Defence and Security Studies Programme

Announcing the 2020 Conference on Foreign Interference in Democratic Elections, coming up on April 21

In partnership with the MacDonald-Laurier Institute

Members can register on-line via the Calendar.

Keynote dinner speaker Tom Nichols

Tom Nichols is a U.S. Naval War College University Professor, and an adjunct at the U.S. Air Force School of Strategic Force Studies and the Harvard Extension School. He is a specialist on Russian affairs, nuclear strategy, NATO issues, and a nationally-known commentator on U.S. politics and national security. He was a staff member in the United States Senate, a fellow at CSIS and the Harvard Kennedy School, and previously taught at Dartmouth, La Salle, and Georgetown. He is also a five-time undefeated 'Jeopardy!' champion, and was noted in the 'Jeopardy!' Hall of Fame after his 1994 appearances as one of the all-time best players of the game.

Afternoon Panel One: Russia

Moderator: Reid Morden, RCMI Defence and Security Studies Committee

Marcus Kolga, Macdonald-Laurier Insitute

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 the Toronto Star.

Molly McKew, New Media Frontier, and CEO of Fianna Strategies
Molly McKew is a writer and an expert on information warfare and currently serves as the narrative architect at New Media Frontier, a social media intelligence company. She served as adviser to Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, from 2009 to 2013. McKew is also CEO of Fianna Strategies, a consulting firm that advises governments, political parties, and NGOs on foreign policy and strategic communication. Her articles and analyses have been published in Politico and The Washington Post, among others, and she is a frequent commentator on TV and radio.

Afternoon Panel Two: China

Moderator: Dr. Dan Eustace, RCMI

Charles Burton, Associate Professor, Brock University, St Catharines

Charles Burton is Associate Professor at Brock University specializing in Comparative Politics, Government and Politics of China, Canada-China Relations and Human Rights. He served as Counsellor at the Canadian Embassy to China between 1991-1993 and 1998-2000. Prior to coming to Brock, Charles worked at the Communications Security Establishment of the Canadian Department of National Defence. He has published extensively on Chinese and North Korean affairs and Canada-China relations and has been commissioned to write reports on matters relating to Canada’s relations with China for agencies of the Government of Canada. Charles is a frequent commentator on Chinese affairs in newspapers, radio and TV, and is a Senior Fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

Jonathan Manthorpe, iPolitics
Jonathan Manthorpe is the author of “Forbidden Nation: A History of Taiwan,” published by Palgrave-Macmillan. He has been a foreign correspondent and international affairs columnist for nearly 40 years. He was European bureau chief for the Toronto Star and then Southam News in the late 1970s and the 1980s. In 1989 he was appointed Africa correspondent by Southam News and in 1993 was posted to Hong Kong to cover Asia. For the last few years he has been based in Vancouver, writing international affairs columns for what is now the Postmedia Group. He left the group last year and now writes for a range of newspapers and websites.

The RCMI 2019 Conference on Global Challenges to Canadian Sovereignty in the Arctic

Videos of keynote speakers the Hon Bob Rae and Prof Whitney Lackenbauer, and of the three conference panels, are available on the 'RCMI Toronto' channel on YouTube.

With deepest thanks to our 2019 conference sponsors: Clearway Law and Maxsys



Past Conferences:

2018: The RCMI/ WIIS-Canada Spring Conference

International Security in 2018: Canadian Responses to Contemporary Challenges

in partnership with The Center for National Security Studies, Canadian Forces College

2017:  The RCMI/NATO Association Spring Conference

Crisis Response: Canada and the World

2016: RCMI First Annual Spring Conference

Are We Prepared: Emergency Preparedness in the 21st Century

The Institute organizes periodic roundtable discussions ('Defence and Security Studies After Hours') presented by the Defence and Security Studies Programme. These forums are designed to allow attendees to actively participate in the discussion of current issues from terrorism to current conflicts in an informal setting after work. Depending on a speaker's schedule, luncheons are occasionally organized. Check RCMI Dispatches and our Calendar for updated information.

At the Annual General Meeting of January 25 2017, the RCMI Board of Directors announced the stand-up of the DSSCP after a hiatus of some years. The Committee held its first meeting on February 23, and its initial membership consists of:
Maj Daniel Eustace, (Ret’d) Chair
MGen Fraser Holman (Ret’d)
Capt Robert Kennedy (Ret’d)
Ms. Julie Lindhout
Mr. Reid Morden
Mr. Eric Morse
Col John Selkirk (Ret’d)

(click links for biographies)

The Defence and Security Studies Committee: Robert Kennedy, Dan Eustace, John Thompson, Julie Lindhout, John Selkirk, Reid Morden, Eric Morse.
Vignettes: Connie Carter, Fraser Holman

The Committee provides strategic guidance to, and supports planning and execution of, RCMI’s defence and security studies program initiatives and activities under the direction of the Director, Defence and Security Studies Program, who is also the Chair of the DSSPC. The DSSPC is mandated to assist the RCMI achieve its aim and mission by proposing and supporting educational activities, as well as providing insights, contacts and linkages with external organizations and persons who may also assist the RCMI achieve its aim and mission, all in accordance with the policies and direction established by the Board.