Who's Where – Dec 2020

Fall / Winter 2020

Below are some of the leadership changes in your defence community in 2020. This list includes DND/CAF, Rockwell Collins, Samuel Associates, Thales Canada, MDA, Deloitte Canada, Federal Fleet Services, and Boeing Canada.

Lee Obst, President of Rockwell Collins Canada, has been taking on additional responsibilities of late. He is the new Chair of the AIAC Board of Directors. Lee has also been tapped for the new role of Country Lead Canada, for Customer & Account Management at Collins Aerospace, which, in April 2020 merged with Raytheon to become Raytheon Tech­nologies. Lee is helping to coordinate across all of Raytheon Technologies (RTX) in Canada, which includes Collins, PWC, and Raytheon Canada (8600 employees).

In August, Brian MacDonald, former Senior Policy Adviser to MND Peter MacKay, joined Samuel Associates as ­senior political strategist.



After 28 years as a Combat Systems Engineer in the Royal Canadian Navy, Jerry McLean joined Thales Canada in 2009, and he has been leading Thales Defence & Security for almost 6 years. Jerry decided that the end of 2020 was “the time is right” to retire, although he admits he’ll be open to some consulting possibilities going forward.


Having left his president’s role at MDA in August, Chris Pogue was enticed to step in for Jerry McLean as VP and Managing Director of Thales Defence & Security Canada.



Naval Engineer Rob Gray is in Ottawa taking on the responsibilities of Project Manager for the Canadian Surface Combatants that are being built in Halifax by Irving Shipbuilding Inc.



After serving as Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic (Jan 2012 - Aug 2013), Darren Hawko moved to Ottawa to tackle the position of DG Cyber Warfare for almost 2 years. He then spent over 3 years as Chief of Force Development before heading to Belgium for a 2-year position as Canada’s Military Representative to NATO, retiring at the rank of Vice-Admiral. This summer, he joined Deloitte Canada as Executive Advisor.

In April 2020, Gilles Couturier, who retired from the Royal Canadian Navy in 2018 at the rank of Rear-Admiral, was brought on board to lead Federal Fleet Services as its new CEO. Providing Replenishment at Sea service, Asterix enables the RCN to deploy anywhere for operations and HADR, allowing sailors to maintain a core perishable skill.


At a Change of Command ceremony in September 2020, Daniel Rivière assumed the Command of CFB Borden and Military Personnel Generation Training Group at Military Personnel Command. The outgoing Commander, Andrew Atherton, was promoted to Brigadier-General and moved to Ottawa where he is serving as the new Director General Professional Military Conduct.


After 3 years as Chief Executive at the Transport­ation Appeal Tribunal of Canada, Charles “Duff” Sullivan has been snapped up by Boeing Canada as Country Leader, Managing Director. Duff had retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in 2009, at the rank of Major-General, following a 31-year career in the Royal Canadian Air Force.


© FrontLine Magazine 2020