Dr. John Cockell is an expert in international development and human rights. He has spent the last 15+ years working for/with the United Nations in various capacities, both at headquarters and “on the ground” in places such as Mali, the DRC, Sudan and Kosovo. He is currently Chief, Strategic Planning Unit for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Early in his career, he worked for the Canadian International Development Agency and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (both since integrated into Global Affairs Canada). John is also an accomplished scholar, with numerous publications to his credit. He has held various teaching and research positions in Canada, India, Sri Lanka and the UK. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an MA in International Affairs from Carleton University, an MA in Politics from Jawaharlal Nehru University and a BA (Honours) in Political Science from the University of Alberta.
Christine Donoghue recently retired from the federal public service as the Government of Canada’s Chief Human Resources Officer, a deputy minister position within the Treasury Board Secretariat. She was previously Deputy Commissioner of Revenue, Associate Deputy Minister at Health Canada. Throughout her illustrious career, Christine also served in various assistant deputy minister positions at Natural Resources Canada, the Canada School of Public Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Public Service Commission, where she also served as Acting President. She was the first Executive Head of Policy Horizons Canada, the Government of Canada’s foresight and knowledge learning organization. Christine also spent a decade holding various political functions (Chief of Staff and Legislative Advisor to federal and provincial ministers: Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, House Leader’s Office in the Québec National Assembly, Ministère de l’enseignement supérieur du Québec et Ministère de l’agroalimentaire et des pêches du Québec). She studied law at Laval University and geology and environment at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC).
Dr. Siddika Mithani is a seasoned, well-respected, bilingual former senior executive who has performed diverse roles throughout her esteemed career as a federal public servant in the Canadian government. Starting in the scientific and regulatory world as a therapeutic drugs evaluator, she has rounded out her experience in all facets of government including programming, fiscal management, regional operations, program policy, and human resources. She has held Deputy Minister positions as President of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. She has also held an Associate Deputy Minister position at Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Assistant Deputy Minister positions at Health Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. Early in her career, Siddika worked as a hospital pharmacist as well as community pharmacist in Ontario. She is a registered pharmacist with the Ontario College of Pharmacists and was a practicing pharmacist until 2020. She holds a PhD in Psychopharmacology and a BSc in Pharmacy from the University of Aston in the UK.
Michelle Tessier was the Deputy Director Operations (DDO) of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service from December 2018 to March 2023, responsible for the overall management of Service operations, intelligence, security screening and governance. She joined the Service in 1988, working at every operational level within the organization, from Intelligence Officer to senior executive. She worked as an executive in both the Service’s Headquarters and regional offices, including as Director General of several Headquarters Branches and the Service’s Quebec regional office. Prior to her appointment as DDO, Michelle was successively Assistant Director Collection (responsible for the Service’s regional intelligence collection efforts) and Assistant Director Operations (overseeing the Headquarters Operational Branches). Michelle was the first woman in all three of those executive positions (Assistant Deputy Minister level). She holds a Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) from Carleton University. Prior to joining the Service, she worked as a journalist for several publications, including as a correspondent for the Ottawa Citizen.
They join our , including Ruth Archibald, Simon Brascoupé, Kerry Buck, Claire Citeau, Madelaine Drohan, Patricia Fuller, Daniel Jean, Margaret McCuaig-Johnston, John McNee, Alex Neve, Thao Pham, André Pratte, Nada Theodore, Lillian Thomsen, Paulette Tremblay and Artur Wilczynski.