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2022 Strategic Program Speakers
John Barrett Ph.D., Ambassador (ret'd), is President, Portolan Global Inc., a consulting firm specializing in Government & Stakeholder Relations in the nuclear energy sector. His areas of expertise include diplomacy & international governance relating to nuclear technology; geopolitical risk in the clean energy transition; policy advice on the role of nuclear energy and small modular reactors (SMRs) in decarbonization strategies; and developing sustainability/ESG profiles for nuclear technology companies.
PGl's clients span academic research organizations, international NGOs and private sector companies. Most recently, Dr. Barrett provided Government Relations & Strategic advice to Westinghouse Electric Canada to help secure federal funding to support development of the eVinci Micro-Reactor in Canada.
Dr. Barrett was formerly President & CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association (2013- 2019). He previously served as Canada's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency; Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization; and United Nations Office in Vienna. He was Chair, IAEA Board of Governors; President, UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; and Canada's Ambassador to Austria and Slovakia.
At Global Affairs Canada, he served as Director General, Strategic Planning & Coordination, Chief Risk Officer, and Director for Disarmament & WMD Non Proliferation. He has held executive positions in the Privy Council Office, Office of the Governor General of Canada, and Department of National Defence. From 1994-1999, he was Director, Policy Planning, at NATO HQ (Brussels).
Throughout his career, Dr. Barrett has demonstrated unique talent as a high-level speechwriter. He has written speeches for two Canadian Prime Ministers, the Governor General of Canada (Clarkson), numerous Ministers (Foreign Affairs; National Defence) and for the NATO Secretary-General.
Dr. Barrett holds an Hon.B.A. and M.A. (University of Toronto) and a Ph.D. (London School of Economics). He is a Director of the World Institute for Nuclear Security (Vienna), a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI), a University College Alumnus of Influence (U of T), and holds the ICD.D certification of the Institute of Corporate Directors (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto). He is a founding member of the Brussels International Map Collectors Circle, a Member of the Rideau Club (Ottawa), and a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.
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