Gordon Smith

Executive Director of the Centre for Global Studies and CIGI Distinguished Fellow

Dr. Gordon Smith is the Executive Director of the Centre for Global Studies, a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for international Governance Innovation (CIGI), and Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Victoria. Dr. Smith is the recipient of the 2009 Vanier Medal from the Institute of Public Administration of Canada. Previously Dr. Smith had served at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 1997, Ambassador to the European Union in Brussels from 1991 to 1994, and Ambassador to the Canadian Delegation to NATO from 1985 to 1990. Since 1997, Dr. Smith has been a Member of the Canadian Group of the Trilateral Commission. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from M.I.T.

Most Recent Posts

Smith: How should Canada deal with the threat posed by cyberattacks from abroad?

By: /
October 19, 2012

Cyber-security is a huge issue. Canada’s economy and society are vulnerable to attacks; we are vulnerable individually as well as collectively. We must develop technically sophisticated protective and defensive measures both in Canada and in cooperation with our allies. More is needed. We also need to think creatively and be prepared to work globally to […]

Smith: Should Canada view cyberspace as a threat or opportunity?

By: /
May 23, 2012

Cyberspace is here to stay and everybody has to deal with it unless they choose to move to an island and live in isolation from the rest of the world. Cyberspace is both threat and opportunity. What is needed is “governance”, not (much) “government. There is now a battle between the forces of order and […]

Smith: Could the spread of information via digital media reduce mass atrocities?

By: /
October 31, 2011

There is no question about it. Digital media produce awareness, and awareness is essential to stopping mass atrocities. Visit the website of the Enough Project. At the MIGSR2P conference last week Jon Hutson described the work they are doing, and in particular I discussed with him the Sentinel Satellite Project. It uses photographs that provide the […]

Smith: Are diplomats needed in the digital age?

By: /
October 17, 2011

Diplomats are needed more than ever in the digital age. They must just engage in and be part of that age. This involves more than the knowledge of how to use the technology; it requires cultural change. This normally comes quite naturally as new recruits, familiar with FaceBook and Twitter, replace those for whom email […]

Smith: What societal problems have the London riots exposed?

By: /
August 14, 2011

There clearly are “societal problems”. We know most of them well – the growing gap between rich and poor, a lack of economic opportunity for youth and immigrants failure to integrate. But there is something more, something we know less about. That is the readiness of too many of today’s male youth to engage in […]

Smith: How has Canada’s experience in Afghanistan changed Canadian foreign policy?

By: /
June 27, 2011

Canada’s military engagement in Afghanistan certainly changed a long held perception of Canada throughout the world. It contradicted any idea that Canada would only undertake blue helmet operations. Afghanistan, and now Libya, have shown Canada in a different light, ready to fight and to lose lives of soldiers. Does this stem from a different concept […]

Smith: What issue should John Baird prioritize?

By: /
June 21, 2011

It would make sense to start with the two wars Canada is now in. We are on our way out of Kandahar militarily, but it is not at all clear that we will be able to keep our development activities going because of lack of security. Yet we have invested heavily, above all in lives […]