Victoria became a Branch of the forerunner Canadian Institute of International Affairs (CIIA) in 1936. In 2016, with over 250 members, it became the second most active CIC branch, next to Ottawa.

Victoria is the centre of the Capital Regional District’s 386,000 inhabitants. No longer the sleepy ‘Tudor’ coastal town of years ago, it is a vibrant community blessed with marvellous weather. The capital of British Columbia, Victoria is also home to academia (two universities and a large community college), manufacturing (ship and aircraft building and repair), research and development, global business, and home of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Pacific Fleet. A significant percentage of the region’s population have government, diplomatic, military, business, and academia backgrounds. Bordering on the large maritime domain of the Indo-Pacific region, it is not surprising that there is a great interest in international affairs.

Victoria Branch events include top quality speakers at monthly luncheons which are held at the Union Club of BC. Topics this past year have included: “What’s goin’ on? – The US election – impacts on Canada” by Harvey Rishikof (former policy advisor to President Obama); “Canadian Foreign Policy-We’re not ‘back’ yet” by Stephen Toope (Director of Munk School of Global Affairs); “The importance of security and intelligence issues in Canadian life today” by Dick Fadden (former National Security Advisor).

The Branch also hosts ‘Politics in the Pub’, which are an informal evenings of panel discussions on various topics drawing on local expertise. Topics have included: “Taiwan – China Relations”; “The new Government’s emerging foreign policy”; “Canada’s relationship with China”; and “Brexit, EU, Canada”.

The Branch partners with both the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University on subjects and scholarships of international interest.

New members are welcome and should contact the Branch Secretary at CIC.Victoria.Sec@gmail.com and register on line at http://thecic.org/get-involved/become-a-member .

Welcome aboard!

Cam Ross
President, CIC Victoria Branch

Branch Executive

PRESIDENT: Major-General (ret’d) Cam Ross has had 40 years of military service including as the Colonel of the Regiment of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). He was the UN Force Commander on the Golan Heights and also served with the UN in Cyprus, Angola, and at UN HQ in New York.  Commands included Land Forces Atlantic Area, the Combat Training Centre, CFBs Gagetown and Edmonton, and LdSH(RC). Private sector experience includes strategic security reviews of nine Caribbean countries, VP for International Relations for Emergo Canada, and military advisor for EnCana.  A former Executive Fellow of University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, he is on the boards of commercial and non-profit organizations and military advisor to ‘No Stone Left Alone’.

VICE-PRESIDENT: David Collins was a career foreign service officer for over thirty years serving as Canadian ambassador/ high commissioner to Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Pakistan, Malaysia, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan.  In Ottawa, he held senior positions with the International Trade Minister; at National Defence, and the inspector general. In NATO HQ, he worked in the Canadian Delegation and as Director Defence Partnership and Cooperation on the International Staff. In his early life he was also commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy.  David holds BA, BComm and MSc degrees from Queens, Concordia and Durham universities. In “retirement”, he serves as a director of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute; as a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; and as a member of the programme advisory committee of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation. In 2013 he served in Kabul as interim Canadian ambassador; in 2014 he observed the presidential election in Ukraine; and in 2015 he completed a contract as a senior vice president with HSBC Singapore in the area of financial crimes compliance.

TREASURER:  Roger Love was a career banker, most recently in Asian risk management; following retirement he worked for the financial institutions regulator, OSFI, and – in Victoria – for the Provincial Ministry of Finance.  Roger is now definitely retired, but active with the outdoor hobbies for which he now has time.

 SECRETARY: Paula Skippon was a Canadian federal public servant for 32 years, working at senior executive levels in both central agencies and line departments.  Five years were also spent on international exchange with the Department of Defence in Canberra, Australia.  Since retiring to Victoria in 2002, Paula has been engaged in a variety of volunteer activities, including liaison between the RUSI Board of Directors and the University of Victoria on the Military Oral History program, and serving as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Corps of Commissionaires.

MEMBERSHIP CO-ORDINATOR: Clive Caton was born in England in 1948. He joined the RCN in 1965 as a ROTP cadet and graduated from Dalhousie University with a BSc in 1969.  He served in a variety of flying and staff tours overseas and in Canada until retirement, in 1996, flying just under 4000 hrs, principally in the CF-104 and CF-18.  His career highpoint was command of 421 squadron in Germany from 1989-91. As an Air Reserve officer and civilian, from 1999-2011, he worked as a DS and Senior DS at CFCSC, Toronto.  He is currently President and Membership Chair of RUSI VI and is married to Dr. Susan Turnbull Caton.



 Alan Breakspear was a federal public servant for 30 years, working in various departments and agencies, mainly in intelligence, and provided consulting services for several years thereafter. He moved to Victoria in 2007, where he maintains an interest in intelligence studies and is active in several professional associations.

Marc Lortie was, before retiring to Victoria in 2013, Canada’s Ambassador to France. He joined the Department of External Affairs in 1971. He served abroad in Tunisia and Washington, and was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Office in 1985 where he was in charge of relations with the international media until 1987 when he was named Press Secretary. He was Ambassador to Chile in 1993; in 1997 he was nominated Fellow at the Centre for International Affairs at Harvard University. He was Ambassador of Canada to Spain from 2004 to 2007.

Jonathan Manthorpe has worked for 40 years as a foreign correspondent and international affairs commentator for Canadian newspapers. He has been based in Europe, Africa and Asia. At the moment, he writes weekly columns for Ottawa-based iPolitics, and Vancouver-based Facts and Opinions. He also writes regular sections on Asia-Pacific for the Business in Vancouver newspaper. Manthorpe has also been involved in special projects for governments and international organizations, including work for the United Nations, the World Bank, the Asia Development Bank, the Canadian International Development Agency and various NGOs.

Anne-Marie Gagnon is a risk management professional and an emerging market specialist with over 10 years’ experience in the financial services industry. She has an extensive track record in international business development and stakeholder engagement with a focus on environmental, social and governance issues. Her academic and professional experiences as well as extra-curricular interests have gravitated around international affairs and foreign policy. She holds a certified designation as a Leading Professional in Ethics& Compliance (LPEC) delivered by the US-based Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI). Anne-Marie joined the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) in 2013 as the Equity Analyst, ESG Integration (Environmental, Social and Governance) for the Public Equities group. Prior to bcIMC, she spent 6 years at Export Development Canada (EDC) and ended her EDC tenure as the Regional Manager for Africa and the Middle East. She was mainly responsible for the business development strategy and for managing relationships with Canadian companies and their foreign counterparts. She also previously covered Latin America and Europe. From 2013 to 2016, she was the Treasurer and a director of the Board of the Cheetah Conservation Fund Canada, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to wildlife conservation in Namibia, Southern Africa. She was also an active member of CIC’s Africa and Middle East Study Groups at the National Capital Branch from 2008 to 2013.

Chris Kilford served in the Canadian military for 36 years, throughout Canada, England, Germany, Afghanistan and Turkey in various command, training, instructional and staff roles.  In 2005, he was posted to Ottawa where he became the Acting Director Future Security Analysis and later Deputy Director of the team writing the Canada First Defence Strategy.  In his last year there, he was the Military Liaison Officer between the Department of National Defence and the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.  In July 2009, Chris deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan as the Deputy Military Attaché (Lieutenant Colonel) until July 2010.  He then commenced Turkish language training and was posted to Ankara, Turkey as the Canadian Defence Attaché (Colonel) with cross accreditation to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkmenistan from July 2011 until July 2014.  Chris retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in September 2014.   In addition to his military duties, Chris completed a PhD in history (international development studies) at Queen’s in 2009 and today he is a Fellow at the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy while also teaching on-line international relations and Canadian foreign policy courses at the Canadian Forces College.  Since retirement his opinion articles have appeared in newspapers across Canada and Turkey and he has become a frequent commentator on Turkish and Middle Eastern issues for numerous media outlets.

Chris Brown was a career diplomat in Global Affairs Canada. He had headquarters assignments in international economic policy, defensive security, Asia-Pacific affairs, and international aviation. Diplomatic postings included the Caribbean, the United Nations, Charge D’Affairs in Vietnam, and Consul General in Cape Town, South Africa. He also served as Director of International Relations at the University of British Columbia, and as Special Advisor [Policy] with the Royal Canadian Navy at Maritime Forces Pacific. An International Advisor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, he has a Masters degree in Public Administration from Dalhousie University. He has recently served on the executive of the Victoria Chapter of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada. Currently, he is active in the Canadian International Council, and at Government House in Victoria.



PAST PRESIDENT: Hugh Stephens is a Distinguished Fellow at both the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Executive Fellow at the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary and Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.  He is Vice Chair of the Canadian Committee on Pacific Economic Cooperation and an Associate Faculty member of the School of Business at Royal Roads. Hugh served 28 years with DFAIT where he was ADM for Policy and Communications, and in a range of overseas and Ottawa-based assignments. Following his government career, he became Senior Vice President for Public Policy (Asia) for Time Warner, based in Hong Kong, for 10 years before returning to Victoria in 2010.

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