Keynote Speaker: Leona Alleslev – Krofchak

Speech title: “Canada Needs NATO. Looking Forward: Enhanced Canadian Presence in NATO for a more secure and prosperous future.”

Leona Alleslev is a corporate leader, entrepreneur and former politician and military officer.

Leona is passionate about Canada’s sovereignty, security, democracy and prosperity and committed to serving Canada and Canadians.

She served in Canada’s House of Commons as Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and a Member of Parliament for Aurora Oak Ridges Richmond Hill for 6 years.

Leona was Shadow Cabinet Minister for Foreign Affairs and Global Security, Chair of Canada’s delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and a member of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians.

Prior to entering politics Leona held leadership positions at Bombardier Aerospace in aircraft manufacturing and IBM as a global management consultant leading enterprise operations transformations and large systems implementations.

As an entrepreneur she owned and operated a canoe outfitting business providing adventure tourism experiences in the Temagami wilderness area.

Leona attended Royal Military College and served in the Canadian Armed Forces as an Air Force logistics officer.

Leona lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario with her husband Ted and their two children.

Anne Mattson Gauss – NATO International Staff Official, Political Affairs

Anne Mattson Gauss works on Russia policy at NATO HQ in Brussels in the Political Affairs and Security Policy division. She is presently on a leave of absence from Global Affairs Canada. Anne most recently served as the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Canada in Moscow, from 2020 to 2022. Anne has also served in Canadian missions in Kyiv, Washington, Kandahar and Cairo. She has a Master’s degree in Russian Studies from Carleton’s Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill. Anne was born and raised in Winnipeg. She is married to Benjamin Gauss and they have three school-aged boys.

Hasit Thankey – Head, Enablement and Resilience Defence Policy and Planning Division (NATO)

Hasit Thankey leads the NATO International Staff team responsible for policy and planning support for national resilience through civil preparedness and for the logistics enabling capabilities and services required to support Alliance military forces. Before joining the International Staff, Mr. Thankey spent more than fifteen years in the Policy Group of Canada’s Department of National Defence. He has previously served as Defence Counsellor at Canada’s Joint Delegation to NATO and as Political Advisor at the Canadian command element supporting the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup in Latvia.

Ashley McCauley – Deputy Director NATO Policy, Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy), DND

Ashley McCauley is the Acting Deputy Director in the Directorate of NATO Policy at the Department of National Defence.  Ashley joined the Department of National Defence in 2009 through the Policy Officer Recruitment Program and has previously worked on humanitarian and crisis response operations, drafting multiple Memorandum to Cabinet with the Cabinet Liaison Team, managed defence relations with partners in the Middle East and was the senior policy officer for national security and intelligence.  In 2020 she established and led the first climate change and security policy team at the Department of National Defence. Ashley received a Bachelor of Journalism (2006) and a Master of Arts in European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (2009) from Carleton University.

Dr. David Mendeloff – Associate Dean of Faculty of Public Affairs, Associate Professor at NPSIA, Carleton University

David Mendeloff is Associate Dean (Faculty Affairs) in the Faculty of Public Affairs and Associate Professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University. He is also faculty associate of Carleton’s Institute of European and Russian Studies (EURUS) and the Centre for Security, Intelligence and Defence Studies (CSIDS), and served as Director of NPSIA’s Centre for Security and Defence Studies from 2006-15. From 2018-23 he served as Associate Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Public Affairs. His research examines the theory and practice of international justice and its relationship to the causes, conduct and resolution of war and violent conflict. At NPSIA, he teaches courses in international conflict analysis, post-conflict peacebuilding and statebuilding, and transitional justice. Mendeloff holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a B.A. (Hons) in international relations from the Claremont Colleges (Pitzer College).