CIC Victoria Branch Executives’ Biographies

Chris Kilford


Chris served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 36 years. In the latter part of his career, he was the Acting Director Future Security Analysis in the Department of National Defence, Deputy Director of the team writing the Canada First Defence Strategy and the Military Liaison Officer between the Canadian Armed Forces and the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence. Later, he deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan as the Deputy Military Attaché in the Canadian Embassy from July 2009 until July 2010, followed by Turkish language training and a posting to Ankara, Turkey as the Canadian Defence Attaché with cross accreditation to Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkmenistan from July 2011 until July 2014.

Chris retired from the military in September 2014. He holds a PhD in history from Queen’s University and today is a member of the CIC National Board, a Fellow at the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy, an Associate Faculty member at Royal Roads University, a Sessional Professor at the Royal Military College of Canada & the Canadian Forces College and co-editor of CIC’s online foreign affairs magazine Open Canada.

Marilyn MacLean Denton

Vice President

Marilyn MacLean Denton retired in Victoria after 27 years working for the federal government. Among her assignments with Global Affairs Canada were five years as Trade Commissioner for Vancouver Island, Senior Trade Commissioner for Pakistan and Afghanistan, and International Education Marketing officer Asia Pacific branch. She also worked in the private sector on various contracts and was one of two founding staff for the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America, the Fulbright Scholarship Program. In retirement, she is active with St. Matthias Anglican Church, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Associates Wholesale Book Initiative, on the Board of Directors for Rogers Court (a 24-unit low-income seniors’ housing), gardening and music.

Patricia Crossley

Secretary and Membership

Patricia is an educator who holds an MA in French Language and Literature and worked mostly in French during her career. She has lived, worked, or studied in six different countries and has been a resident of Victoria for just over twenty years. During that time, however, she and her husband, Rod, spent 6 months of every year for 16 years in rural Kenya, where they did volunteer work in education and community development. As a result of the volunteer work in Africa, she and Rod were awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 2016 by the Government of Canada. After the charitable organisation in Kenya closed, Patricia served as President of the Rotary Club of Victoria and as President of Christ Church Cathedral Education Society, and chair of the school board.

Roger Love


Roger 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.

Jim Boutilier

Member at Large

Dr. James Boutilier was the former Special Advisor (Policy) at Canada’s Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters in Esquimalt, British Columbia and retired in 2020. He was responsible for advising the Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific on matters of defence and foreign policy and maritime security in the Asia Pacific region. Prior to his appointment at MARPAC, Dr. Boutilier spent twenty-four years on staff at the Royal Roads Military College in Victoria as Head of the History Department and then as Dean of Arts. Dr. Boutilier’s field of expertise is Asia-Pacific defence and security. Some of his recent lectures have focused on the Canadian Navy’s role in the Asia-Pacific, the new Asian security architecture, Northeast Asian security issues, and the new naval order in Asia. Dr. Boutilier lectures frequently at the NATO Defense College, the Canadian Forces College, the Australian Defence College, and the National Defense University of the Philippines.

Alan Breakspear

Member at Large

Alan 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.

Jennifer Button

Member at Large

Jennifer is an independent justice and governance consultant, following a 28-year career as legal counsel with the British Columbia Ministry of Justice. During her tenure at the Ministry of Justice, Jennifer provided legal and policy advice particularly on constitutional law, but also environmental law, gender issues, human rights law, judicial independence, rule of law, and intellectual property. She has also volunteered with the Canadian Bar Association (chiefly, the International Law section), the American Bar Association-UNDP International Legal Resource Center (ILRC) in Washington, and Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, among other organizations. Her international work includes working as a Visiting Professional with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, providing advice as a gender expert to UNDP Belarus, conducting training on principles of constitutional law for the judges and senior staff of the Supreme Court of Somaliland, and writing reports for the Commonwealth Secretariat and Canada’s Department of National Defence.

Phil Calvert

Member at Large

Philip is a Senior Fellow with the China Institute of the University of Alberta, a Senior Research Associate with the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives at the University of Victoria, and an Honorary Research Associate at Vancouver Island University. He served in Beijing as a Trade Commissioner (1984-87), Economic Counsellor (1994-1997) and Minister & Deputy Head of Mission (2004-2008). In Global Affairs Canada he served as Director General for North Asia, Deputy Chief Negotiator for Canada during China’s accession to the WTO and as Director of the Technical Barriers to Trade Division. Most recently he spent 2012-2016 as Canada’s ambassador to Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.


Member at Large

Mary has worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She was the Member of Parliament for Capilano-Howe Sound from 1984-93 and served as Associate Minister of National Defence, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women and Minister of Health. She has been involved in projects to support women in political life in Vietnam, Ukraine and Mongolia and spent five years living in Russia working on health policy.

Heather Currie

Member at Large

Heather has been a member of the Canadian International Council (CIC) since 2018 and has volunteered for several CIC projects, the most recent supporting the Foreign Policy By Canadians effort. She has twenty-four years of experience in the non-profit, public, and private sectors and in 2019, earned a BA (history) with Distinction from the University of Victoria with a focus on the Middle East. Her most recent publication appeared in Afkar: The Undergraduate Journal of Middle East Studies (2020) which focused on the Partition of Palestine in 1947-1948. While completing her BA, and with the support of the Royal United Services Institute – Vancouver Island, Heather also conducted an oral history project, which involved interviewing former members of the Canadian Armed Forces about their roles as former military attachés in various countries. Heather is also enrolled in the MA War Studies program at the Royal Military College and is the Research Program Manager for Borders in Globalization at the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria.

Behram Dadachanji

Member at Large

Behram was born and spent his formative years in India. He is a Chartered Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor, with additional certifications in risk management and related assurance activities. He has extensive financial, audit and operational management experience gained across five continents. He has held senior positions in both the private and public sectors in Canada & internationally. Immediately prior to retiring in 2016, Behram headed the Internal Audit function at the University of Victoria.

Over the years, Behram has served on several not-for-profit Boards (including a 3-year term as Treasurer for the United Way of Greater Victoria). He has also been a member of various Finance & Audit Committees and continues to serve Boards in an advisory capacity.

Behram and his family immigrated to Canada in 1989 and have since called Victoria their home. He enjoys travelling and loves spending quality time with his family, especially with his 4-year-old grandson.

francesca Guetchev

Member at Large

Francesca Guetchev is a dedicated Analyst and Special Projects security professional at MOSAIC, a leading firm in the private security, intelligence, and investigative risk and crisis management industry. With a keen interest in international security and geopolitics, Francesca is passionate and deeply committed to fostering meaningful dialogue to advance both Canadian foreign policy and international affairs. Holding a Master’s degree in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Francesca specialized in the privatization of security and international law, with an emphasis on physical and cyber battle spaces, as well as the evolving nature of conflict. Prior to this, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of Victoria. Before transitioning into the private sector, Francesca cultivated valuable experience in the public sector while working for National Defence Canada, Executive Operations for various Deputy Ministers, and a Cabinet Minister. Her diverse career also includes positions in oil and gas and aviation. In addition to her professional endeavors, Francesca devotes her time to a non-profit organization focused on combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery, demonstrating her commitment to making a positive impact in the world.

Mallin Jiang

Member at Large

As an individual who cherishes education and international experience, Mallin grew up in-Shanghai before first moving to the Cayman Islands, after which she moved to Canada and became a Canadian citizen. Mallin’s time in Shanghai, an international trade and financial center, where she witnessed the ascension of modern China and its economic miracle taught her the value of free-market principles and global trade. While in the Cayman Islands, a British Commonwealth country, she was exposed to the value of a strong legal and judicial system, as evidenced by the world’s confidence in its banking system. Canada gave Mallin citizenship as a refugee fleeing hurricane Ivan, but more importantly, it continues to demonstrate the value of a strong democracy which has provided the freedom and stability to establish her career, advance her education with a Master’s degree in international business, and assists her in launching her future endeavours.

Mallin is currently managing the International Contract Training unit at Royal Roads University (RRU) and is responsible for developing and implementing international customized training programs for a diverse range of international students and professionals from Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. Prior to joining the Professional and Continuing Studies team in February 2019, Mallin managed onshore international recruitment partners across multiple markets, both domestic and international, hosted delegations and visiting scholars, and liaised academic collaboration projects for the University. During her 14-year career at RRU, Mallin has been instrumental in developing and cultivating strategic relationships with key international partners, such as acting as the key liaison for China-Canada relations and supporting trade missions. Above and beyond her career at RRU, Mallin is engaged in facilitating international trade and investment opportunities, and community service such as fundraising events with the potential to bring diverse and vibrant culture to local communities. She strives to influence real change in the world through her advocacy in education, entrepreneurship, and cross-culture exchange while continuing to advance her professional career, expanding her leadership capacity, and developing more opportunities for the global community.

Mallin’s near-term goals include further expanding her knowledge in the digital industry by acquiring new computer coding skills, supporting the development and launch of a new tech company, and becoming more involved in international trade in regions beyond Asia. Mallin earned a Master of Global Management Degree and a Graduate Certificate in Asia Pacific Trade and Investment from Royal Roads University. She was a successful recipient of the Irving K Barber One World Scholarship in 2019.

Adrian Norfolk

Member at Large

Adrian Norfolk holds a BA in geography from the University of Victoria, and a BEd in geography and economics from the University of London, UK. He joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada as a Foreign Service officer in 1994 after a 14-year career with the World University Service of Canada (including postings in Nigeria, Malawi, and Sri Lanka). In Ottawa, Adrian served as the deputy director with the Human Rights Division, director of the Policy and Advocacy Division of the Afghanistan Task Force, special adviser with the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force, and coordinator of the Interdepartmental Task Force on International Critical Incidents. Abroad, he served as third, then second secretary at the Canadian mission in Malaysia (1995-98) and as counsellor (political) in both India (2004-08) and Afghanistan (2008-09). In 2011-12, Adrian established and headed the Office of the Embassy of Canada in South Sudan, and in 2015-18 he was Ambassador of Canada to Qatar. In 2018, he became Chargé d’Affaires in Sudan, and in 2020 Canada`s first resident ambassador to Sudan. Adrian retired in January 2022. He is married to Ruth Norfolk and they have three grown-up sons.

Jonathan Manthorpe

Member at Large

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 and is the author of Forbidden Nation: A History of Taiwan (2008), Claws of the Panda (2018) and Restoring Democracy in an Age of Populists and Pestilence (2020). Jonathan 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. He is currently working on his memoirs and a fourth book.

Brenda Schoepp

Member at Large

Brenda brings a global perspective on food system leadership and in her decades of independent farming has developed regenerative practices and served in leadership roles provincially, nationally and internationally in agriculture and agri-food, finance, policy, research and animal health. She was awarded the Lord Nuffield Scholarship in 2012, which allowed her to investigate and develop mentorship programs for women and girls in global agriculture. In 2019, she earned her Master of Arts in Global Leadership from Royal Roads University (RRU), researching Global Food Systems Leadership and completed her United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) courses on Food Security and Rural Community Development.

Brenda is also the recipient of awards in leadership, diversity, communication and as an author. An active advocate for equality and acceptance and an inspiring speaker, she fosters her global reach by focusing on youth, mentoring young entrepreneurs, and providing leadership training through Global Food Lead. Brenda is also appointed to the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council, which is tasked with co-creating the nation’s first food policy.

LCdr Paul Seguna (retired)

Member at Large

Paul served in the Canadian Armed Forces, in both the Regular and Reserve components, for over 42 years and retired in 2017. During his career, he served at sea with the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, as the Flag Lieutenant (Aide de Camp) to the Commander Maritime Forces Pacific and later as the Public Affairs Officer for Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. Paul transferred to the Public Affairs Branch in 1992, serving in a variety of positions, including overseas with UN and NATO missions in Rwanda, Kosovo and Bosnia and in his last four years of service he was posted to NATO’s Allied Maritime Command Headquarters in London, UK. Paul also holds a BA in history from Dalhousie University and he has had a lifelong interest in art, especially aviation and marine themes. He is a founding member of the Canadian Aerospace Artists Association with his artwork having been on exhibit in aviation and military museums and used in aviation history books.

Reeta Tremblay

Member at Large

Reeta Tremblay is Professor Emerita of Comparative Politics and Global South at the University of Victoria. During her career, she has held several administrative positions including Vice President Academic and Provost at the University of Victoria; Vice President (Academic) and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Pro Tem) at Memorial University in Newfoundland; Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Memorial; and, Chair, department of Political Science at Concordia University, Montreal. She is Past President of the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA), Canadian Asian Studies (CASA), and the Canadian Council of Area Studies of Learned Societies. Reeta also holds an MA and PhD. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and an MPhil degree from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. She has authored or co-authored several books, articles, and reviews. Her work is widely reviewed and cited – in particular, her writings on Kashmir and India-Pakistan relations, a subject on which she is widely considered the leading North American expert.

Reeta’s selected recent publications include: “Unpacking the Equity Myth: Diversity and Leadership Deficit” (2023); “The Political Economy of Natural Resource Funds” (2021 with Eyene Okpanachi); “Religion and Politics in Jammu and Kashmir” (2020) “India: Federalism, Nationalism, and the Marginalized – Covid India” (2020); “Kashmir Elections: A Precursor to ‘No More Two Flags, Two Constitutions” (2019); “Modi’s Foreign Policy”; “Contested Governance, Competing Nationalisms, and Disenchanted Publics: Kashmir beyond Intractability?” (2017); “Kashmir’s Contentious Politics: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same” (2015). She also has contributed policy commentaries on Kashmir and South Asian regional politics to South Asia Monitor (New Delhi-based think tank, Society for Policy Studies) and to Kashmir Connected (UK). In 2015, she was recognized as one of the top 40 prominent Indo-Canadians and was profiled in The Indian Diaspora’ A-List.

Chris Weicker

Member at Large

Colonel (retired) Chris Weicker is a native of Victoria, British Columbia. He attended the University of Victoria where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science in 1982. At the same time, he was an officer in the local Communication Reserve unit and a father of two children. In 1983, he transferred to the Regular Force, serving in Army and communication units in Canada and Germany. His last posting was as Canada’s Defence Attaché in Beijing, China, He has a combined military service of more than 36 years.

On retirement in 2013, he and his wife, Major (retired) Evamarie Weicker, completed a Bachelor of Arts in Pacific and Asian Studies with a focus on Chinese language, history, geography and culture at the University of Victoria. He continued to study Chinese history by completing a Master of History at University of Victoria. His thesis was on the secret history of young Chinese Canadians who volunteered for very dangerous duties behind enemy lines during the last few years of the Second World War. Finally, he completed in April 2023 a two-year German language and culture proficiency certificate. He joined CIC in May 2023.