Gordon Smith Lecture Series

The Gordon Smith Lecture Series is a biennial event created in recognition of Dr. Gordon Smith's service to the University community through the thirteen year's he spent as the Director of the Centre for Global Studies 

Dr. Gordon Smith's Distingiushed Career

Dr. Gordon Smith recieved is Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied international security and global interdependence. After his graduation, he returned to Canada and began what would become a long and distinguished career as a public servant. 

Initially, Dr. Smith worked on Canada's relationship with NATO and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) within the Ministry of Defence and Department of External Affairs, but was soon promoted to work in the Privy Council Office. In 1979, Dr. Smith became the Deputy Under-Secretary of State at External Affairs, and in 1985, the Deputy Minister. Shortly thereafter, he was dipatched to Brussels and became the Permanent Represetnative and Ambassador to the Canadian delegation to NATO. He was subsequently named Canada's Ambassador to the European Union. 

Dr. Smith returned to Canada in 1994 and was appointed deputy minister of Foreign Affairs. It was during this time that he began his personal involvement with the G7/G8, as the Sherpa (personal representative) for the Prime Minister at the G7/G8 summits in Halifax, Lyon, and Denver. 

After retiring from the Government of Canada in 1994, Dr. Smith joined the University of Victoria as the Executive Director of the Centre for Global Studies, and was appointed chair of the Board of Governors at the International Development Research Centre.

Once he concluded his time at CFGS in 2010, he joined the Centre for International Governance Innovation as a Distinguished Fellow, and has since been a key contributor to its G20 research activities, events, and publications. 

Previous Lectures

2014: The Inaugural Gordon Smith Lecture Series with the Right Honourable Paul Martin 


"Short-Termism & Democracy: Can Short-Sighted Democracies Address Long Term Global Issues?"
On June 2nd, 2014 we hosted the inaugural Gordon Smith Lecture Series where a former Prime Minister and a former Deputy Minister looked to the future as to how global issues can be merged.

2016: Minutes to Midnight with Murray Thomson                                                   

"Minutes to Midnight: Why 865 Order of Canada Recipients Call for Nuclear Disarmament" 
The second bi-annual Gordon Smith Lecture Series took place on May 19th, 2016. Esteemed peace activist Murray Thomson, recipient of Pearson Peace Medal by the United Nations Association of Canada and a recipient of the Order of Canada gave a lecture, "Why 865 Order of Canada recipients call for nuclear disarmament."

In addition to the lecture, this was a launch for his book of the same name. Murray was joined by Mary Wynne Ashford, former Secretary General of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (1985 Nobel Peace Prize winner), Patrick Lane, Governor General Award Winning Poet and Order of Canada recipient and a powerful musical presentation from Anne Mortifee, Singer, Actor, Writer, Peace Activist and Order of Canada recipient and Shivon Robinson, Denis Donnelly, and the Gettin’ Higher Choir.

2019: The Future of Global Power in an Era of Declining US Dominance with Graham E. Fuller

"The Future of Global Power in an Era of Declining US Dominance" 
On October 24th, 2019 we welcomed former CIA Operations Officer Graham E. Fuller, to campus. His talk focused on the nature of new international forces in a multi-polar world, the future of democracy, and Canada's place in it. 

Graham is an Adjunct Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and a Visiting Tutor at Quest University in Squamish. He has a BA and MA from Harvard University in Russian and Middle East studies. He worked for 20 years as a CIA Operations Officer, seventeen of which were overseas in Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and China. He later served as Vice-Chair of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting.