Fresh Ideas, Growing Together

Featured Speaker: Lt. General (ret'd) the Honourable Andrew Leslie

Lt.General (ret’d) the Honourable Andrew Leslie PC, CMM, MSC, MSM, CD, MA 

General Leslie has been a soldier, a business leader and a Federal parliamentarian. His Canadian Armed Forces career included tours with artillery, armoured, mechanized infantry and parachute units. He has led at Regiment, Brigade Group, Division/Area, Joint Task Force and Army levels in domestic response, security operations, peacekeeping and war. He was responsible for the electronic warfare, cyber security and information technology elements of the Canadian Forces. Between 2006 and 2010 he was the Army Commander/Chief of Land Staff at the height of Canada’s participation in the Afghan war, responsible for the leadership of 57,000 people, their equipment, training, budgets and related infrastructure.  As the Chief of Transformation from 2010 to 2011 he led a multi-disciplinary team of both senior military personnel and public servants trying to help National Defence increase output and create new efficiencies, new organizations and new capabilities to better adapt to the future. 
 
General Leslie’s longer international missions included Germany, Cyprus, several areas within the former Yugoslavia (he was the Chief of Staff at Sector, Mission and Command levels), as well as the Commander of Joint Task Force Kabul and the NATO Deputy Commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. His Canadian awards include the Commander of the Order of Military Merit, and both the Meritorious Service Cross and Medal, and being recognized in a 2004 joint session of Parliament. In 2005 he was selected as the McNaughton Vanier-Scholar while on graduate studies at the Royal Military College. He has been awarded the Commander’s Cross by the President of Poland, and Commander of the US Legion of Merit by the President of the USA. 
 
On retirement from the Forces in 2011 he joined a large Canadian corporation as a senior Vice President, working on network operations and cyber security with US and Canadian clients. He was subsequently involved in various cyber security companies as a board director. Elected as the Federal Member of Parliament representing Orleans in October 2015, he was the Chief Government Whip and a member of the Privy Council of Canada, attending the Results and Risk Management Committee. In January 2017 the Prime Minister asked him to focus on Canada-US relations as Parliamentary Secretary for Global Affairs, and he was with the relevant cabinet committee on Trade. He has spent considerable time in the US and across Canada interacting with business leaders, Governors and Congress on trade-related issues. 
 
A graduate of numerous military courses on leadership, tactics, ethics, strategy, equipment acquisition and risk management, General Leslie’s education includes the University of Ottawa (Economics), the Royal Military College (MA/Strategic Studies), as well as executive courses at various institutions including the Harvard Business School, the Rotman School of Management and Canadian Forces Colleges. He currently lives in Ottawa, is bilingual and enjoys running, alpine skiing, the theatre and arts in general.