Ottawa Foreign Policy Initiative

The CIC Ottawa Foreign Policy Initiative was formed in 2008 by the National Capital Branch.

The Initiative has the following mission:

To bring together senior members of the Public Service who shoulder international responsibilities
with experts from the policy community outside government in order to analyse major foreign policy issues confronting Canada, forecast opportunities and challenges in the medium term and assess the direction and effectiveness of
current policy in light of the forecast.

The fifteen events that the Initiative has sponsored since its inception have gone a long way to realizing the original vision. They fall into three categories:

  • Small seminars, normally but not always held under the Chatham House Rule to allow the attendance and active participation of government officials.
  • Lunchtime sessions with the Initiative’s advisory council and one senior official, usually of deputy minister status.
  • Public conferences.

The co-chairs of the Initiative are Peter Fawcett; Alex Goddard; and Gerry Wright They are usually assisted by ad hoc teams formed to organize specific events. The co-chairs would be keen to hear from anyone interested in working with the Initiative or with suggestions for its future activities.

The Initiative is guided by an advisory council headed by Mel Cappe, O.C. of the School of Public Policy and Governance of the University of Toronto (and a former Clerk of the Privy Council). The members are: Derek H. Burney, O.C., Louise Fréchette, O.C., Anne Golden, C.M., Professor Fen Hampson, the Hon. Peter Harder, Dr. Jennifer Jeffs, Professor Luc Juillet, Ambassador Gaëtan Lavertu, Alex Neve, O.C., Don Newman, C.M., Professor Irvin Studin, and Jodi White, C.M.

Events Sponsored or Co-Sponsored by the Foreign Policy Initiative

The Changing World Order: What Will It Mean for Canadian Foreign Policy in 2014? Private seminar
March 12, 2009

Global Security in 2014: Assessing Strategies of Intervention Private Seminar, May 29, 2009
May 29, 2009

Policy Issues in Global Financial Reform Private Seminar, June 10, 2009
June 10, 2009

Positioning Canada for the Africa of 2015 Private Seminar
November 18, 2009

The World in 2015: Implications for Canada Public Conference
January 21-22, 2010

Advisory Council meeting with Morris Rosenberg, Deputy Minister of International Affairs
September 23, 2010

Does the CIC Report “Open Canada” Open the Door to a More Effective Foreign Policy? Public Seminar
October 28, 2010

Drugs, Violence & Hemispheric Security: Implications and Options for Canada Private Seminar
April 27, 2011

Interests and Roles of Non-Arctic States in the Arctic Private Seminar
October 5, 2011

U.S. Foreign Policy after the 2012 Election Public Seminar
October 16, 2012

Could Mali be the Next Afghanistan? Public Seminar
December 12, 2012

After the Eurocrisis – Prospects for Europe and Beyond Private Seminar | Public Panel with Daniela Schwarzer and Patrick Leblond
April 2013 | February 6, 2013

Advisory Council meeting with Simon Kennedy, Deputy Minister of International Trade
March 25, 2013

The Future of Russia Private Seminar
March 19, 2014

Power Shifts and Vibrant Economies: Canada Awakens to the Opportunities and Risks in Southeast Asia Public Conference
November 25, 2014