NAFTA Panel featuring Hon. Andrew Leslie, Scotty Greenwood and Robert Benzie
Thursday, February 15, 2018
The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
The Giant Next Door: Navigating NAFTA in 2018
An evening of conversation, debate and networking in our new series of evening events!
The Honorable Andrew Leslie
Born into a multi generational military family, Andrew enjoyed a decorated 35 year career with the Canadian Armed Forces. His career has included a variety of command and staff positions in numerous overseas postings with the UN and NATO. In addition to his extensive military experience in Canada, involving disaster relief in floods and the 1998 Quebec ice storm, Andrew has served on international missions included leading troops in Germany, Cyprus, the former Yugoslavia, and, most recently, Afghanistan. In 2006, he became Chief of the Land Staff Army Commander, a position he held until 2010, during which time he was responsible for 57,000 military and public service personnel, their equipment, military training and related infrastructure. In 2011 he was appointed the Chief of Transformation until his retirement.
General Leslie’s service has been recognized on numerous occasions; among his Canadian distinctions, he was appointed Commander of the Order of Military Merit in 2005 and was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross. Internationally, he was appointed a Commander of the U.S. Legion of Merit in 2007 and was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in 2010.
After a successful career in the Canadian military, Andrew retired in 2011, and worked as a senior vice president of, CGI Group Inc., a Canadian information technology corporation. In 2013, he founded his own consulting firm specializing in leadership and strategy. His professional experience is complemented by several academic degrees and courses focusing on economics, history, leadership, strategy, tactics, equipment acquisition and management. He attended the University of Ottawa for his Bachelor’s degree in Economics, the Royal Military College for his MA, as well as professional development at the Harvard Business School in Management.
After leaving the military, Mr. Leslie continued to be an active member of his local and Canadian military communities; he was a member of the advisory committee of the Prince of Wales Charities in Canada; he was the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Royal Canadian Artillery Association and a board member of Opera Lyra Ottawa.
Mr. Leslie was elected as Member of Parliament for the Liberal Party of Canada representing Orléans in October 2015. He was the co chair of the Liberal Party of Canada for the International Advisory Committee, focusing on foreign affairs, defence, veterans, international trade, international aid, security, immigration and cyber security. In his first term, Mr. Leslie held the role of Chief Government Whip and is now the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs with special responsibilities for Canada US relations.
Maryscott ,Scotty, Greenwood
A recognized thought leader in the public policy field, Maryscott Scotty Greenwood is a Principal in Dentons’ Public Policy and Regulation practice in the Washington, DC office. Ms. Greenwood is co leader of the firm’s US federal practice as well as Canada and US Initiative. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the firm’s philanthropic foundation.
Dentons is the world’s first polycentric law and public policy firm with over 6,600 professionals in 55 countries. This approach means that we do not have a single global headquarters or dominant national culture. Rather, we attract talent from diverse backgrounds and countries with deep experience across many geographies. With a background in the US State Department, Ms. Greenwood is well suited to this new global platform.
Ms. Greenwood is a government relations practitioner, assisting clients with legislative and public policy challenges in the US and Canada. Her experience in federal, state, and local postings over the years has positioned Ms. Greenwood well to serve corporate and association clients navigating complicated policy issues. Ms. Greenwood has over two decades of government relations experience in the energy, life sciences and cross border policies sectors.
Ms. Greenwood is also Chief Executive Officer to the Canadian American Business Council and a frequent commentator on US Canadian relations. She was recognized by The Hill Times in its listing of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Government and Politics in 2010, and on the Top 100 People Influencing Canadian Foreign Policy in 2014, and on the Top 100 Lobbyists in 2017. Ms. Greenwood currently serves on the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies; Advisory Board for Hostage US and Advisory Board for Hyr Inc.
Before joining the firm in 2001, Ms. Greenwood was appointed by President Clinton to serve in the US foreign service at the United States Embassy in Canada. During her four year diplomatic posting, she received the US Department of State Meritorious Honor Award for her innovation of an outreach program to governors to foster cooperation on US Canada issues.
From 1993 to 1997, Ms. Greenwood was Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the City of Atlanta, handling state and federal relations. Ms. Greenwood served on the White House Interagency Task Force on Olympic Security and worked on various other projects related to the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Ms. Greenwood’s civic involvement includes the Advisory Board of the Urban Study Institute and Chairmanship of the Tax and Finance Committee of the Georgia Municipal Association.
Prior to her position with the City of Atlanta, Scotty was Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Georgia. An honors graduate of the University of Vermont, Scotty participated in the John F. Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives at Harvard University. Scotty lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband, three children and hound dog.
Robert Benzie is Queen’s Park Bureau Chief for the Toronto Star. He is responsible for coordinating the provincial political coverage for Canada’s largest circulation newspaper. Before joining the Star in 2003, he covered Queen’s Park and Toronto City Hall for the National Post, a paper he helped launch as its Deputy Toronto Editor in 1998.
Prior to that, he worked for the Toronto Sun and the Ottawa Sun. Benzie has covered countless elections and leadership contests at federal, provincial and municipal levels. In 2010, Benzie received the Mary Deanne Shears Award as the Toronto Star’s reporter of the year.