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.


Laurence Blandford

Vice-President Strategic Consulting in Climate Change and ESG

Laurence Blandford leads the national Climate, Resilience and Sustainability Team at WSP Canada, the largest pure play climate advisory team in the country. Laurence has led teams, projects and publications related to climate strategy and policy, the design and delivery of climate finance programs, and carbon markets. Clients have included institutional investors, multilateral development banks and climate funds, foundations and national governments.

From 1997 to 2015, he worked as an executive, diplomat and policymaker on international economic, financial and environmental issues for the Government of Canada. His tenure included seven years on Canada’s international climate change team, first as a lead finance negotiator under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and then as the executive leading the design and delivery of Canada’s $1-billion portfolio of international climate finance, including large-scale private-sector oriented blended finance vehicles and numerous bilateral technical cooperation projects to support mitigation action in developing countries. He also was involved in the provision of advice to Cabinet on a range of key environmental and economic policies adopted by the Government of Canada.

Laurence served as a representative of Canada’s Finance Ministry and Central Bank at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan from 2003 to 2007 and was a member of the policy team responsible for Canada’s engagement in the G7/8 Summit process, including during Canada’s Presidency in 2002.


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.


Aurèle Fanny Deutcha Ngueliea

Areas of Expertise: Asymmetric warfare, terrorism, peacekeeping, humanitarian operations
Auxiliaire d’enseignement de 3ème cycle, Département de science politique |Université Laval
Auxiliaire de recherche, Institut EDI2 Équité, Diversité, Inclusion, Intersectionnalité (EDI)
Mentor de 3ème Cycle, Faculté des Sciences Sociale (FSS)| Université Laval
Candidate au doctorat en études internationales,École supérieure d’études internationales | Université Laval

Aurèle Fanny Deutcha Nguelieu is pursuing her PhD in collaboration with the Faculty of International Studies (ESEI) and the Department of Industrial Relations at Laval University. She works as a teaching and research assistant for the Department of Political Science at Laval University and as a research associate at the Institute of Economy and Peace and as a research associate of the partnership research team on cultural diversity and migration in the Quebec City region. She researches and writes about asymmetric warfare in the context of terrorism, its causes and how to reabsorb the consequences. She is particularly interested in the concept of positive peace and the implications of considering social justice in peacekeeping operations and in the management of international humanitarian operations related to war.


Dr Rebecca Jensen

Assistant Professor
Canadian Forces College
Areas of Expertise: Operational art and campaign planning, military and service culture, and civil-military relations

Dr. Rebecca Jensen is an assistant professor at the Canadian Forces College. She studies warfighting, particularly operational art and planning, coalition warfare, doctrine, service culture, and military change. Her doctoral work examined improvement in operational art in western Iraq between the 2003 invasion and the Surge. While completing her dissertation, she was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies, a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the George Washington University’s Elliot School, and a Dissertation Fellow at the United States Marine Corps University. She is currently a Fellow at the Modern War Institute at the USMA, and on the editorial board of the Journal of Advanced Military Studies at Marine Corps University. Her work has been published in the Marine Corps University Journal, Armed Forces & Society, Strategic Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, and in books from McGill-Queen’s University Press and Dalhousie University’s Centre for Foreign Policy Studies.


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.


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.