rivard Piché is a founding member of WIIS-Canada. As a student, she benefited immensely from the network, the annual workshop, and the safe environment it provides. She now hopes to contribute to the organisation’s next development stages as a member of the board and a mentor. As a woman who works and conducts research in challenging, male-dominated environments, she considers it is crucial for professional and personal growth to support and exchange with other women in the field.

Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé

Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé is Full Professor at Bishop’s University and Non-Resident Fellow at the International Peace Institute, New York. She is Co-Director of the Network for Strategic Analysis and Deputy Director of the Centre FrancoPaix. In 2018–2019, she was the Canada Fulbright Research Chair for Peace and War Studies.  In 2021, she was awarded the 3M National Teaching Fellowship. She is an associate faculty member of the Center for International Peace and Security Studies (CIPSS) and of the Montreal Center for International Studies (CERIUM). Her research focuses on peacekeeping-intelligence, peace operations and security issues related to intra-state wars.  

Her most recent publications include “Competing for Trust: Challenges in UN Peacekeeping-Intelligence“.  Author of the first UN guidelines on Gender and Peacekeeping-intelligence, she is also co-author of the first United Nations Field Handbook on Joint Mission Analysis Centres (United Nations, 2018). She recently conducted fieldwork at the MINUSCA (Central African Republic), MINUSMA (Mali), MONUSCO (Democratic Republic of Congo) and UNMISS (South Sudan). She is co-hosting the podcast “Conseils de sécurité” a co-production of the CDSN-RCDS and RAS-NSA and the podcast “Au FrancParler” of the Chaire Raoul-Dandurand en études stratégiques et diplomatiques.