The Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C.
Governor General of Canada, 2010-2017
Chair of the Rideau Hall Foundation
The Right Honourable David Johnston was Canada’s 28th governor general. During his mandate, he established the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), a registered charity that supports and amplifies the Office of the Governor General in its work to connect, honour and inspire Canadians.
Today, he is actively involved as Chair of the RHF Board of Directors, and serves as an Executive Advisor at Deloitte. Prior to his installation as governor general, Mr. Johnston was a professor of law for over 30 years, and served as President of the University of Waterloo from 1999 to 2010. He was president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and of the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec (CRÉPUQ).
He was the founding chair of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy and chaired the federal government’s Information Highway Advisory Council. He has served on many provincial and federal task forces and committees, and has served on the boards of a number of public companies.
Maureen Boyd has been a member of the Parliamentary Centre’s Board of Directors since 2013 and has served as Chair since 2018.
As Director of the Carleton Initiative for Parliamentary and Diplomatic Engagement, she provides outreach and policy orientation to parliamentarians and diplomats for Carleton University where she is a Senior Fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. In addition to the orientation provided to newly-elected Members of Parliament following the 2011, 2015 and 2019 elections, she provides an annual orientation to newly-arrived foreign diplomats to Canada and has organized more than 35 policy events for both communities. She is also a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
Having lived in Vancouver, New York, Hong Kong, Ottawa, Los Angeles and Washington, Maureen has worked in politics, the media, at Rideau Hall and in government, including as a senior political staffer, national political and current affairs reporter and host for television news, communications advisor and public policy analyst. As chair of the national nonprofit organization HIPPY Canada, she led its transition to the Mothers Matter Centre and is now its founding and past chair. She is a member of Politics and the Pen, and she has also served as vice-chair of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and chair of the Ottawa Public Library Foundation literary evenings.
In 2012, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal and Ontario’s Leading Women Building Communities Award in 2016. Maureen has a Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University in New York and an Honours B.A. in Political Science from the University of British Columbia.
Yaroslav Baran is a Principal at Earnscliffe, leading its communications practice, dedicating his energies to strategic communications mapping, executive speech writing, and crisis management. He also leads Earnscliffe’s media training practice in Ottawa. He advises many clients on government relations and is also Earnscliffe’s senior parliamentary advisor with an esoteric, unique understanding of House of Commons procedure.
Mr. Baran served as Director of Communications in former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s leadership campaign. He also directed the Conservative Party’s communications and media relations during the 2004, 2006 and 2008 national election campaigns as Senior Communications Advisor and Director of War Room Communications.
He started his career managing parliamentary procedural matters in the Office of the Chief Opposition Whip, before becoming legislative assistant to a senior Ontario Member of Parliament. He was later appointed Senior Communications Manager in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition under Mr. Harper.
He joined Earnscliffe in 2007 and was asked a year later by the prime minister to help the government by serving as Chief of Staff to the Government Whip, and subsequently, as Chief of Staff to the Government House Leader. He rejoined Earnscliffe in 2010. In addition to his governmental and public affairs work, Mr. Baran has also helped lead a number of democratic development projects, from Eastern Europe to Africa to Southeast Asia.
The Hamilton native is a frequent media commentator on federal political affairs.
Audrey O’Brien is Clerk Emeritus of the House of Commons. She served from 2005 to 2015 as the first woman and the eleventh clerk of the House since Confederation. In 2015, she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions in the administration of the House of Commons. Her career as a parliamentary public servant spanned more than 30 years, serving seven speakers and members of 10 Parliaments. She worked with Commonwealth parliaments, notably as secretary to the Conference of Commonwealth Speakers.
During her tenure, Ms. O’Brien was the senior adviser on parliamentary procedure and practice to the speaker of the House of Commons, the House and its committees. She was the secretary to the Board of Internal Economy, the all-party body responsible for setting policy and budgets for the support of members in their parliamentary functions. She chaired the Clerk’s Management Group, a committee of the six senior managers; together they provided the range of expertise required to support the institution in procedure, law, security, facilities and service management, finance, human resources and technology.
Ms. O’Brien is co-editor of the second edition of House of Commons Procedure and Practice.
Ms. O’Brien is a member of the Order of Canada.
Fen Osler Hampson is a former Director of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) (2000-2012). He is currently Chancellor’s Professor and Professor of International Affairs in the School.
Professor Hampson served as Director of the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) and is the President of the World Refugee & Migration Council.
Professor Hampson holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University where he also received his A.M. degree (both with distinction). He also holds an MSc. (Econ.) degree (with distinction) from the London School of Economics and a B.A. (Hon.) from the University of Toronto. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he is the author or co-author of 14 books and editor or co-editor of 30 other volumes. In addition, he has written more than 100 articles and book chapters on international affairs. His most recent books are Braver Canada: Shaping Our Destiny in a Precarious World (co-author), the Routledge Handbook of Peace, Security and Development (co-editor), Diplomacy and the Future of World Order (co-author), and Master of Persuasion: Brian Mulroney’s Global Legacy.
He is the recipient of several major awards, including a Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Studies Association, a research and writing award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and a Jennings Randolph Peace Fellowship from the United States Institute of Peace. He was recognized as one of the top 50 people influencing Canada’s foreign policy by Embassy Magazine in 2009 and one of the top 80 in 2012 in a list that includes Cabinet ministers, senior public officials, lobbyists and members of the media; and one of the top 8 “thinkers” category in the Hill Times list of the top 100 people influencing Canadian foreign policy in 2014.
He is a frequent commentator and contributor in the national and international media. His articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, Foreign Policy Magazine, Foreign Affairs, the National Post, iPolitics and elsewhere. He is a frequent commentator on the BBC, CBC, CTV, and Global news networks.
Jennifer Brooy is an accomplished international Financial Executive, with 30+ years of domestic and international financing experience, inclusive of complex project and structured financing, commercial and corporate lending, and private equity and venture capital investing. She has executed and/or managed over $5 billion of transactions with a track-record of successful returns and has transacted in 20+ countries, including emerging markets.
Jennifer is a business strategist and leader of innovative and enterprise-wide transformation. She designed and built a major global investment practice with a unique value proposition for business-to-business connection. She designed, championed, and led a corporate-wide multi-year, multi-million-dollar enterprise risk management (ERM) transformation, with input from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI).
Jennifer is an accredited (ICD.D) and seasoned Board Director offering 20+ years of intimate engagement at the Board-level and is a graduate of the Director Education Program , Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Management, York University. She has served on several corporate and not-for-profit boards, and as an advisor to fund investment boards.
Jennifer is an enthusiastic entrepreneurial thinker and business-builder with a passion for technological advancement, equal and fair opportunity, and sustainability, based on a foundation of good governance.
Élisabeth Châtillon is a former executive with the Government of Canada. As Assistant Deputy Minister for Indian Affairs and Northern Development, she was responsible for administering the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, the largest class action in the history of the country, as well as providing services to status Indians. Prior to that, as Assistant Deputy Minister, she set up the Operations branch of the newly created Service Canada and was responsible for the modernization and automation of Employment Insurance as well as the launch of the new CPP/OAS system.
Previously, she served as Director General of International Relations at the Department of Communications before serving as Assistant Deputy Minister for Canadian Heritage and Parks Canada as well as Assistant Commissioner for the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency for the Quebec region.
Since her retirement in 2013, Ms. Châtillon has served as past chair of the Alliance Française and as a board member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, HIPPY Canada and the Mothers Matter Centre. She also volunteers at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.
Ms. Châtillon holds a Master’s degree in History from the University of Ottawa and a doctoral DEA in International Relations from the Université de Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne.
As Managing Principal and Vice Chair of the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation, Graham brings to the firm two decades of executive-level experience in the fields of politics, public policy, public affairs and government relations.
Prior to joining the firm, Graham spent ten years as President and CEO of the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP), Canada’s leading multidisciplinary think tank. He was a strategic policy adviser at the law firm of Fraser Milner Casgrain (now Dentons LLP), where he assisted clients in managing their relationships with government. Graham has also held senior positions in politics, including chief of staff to the leader of a federal political party, press secretary to a national leadership campaign and candidate in a provincial election.
A policy entrepreneur, Graham’s main research interests are federalism and intergovernmental affairs, democratic renewal and citizen engagement. He holds an undergraduate degree in history from Queen’s University, where he was a Loran Scholar, and a master’s degree in political science from the London School of Economics. In the community, he is a director of the Parliamentary Centre and of Le Gesù – Centre de créativité, a creative arts space in Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles. He is also a member of the School of Policy Studies board of advisors at Queen’s University.
A frequent media analyst in both English and French, he is the co-editor with Jennifer Ditchburn of The Harper Factor (2016), an analysis of the policy impact of Canada’s 22nd prime minister.
Shuvaloy Majumdar is a Munk Senior Fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. He brings experience in global affairs at its highest levels, and in the foreign policy issues formative to the last decade. In Ottawa, between 2011 and 2015, he served as the policy director to successive Canadian foreign ministers, as well as senior policy advisor to its minister for international development, assisting the prime minister and his cabinet to navigate key issues of international security and the global economy.
Shuvaloy was based in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006 to 2010, where he led the International Republican Institute (IRI), a Washington-based nonpartisan organization chaired by US Senator John McCain dedicated to advancing democratic development. He was responsible for the Institute’s largest programs, including a broad range of strategic initiatives designed to engage local and national leaders, to assess public opinion through extensive research, and to strengthen independent media and communications. This overseas experience complemented his co-founding of an anti-human trafficking organization in Southeast Asia between 2000 and 2003, for which he was recognized with the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal.
Bridging practice with theory, Shuvaloy was a visiting foreign policy scholar at the University of British Columbia’s Liu Institute for Global Studies from 2010 to 2012. His research areas included counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism, empowering Arab democrats against extremism, social media and disruptive technology, and US foreign policy in the Middle East and Asia.
Hon. Ross Reid
Ross Reid has been involved in government and politics in Canada since 1975. Mr. Reid served as a Member of Parliament and Minister in the Government of Canada and as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Finance and Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister. In the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador he has been Chief of Staff in the Office of two Premiers and Deputy Minister in three branches of the Executive Council.
Ross Reid has participated in and led municipal, provincial and federal election campaigns in Canada. He also served as the National Director of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1997 to 1999.
Since 1994 Mr. Reid has served with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Ukraine, Ghana, Kosova, and Afghanistan. He has advised on and conducted democratic development programs in more than 30 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe with a focus on political parties, elections, parliaments and civil society.
Dr. Lori Turnbull is the Director of the School of Public Administration at Dalhousie University. She is a fellow at the Public Policy Forum, a freelance writer with The Globe and Mail, and the deputy editor for Canadian Government Executive magazine. Her research and teaching focus on parliamentary politics and governance, democratic institutions, and public and political ethics.
She has published in Canadian Public Administration, Canadian Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law, Canadian Parliamentary Review, How Ottawa Spends, the Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution, and has authored numerous book chapters.
Her book Democratizing the Constitution: Reforming Responsible Government, co-authored with Peter Aucoin and Mark Jarvis, won the Donner Prize in 2011 and the Donald Smiley Prize in 2012. With Oxford University Press, she has edited the forthcoming Politics: An Introduction (third edition) with George MacLean and Duncan Wood.
Farhaan Ladhani is the CEO of Digital Public Square. For over a decade, Mr. Ladhani has been leading efforts on the use of digital tools to connect people. From 2014-2015 he served as the Senior Advisor for Digital in the Office of the Prime Minister. Prior to this, Mr. Ladhani was the Deputy Director for Direct Diplomacy at Global Affairs Canada – an initiative focused on engaging with non-state political actors seeking to increase the openness, inclusiveness and responsiveness of their political systems.
Mr. Ladhani’s foreign assignments include the Head of Section for Strategic Communications in Kandahar where he led a team of Afghan, US, Canadian, and international partners responsible for executing strategic communications and public engagement initiatives throughout Kandahar Province. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. Ladhani was based in Washington, D.C. at the Embassy of Canada where he focused on the development of social and new media initiatives.
In 2011, Mr. Ladhani was a Principal at Cloud to Street, a project to connect Egyptian democracy activists with technology expertise and to better understand the intersection between cyberspace and political space in the Egyptian revolution.
Mr. Ladhani is a Senior Fellow in Public Policy at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
Phedely Ariste is a lawyer at Gowling WLG in Ottawa. Fully bilingual, Phedely represents individuals, professionals, public entities, not-for-profit organizations and private companies in both English and French. His legal practice focuses on civil litigation, medical malpractice, professional liability and administrative law. Phedely’s practice experience also includes general commercial disputes and sports law matters.
Phedely received his law degree from the University of Ottawa, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He completed his degree in the dual Juris Doctor and Political Science program. He was a member of the Dean’s Honour List for academic excellence and he was the graduating recipient of the Common Law Section Dean’s Award in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the law school community. During his articles, he completed a secondment term in the Legal and Regulatory Affairs group of Canada’s largest telecommunications company.
Phedely has proven experience in the political and public policy arena. As a part of his practice, he advises and assists clients with government relations matters and regulatory issues. His background also includes working on Parliament Hill for the Independent Senators Group where he regularly performed strategic review of various bills and reports tabled before Parliament and provided counsel to senators on a wide range of issues.
Throughout his studies, Phedely held a number of positions, including working as a senior editor of the
Ottawa Law Review, a teaching assistant in both Constitutional Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution, and a research assistant to the vice-dean. He was also selected to complete a legal internship at a full-service community legal clinic in Cape Town, South Africa.
Phedely is an active member of the Ottawa community and he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks. He has founded student mentorship programs and remains highly involved in various community mentorship initiatives. He regularly volunteers with several local not-for-profit organizations.
Phedely is a member of the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario, the County of Carleton Law Association, the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Bar Association.
Kerry Buck was most recently Assistant Secretary to the Treasury Board, Economic Sector, from 2018 to 2021. Prior to that, she was Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to NATO from 2015 to 2018. Ms. Buck is a career diplomat who was Political Director and Assistant Deputy Minister for International Security and Political Affairs, and served in Assistant Deputy Minister positions on Afghanistan, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Director General for the Middle East and Maghreb. Earlier in her career she was posted to the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
Ms Buck led Canadian government Task Forces for Afghanistan, Russia/Ukraine, Syria, Mali, the Haiti earthquake and other foreign policy and humanitarian crises. Throughout her diplomatic career, she supported Prime Ministers and Foreign. Ministers at the G7 and NATO Summits and represented Canada at the UN, G7, NATO, OAS and OSCE on issues of human rights, security, disarmament, terrorism and humanitarian affairs. She represented Canada on international negotiation of Women, Peace and Security issues from 1992 to 2018, helping build international law and practice on combatting gender-based violence.
Ms. Buck also served in the Privy Council Office, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the International Development Research Centre, the Constitutional Law Bureau of the Office of the Attorney General of Ontario and the Ontario Native Affairs Directorate.
She is currently a senior fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, senior fellow at the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at the University of Toronto, Senior Mentor at the Canadian Forces College and member of the Boards for the Conference of Defence Associations Institute and the Réseau d’Analyse Stratégique.
Anne McGrath is the National Director of the New Democratic Party.
Anne has been actively involved in all levels of the NDP, federally and provincially. She has been Chief of Staff to several NDP Leaders including federal NDP Leader Jack Layton and was a key strategist in all his campaigns.
As Chief of Staff she is credited with professionalizing caucus operations and with helping organize the party’s historic breakthrough to Official Opposition status. Following Layton’s untimely death she served as the National Director of the federal NDP and Campaign Manager in the 2015 election campaign.
She was portrayed by Wendy Crewson in the 2013 CBC film “Jack”. McGrath was a key member of Rachel Notley’s transition team when the Alberta NDP formed government in 2015 and was a trusted advisor to Premier Notley in a variety of roles including Deputy Chief of Staff, Principal Secretary, and Executive Director for southern Alberta.
She has been a frequent commentator in the national media and has been identified as one of the 100 most influential people in government and politics in Ottawa.
She was the NDP candidate in Calgary-Varsity in the May 2019 Alberta election.
Marci Surkes spent 15 years serving as a political aide on Parliament Hill, most recently in senior roles advising the Prime Minister and members of the federal cabinet. As Executive Director of Policy and Cabinet Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office from 2019-2022, Ms. Surkes led a team that provided strategic advice to the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, on policy spanning the entirety of federal jurisdiction. She collaborated closely with officials in the Privy Council Office to implement the government’s mandate through setting the agenda for Cabinet. Ms. Surkes was centrally involved in the federal government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the development of the new national system for Early Learning and Child Care, and the transition for the return to government following the 2021 general election. She acted as Chief of Staff in the PMO during the writ period.
Prior to her appointment in PMO, Ms. Surkes served from 2015 to 2019 as Chief of Staff to the Hon. Ralph Goodale, then Minister of Public Safety. She helped to develop legislation (Bill C-59) to establish a renewed framework promoting heightened transparency for federal security agencies and institutions. She also played a leadership role in coordinating the federal response to emergencies including the 2016 wildfires in Ft. McMurray.
From 2007 to 2015, Ms. Surkes held several senior positions serving the Liberal caucus and leadership in the House of Commons. She led the policy team for the federal Liberal campaign during the 2019 general election and was a key contributor to the electoral platforms in 2019, 2015 and 2011, spearheading the use of gender-based analysis tools for policy endorsed by those campaigns.
Additionally, Ms. Surkes has been a fellow in the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management at Carleton University since 2017, where she regularly engages with students as a guest lecturer and mentor.
Before her career in politics, Ms. Surkes worked as a student journalist with the Ottawa Citizen and the CBC.
Originally from Montreal, Ms. Surkes holds a B.C.L. and an L.L.B. from the Faculty of Law at McGill University and a BA (Hons) in Politics and Journalism from Brandeis University.