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Address. 5346 rue Drolet, apt 302, Montreal H2T 2H4, Quebec, Canada

Phone. Skype: davidlaw4444; Tel. +514 279 8141(MTL)



Professional experience worldwide. Alumnus of Institutional Governance Council of World Economic Forum (2011-12). Former advisor to three NATO Secretaries-General, with major role in reshaping Alliance post-Cold War. Director of technical assistance programs supporting the transition in post-communist Europe with budgets of up to $4 million. Worked with international organisations active in election-monitoring, higher education, international development, inter-parliamentary cooperation, refugee resettlement, security sector reform and governance, and youth exchange. Experienced designer and deliverer of capacity-building programmes Adjunct Professor, guest lecturer and published author. Strong conceptual and analytical skills, intellectually curious, and experienced in fostering strategic relationships. Multilingual.


In 2012, David became a Senior Associate of the Security Governance Group (SGG), where he works as a consultant on development, governance and security issues, and as an expert on designing and delivering programmes for building the capacity of adult practitioners. His clients typically include intergovernmental bodies, national governments, civil society organisations, corporate actors and institutions of learning.

In 2013, David became a Senior Fellow of the Centre for Security Governance (CSG), a non-profit sister organisation of the SGG. In this new capacity, David expects to work on a second generation of security sector mapping tools and to write on such issues as security sector cooperation, corruption and oversight.


Senior Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) in the Operations Department for SEE and CEE (2008-2011) and in the Research Department (2003-2008): Senior Advisor for Security Sector Reform (SSR) at the International Security Sector Advisory Team (2008-2010); in these capacities, main responsibilities were:

  • Providing advice to governments and regional organisations on SSR, in particular on ways of making security forces democratically accountable; assignments included Kosovo, Moldova, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Guinea Bissau and Sudan

  • Building the capacity of parliamentarians and civil society organisations to exercise effective oversight over security forces and the responsible ministries in such countries as Nepal, the Philippines, South Africa, Guatemala and throughout the Western Balkans

  • Acting as training coordinator for DCAF, which involved the development of the co-learning approach for training and capacity-building in the area of SSR and SSG as well as the design and facilitation of interactive training programmes; these training activities were carried out in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and for security sector representatives from across the Middle East and North Africa prior to the Arab Awakening, including from, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine  

  • Supporting the development of the Association for Security Sector Training and Education (ASSET), a global network of organisations active in SSR training activities

  • Liaising with the EU, ECOWAS, NATO, OECD, OSCE, UNDPKO. UNDP and/or supporting their projects in the areas of democratic security governance and development; this activity included playing a leading role in the development of the SSR concepts of the European Commission and the European Council under the Austrian Presidency of 2005

  • Editing and writing for the DCAF Backgrounder Series on Security Sector Reform and Governance, as well as publishing on a broad range of other issues concerning security and democracy



Policy Advice & Strategic Forecasting

Broad background advising business and government on strategic change and policy implications.

As a principal advisor to NATO Secretaries-General:

  • Played a leading role in the elaboration of Alliance policy post-Cold War, in particular towards the Soviet and Yugoslav successor states;

  • Briefed the Secretary General on emerging European security issues;

  • Monitored and provided policy advice on developments in the Mediterranean and the Middle East;

  • Mediated, on behalf of the Secretary-General, in disputes involving Greece and Turkey;

  • Contributed to the Secretary-General’s speeches and supervised his policy planning team.

As a consultant-advisor to governments on security affairs, advised the:

  • Canadian Government on Russia’s future, NATO enlargement and South Asian developments;

  • Swiss Government on its security policy post-Cold War;

  • Lithuanian Government on its approach to NATO membership;

  • European Commission on its policies towards the former Yugoslavia.


As a scenario-planner, facilitated and supported exercises on such subjects as:

  • Regional prospects in the Western Balkans and SEE for civil servants and civil society leaders;

  • The future of Northern Europe, for a consortium of business, political and civil society leaders;

  • The emerging prospects for the European energy sector, and the future role of the
    European Commission, both on behalf of the European Commission;

  • The impact of the structure of international power on Canadian federal-provincial regimes in various issue areas, for the Queen’s University Institute for Intergovernmental Relations;

  • The future role and responsibilities of the military, for the Democratic Civil-Military Relations Program of the Canadian Department of National Defence and the Royal Military College;

  • The future of European Security and NATO, in courses at the Geneva Center for Security Policy.


International Governmental and Non-governmental Organisation Operations

Extensive experience in a broad range of functions with IGOs and NGOs.

  • Senior Fellow for security sector governance issues with the Swiss International Foundation DCAF;

  • Interfaced with national parliamentary associations on behalf of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly;

  • Monitored elections in Russia for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and in Ukraine for CANADEM;

  • Supported educational and policy advisory activities of research institutes;

  • Organised conferences for up to 700 parliamentarians and guests in various European venues;

  • Developed and led training sessions for young people involved in development work

  • Liaised with the European Union, Council of Europe, UNHCR, IOM, World Bank and CIDA;

  • Counseled refugees from the Middle East and the Soviet Union on immigration and resettlement.


Programme and Project Management

Successful management of programs providing technical assistance for transition countries in Eastern Europe and the CIS, and supporting security sector reform in both mature and developing democracies. Programmes consistently met or surpassed targets and were on or below budget.

  • Programme: Russia-Canada Consortium for Economic Policy Research and Advice, for CIDA (1999-2002).Outcomes: Created virtual network of Canadian and Russian experts to participate in collaborative policy research projects in the areas of fiscal federalism, intergovernmental relations and regional economic development. The policy research outputs supported the efforts of the Russian Government to modernise legislation for the central budget system, tax and expenditure responsibilities of the subjects of the Federation, social welfare programs and public expenditure oversight and control.

  • Programme: Democratic Civil-Military Relations Program, for members of the defence and security community in transition countries participating in NATO’s Partnership for Peace, on behalf of the Canadian Department of National Defence (2000-2002). Outcomes: Revamped program to better familiarise participants with Canadian and western best practices in the area of civil-military relations. Integrated program into the activities of the Civil-Military Relations Working Group of the NATO Partnership for Peace Consortium.

  • Programme: Campus Lecture Series, for the Canadian Department of National Defence (2000-2002).Outcomes: Designed and implemented a program aiming to enhance awareness of security issues on Canadian university campuses by creating briefing and contact opportunities for military staff. This pilot activity served as the basis for a multi-year effort to strengthen the relationship between the Canadian military and the university community.

  • Programme: The Future of the Former Soviet Republics, for the European Commission (1994-1995). Outcomes: Developed a program to support the activity of research institutes in the former Soviet Union, by making available research grants, assisting institutes with fund-raising and helping them both to rebuild their research networks in the CIS and to forge new links abroad.


University-level Teaching

Substantial experience as teacher and lecturer at institutions in Europe and North America.

  • Adjunct Professor in European Integration & European Security, Carleton University (2001 & 2003)

  • Adjunct Professor in Pan-European Politics, Université de Québec à Montréal (1998)

  • Adjunct Professor in International Relations at the Royal Military College/Collège militaire royal, Kingston (1996 – 1999, in the undergraduate program in Kingston; 2000 – 2001, in the post-graduate War Studies program, Ottawa)

  • Tutor for Junior Swiss Diplomats Course on European and International Security Issues,Geneva Center for Security Policy (1997 –2003)

  • Adjunct Professor in International Politics, Queen’s University, Kingston (1996 – 1998)

  • Guest lecturer on Mediterranean issues at the Royal Dutch Institute for International Affairs(Clingendael), The Hague (1990 – 1993).



Centre for Security Governance (Canada) (2013-present) Senior Fellow

Security Governance Group (Canada) (2012 – present). Senior Associate

Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (Geneva) (2003 -2011)
Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow, Security Sector Reform and Governance

Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (Ottawa) (1999 – 2002)
Director of three technical assistance projects in International Programs Branch

Teaching in North America and Europe (see previous section) (1990 –2003)

Business Environment Europe (Brussels) (1995 – 1997)
Senior Associate for scenario-planning exercises organised for business and government

European Center for European Security (Starnberg) (1994)
Senior Associate with consultancy advising European Commission and European Governments on foreign policy and security issues

NATO Political Directorate (Brussels) (1984 – 1994)
Head, Policy Planning & Speechwriting Unit (1992 – 1994), Acting & Deputy Head, General Affairs (1985 – 1991), Special Adviser for Policy Planning (1984 – 1985)

North Atlantic Assembly (Brussels) (1978 – 1984)
Assistant to the Secretary General (1978 – 1984) and Director of General Services (1981 – 1984)

Compagnons Bâtisseurs/Internationale Bouworde (Leuven)  (1976-1978)
Secretary for Europe for NGO working on development

International Organisation for Migration (Munich)  (1974-1975)
Programme director at school for Soviet refugees

Tolstoy Foundation (Beirut, Paris, Vienna, Munich)  (1969-1973)
Immigration officer with NGO resettling Soviet refugees



Certificate in Scenario Planning, Global Business Network, San Francisco (1998)

MA in Political Science & Soviet/Russian Area Studies, University of Oklahoma/Munich Center (1980); MBA courses in International Business and Marketing at Queen’s & Boston University (1996 & 1982)

AIESEC (Association internationale des étudiants en sciences économiques et commerciales) intern, Prague (1968); intern, Marseilles (1966)

BA in Political Science and Economics, McGill, University, Montreal (1967)



Native English; operational Dutch, French, German and Russian and Spanish; some Portuguese and Swedish

The Way I See it
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