Hon. David Collenette, FCILT, P.C.

Senior Counsellor, Public Affairs Group, Hill & Knowlton

The Hon. David Collenette is a senior counsellor in the Ottawa public affairs group at Hill & Knowlton and member of the Board of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in North America as their Vice Chairman (Canada and International). 

Prior to joining Hill & Knowlton, the Hon. David Collenette served as a Member of the Canadian House of Commons for more than 20 years and served in Cabinet under three prime ministers, Pierre Trudeau, John Turner and Jean Chretien, holding a number of senior portfolios.

As Minister of National Defense, the Hon. David Collenette oversaw the reorganization, restructuring and reengineering of the department as the government confronted the severe financial deficit. As Transport Minister, he authored a major policy document, “Straight Ahead,” which chartered a course for Canadian transportation policy over the next decade. The Hon. David Collenette oversaw Canada’s response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent issues related to transportation security. In the last two years he served in Cabinet, the Hon. David Collenette was also responsible for ten Crown Corporations, including Canada Post, VIA Rail, Marine Atlantic and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

In the private sector, the Hon. David Collenette has worked in the life insurance, plastics and executive recruitment fields.

From 1987- 1991, while in the private sector, the Hon. David Collenette worked in a volunteer capacity for the National Democratic Institute in Washington, D.C. He was involved in democratic development projects and election monitoring in Haiti, Chile, Romania and the Czech Republic. Since leaving elected politics in 2004 he has resumed his association with NDI and served as Co- Leader of its observer mission to the Ukrainian presidential run- off election on November 21, 2004 and was Co- Leader of the Election Assessment Mission to Pakistan in May 2007.

He holds a bachelor of arts (honours) and master of arts in political science from York University, Toronto. He served as Chancellor of the Royal Military College of Canada (1993- 96) and served as a member of the International Advisory Council, Institute of International Studies, Stanford University, California (1999 – 2005).

The Hon. David Collenette has been a Distinguished Fellow, Glendon College, York University, Toronto since 2004. He also has a number of business interests. Mr. Collenette is bilingual in both of Canada’s official languages.