Canadian Global Affairs Institute

The Canadian Global Affairs Institute (Global Affairs) is an independent, non-partisan research institute based in Calgary with offices in Ottawa. Incorporated as a charitable organization in 2000, the institute pursues new ideas to focus the national debate and understanding of Canada's international policies with the ultimate aim of ensuring a more globally engaged Canada.

Canadian Global Affairs Institute
AbbreviationGlobal Affairs
Founded atCalgary, Alberta
TypeResearch Institute, Think Tank
PurposeTo be a catalyst for innovative Canadian global engagement
HeadquartersCalgary, Alberta and Ottawa, Ontario
AffiliationsThe School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary
Formerly called
Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute

Global Affairs believes that doing so enhances Canadian security and prosperity. Global Affairs is dedicated to educating Canadians, and particularly those who have leadership roles in shaping Canadian foreign policy, about the importance of Canada being proactive in world affairs with tangible diplomatic, military and aid assets.


The DispatchEdit

The Canadian Global Affairs Institute produces a quarterly newsletter called The Dispatch. The Dispatch invites Global Affairs fellows to provide insight on international issues of relevance to Canada.

Strategic Studies Working GroupEdit

The Strategic Studies Working Group (SSWG) is a partnership between the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and the Canadian International Council (CIC), which incorporates the former Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies. The SSWG is administered by Global Affairs which also conducts research and produces publications on security and defence issues on behalf of the partnership. All projects undertaken by the SSWG are first approved by CIC and are co-published or co e-published according to CIC standards.

The SSWG has begun to host E-Conferences on issues related to defence and security. The e-conferences are structured to take place over a number of weeks, with each week having a specific topic. The e-conferences include regular commentaries by academics and practitioners, Twitter Q&A's, live chats and major articles placed in national media.

  • The Future of Fighting conference focused on what the Canadian Forces might look like in the coming decade to reflect the changing funding and combat environment.
  • The Drone Week conference was focused on understanding some of the practical, legal and moral questions surrounding the current use of drones and the future use of unmanned aerial vehicles.

The SSWG produces Research Papers which keep in line with the partnership's purpose of focusing on defence and security topics. The Strategic Profile Canada is a project which provides a comprehensive overview of Canada's demographic, economic and military information.[2]

3Ds BlogEdit

The 3Ds Blog is a site managed by Global Affairs and provides defence and security news from Canada and around the world. Blog updates are made by Global Affairs fellows, the majority coming from Mark Collins.

Speakers SeriesEdit

The Canadian Global Affairs Institute organizes a speakers series which is annually themed on a specific topic of importance to Canadian defence, security, and foreign affairs issues. The speaking events are held quarterly in Calgary and brings together business people, academics, and praticioners to listen to some of Canada's mosat important and influential thinkers. Former speakers include Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence; Michael Bell, former diplomat; and Yuen Pau Woo, president and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada among others.[3]

Ross Munro AwardEdit

The Ross Munro Media Award was initiated, in 2002, by the Conference of Defence Associations, in concert with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Its purpose is to recognize, annually, one Canadian journalist who has made a significant and outstanding contribution to the understanding, by the general public, of Canada's defence and security issues.

Military Journalism CourseEdit

The Military Journalism Course was started in 2002 as a nine-day course which introduces university students to military journalism and the Canadian Armed Forces. The course is run in partnership with the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary and includes a combination of media-military theory in a classroom setting, coupled with field visits to Armed Forces regular and reserve units. The stated goal of the program is to enhance the military education of future Canadian journalists who will report on Canadian military activities domestically and abroad. In 2007, the program introduced its first Francophone Military Journalism course held at the Université de Montréal and Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, near Québec City.[4]

Advisory CouncilEdit

A group of advisers provide feedback on current and future programs.

Fellowship ProgramEdit


Notable alumniEdit


Global Affairs Fellows regularly provide commentary and analysis of ongoing international events in TV and print new media.[5] Its Vice-President Colin Robertson was named in Embassy Magazine 2012 edition of the "Top 80 Influencing Canada Foreign Policy".[6] The University of Pennsylvania has consistently ranked the Canadian Global Affairs Institute 4th or 5th its list of Top Think Tanks in Canada.[7][8][9]

Criticism and controversyEdit

In an article from July 2016, The Globe and Mail examines the Institutes support of Canada's $15-billion combat-vehicle sale to Saudi Arabia at a time of a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and the think tank's acceptance of donations from defense contractor General Dynamics – the parent of the arms maker in the export contract.[10]

An article in 2017 from The Huffington Post goes on to say about the Saudi Arms deal "At least four of the General Dynamics-funded institute's "fellows" wrote columns justifying the sale, including an opinion Perry published in The Globe and Mail Report on Business titled "Without foreign sales, Canada's defence industry would not survive."[11]


  1. ^ About Us
  2. ^ "Canada's Strategic Profile » CIC". Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
  3. ^ "Speaker Series - Canadian Global Affairs Institute". Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  4. ^ "Military Journalism Course - Canadian Global Affairs Institute". Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  5. ^ "In the Media - Canadian Global Affairs Institute". Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  6. ^ "The top 80 influencing Canadian foreign policy | Embassy - Canada's Foreign Policy Newspaper". Archived from the original on 2013-03-08.
  7. ^ University of Pennsylvania, 2012 Global Go To Think Tanks Index Report
  8. ^ University of Pennsylvania, 2013 Global Go To Think Tanks Index Report
  9. ^ University of Pennsylvania, 2014 Global Go To Think Tanks Index Report
  10. ^ "Canadian think tank under fire for accepting donations from arms maker". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  11. ^ "Meet The Right-Wing Think Tank Driving Canadian Policy Toward War". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-05.

External linksEdit