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Hon. Hugh D. SegalOC, O.Ont.

Senior Strategic Advisor

The Honourable Hugh Segal brings over 35 years of business, academic and public policy experience to his role as a Senior Strategic Advisor at Aird and Berlis LLP. With expertise in public policy, international and defence issues, regulatory affairs and federal-provincial relations, Hugh advises on regulatory and broad public policy frameworks and organization, as well as important international variables and contingencies.

Hugh's government service includes major roles in both trade and constitutional negotiation. A former Associate Cabinet Secretary for Federal-Provincial Relations, Hugh was part of the Ontario Delegation to the constitutional negotiations that repatriated the British North America Act and created the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Hugh was also a former Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and participated in NAFTA discussions. Appointed by Prime Minister Paul Martin to the Senate in 2005, Hugh chaired the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee and the Special Committee on Anti-Terrorism. He is a former Special Envoy to the Commonwealth and member of its Eminent Persons Group on reform, modernization and human rights.

Hugh was elected the fifth Principal of Massey College in December of 2013 and is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs. In 2015, Hugh was appointed Co-Chair of the Democracy-10 Strategy Forum, an annual international grouping of the 10 major democracies, who consult on critical strategic, economic and global trends relevant to the liberal democratic framework for foreign policy, trade, free markets and humanitarian engagement. Meetings involving foreign ministries and leading international think-tanks have occurred in Ottawa, Rome, Brussels and Tokyo. He is a former Canadian member of the Trilateral Commission, having attended meetings in Washington, Toronto, Berlin and Tokyo. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, holds two honorary doctorates, was the 2014 Churchill Society Laureate for excellence in the advancement of Democracy and the 2015 Vimy Award Laureate for "Singular Contributions to National Defence" of the Conference of Defence Associations in Ottawa. Hugh is an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy and Chair of the NATO Association of Canada.

Hugh is a Fellow of the Institute for Research on Public Policy. He is a graduate in History from the University of Ottawa and is a Distinguished Fellow at the School of Public Policy at Queen's University. Hugh has had seven books on public policy published including the most recent "Two Freedoms: Canada's Global Agenda" by Dundurn Press in April 2016. He recently served as Special Advisor to the Government of Ontario on the design of a Basic Income Pilot Project for the province.

Hugh's private sector experience includes leadership of a major Canadian advertising and marketing firm and executive positions in the brewing, food processing and investment management industries. He has served on a broad range of private and public boards in the financial, engineering and design, automobile, dairy manufacturing, energy marketing and construction sectors.

Awards & Recognition

  • Officer, Order of Canada, 2016
  • Member, Order of Ontario, 2016
  • Vimy Award Laureate for "Singular Contributions to National Defence" of the Conference of Defence Associations in Ottawa, 2015
  • Churchill Society Laureate for excellence in the advancement of Democracy, 2014 
  • Honorary Captain, Royal Canadian Navy
  • Member, Order of Canada, 2003

Professional Involvement

Professional Activities

  • Principal of Massey College
  • Distinguished Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs
  • Chair, NATO Association of Canada
  • Fellow, Institute for Research on Public Policy
  • Chief of Staff, Prime Minister of Canada
  • Associate Secretary, Cabinet for Federal-Provincial Relations
  • Secretary, Policy and Priorities Board in Ontario
  • Legislative Secretary, Leader of the Opposition in Ottawa
  • Chair, Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism
  • Chair/Member, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs
  • Director, Atlantic Council and Conference of Defence Associations in Canada
  • Member, Eminent Persons Group of the Commonwealth of Nations
  • Member, Canada's Special Envoy for Commonwealth Renewal
  • Member, Agriculture and Forestry Committee
  • Member, Cities subcommittee of Social Affairs
  • Vice-Chair, Senate Committee on Official Languages
  • Fellow, Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute in Calgary
  • Life Fellow, Institute for Research on Public Policy
  • Council Member, Institute for Democratic and Electoral Assistance
  • Member, Working Group on National Security, Cranfield University's Centre for Security Sector Management
  • Former Chair, Canadian Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Former Council Member, International Institute for Strategic Studies, U.K.
  • Vice-Chair, Canadian International Council

Community Involvement

  • Special Gifts Chair, Kingston United Way
  • Chair, Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation

Teaching Engagements

  • Adjunct Professor and Lecturer, Queen's University School of Policy Studies 
  • Adjunct Professor and Lecturer, Queen's University School of Business 
  • Lecturer, University of Toronto Law School
  • Guest Lecturer, Yale University
  • Guest Lecturer, Harvard University
  • Guest Lecturer, The Royal Military College of Canada


  • Honorary Doctorate, Royal Military College of Canada
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Ottawa
  • BA, Canadian History, University of Ottawa
  • Graduate Studies, International Trade Economics, Carlton University