2017 Conference Speakers

2017 speakers as of August 4, 2017 and subject to change. Please check back for updates.

Maurice-ChénierMaurice Chénier
Chief Information Officer, Vice-President, Information, Science and Technology
Canada Border Services Agency


As Chief Information Officer and Vice‑President of the Information, Science and Technology Branch, Mr. Maurice Chénier provides strategic direction and management for the implementation...
…maintenance and evolution of information, science and engineering, and technology solutions in support of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and its program delivery. Maurice has held Senior Assistant and Assistant Deputy Minister level positions with Shared Services Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada, respectively. His experience as the President of the Association of Public Sector Information Professionals from 1999 to 2000 has helped him maintain a strong focus on the growth and contributions of Information Technology professionals.

Maurice also held several leadership positions at Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Justice Canada, and Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. He is an industry and Government recognized seasoned expert in the field of relationship management, program and project management towards predictable service delivery performance.

Maurice joined the CBSA in April 2013 and is a strong advocate of bilateral internal communication.

Maurice holds a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Ottawa.

Jacques-CloutierJacques Cloutier
Associate Vice-President, Operations Branch
Canada Border Services Agency


Jacques Cloutier was appointed Associate Vice-President of the Operations Branch in July 2016.
Prior to joining the Agency as the Director General for the International Region, Jacques held a number of senior executive positions related to national security at Public Safety, the Privy Council Office and the Communications Security Establishment.

He began his professional career in 1987, and as a reservist deployed to the former Yugoslavia as part of the United Nations Protection Force Canadian contingent. Upon completion of this mission he joined the United Nations Volunteers and later the UN Department of Peace Keeping Operations as a civilian member and as a technical advisor in the context of peacekeeping missions in Africa’s Great Lakes region and in Angola.

In 1995, Jacques joined the Organization of American States and was part of the joint OAS/UN human rights mission in Haiti. His work involved the investigation of human rights violations alleged to have been committed by Agents of the State, capacity building and strengthening of government structures, principally in the policing, judicial and detention sectors.

He is a graduate of the Université de Sherbrooke and joined the Public Service in 2002, after completing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

McAleenanKevin K. McAleenan
Acting Commissioner, CBP



Kevin K. McAleenan became Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection January 20, 2017.
As the agency’s chief executive, Mr. McAleenan oversees 60,000 employees, manages a budget of over $13 billion, and ensures the effective operations of CBP’s efforts to protect national security while promoting economic prosperity and security. Mr. McAleenan directs CBP’s three core missions, counterterrorism, border security, and trade enforcement, while facilitating $4 Trillion in trade and facilitating travel of over 365 million people through ports of entry. He oversees the largest law enforcement agency and the second-largest revenue collecting source in the federal government.

Mr. McAleenan previously served as Deputy Commissioner from November 2, 2014, until his appointment to Acting Commissioner. In this role, he served as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer and senior career official. Under Mr. McAleenan’s leadership, CBP has developed strategies that protect the nation’s borders from terrorism and attack transnational criminal networks. Mr. McAleenan has also implemented innovations that have facilitated the U.S. international arrival and departure process, saving the government and travel industry millions of dollars. He has also advanced the development of CBP’s trade transformation agenda, designed to help America compete in the global economy.

Mr. McAleenan has previously held several leadership positions at CBP and one of its legacy agencies, the U.S. Customs Service. From 2006 to 2008, Mr. McAleenan served as the Area Port Director of Los Angeles International Airport, directing CBP’s border security operations at LAX and 17 other airport facilities in one of CBP’s largest field commands. In December 2011, Mr. McAleenan was named acting Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Field Operations. In this position, he led agency operations to secure the U.S. border while expediting lawful trade and travel at 329 ports of entry in the United States and 70 international locations in more than 40 countries.

Mr. McAleenan received a 2015 Presidential Rank Award, the nation’s highest civil service award. He also received the Service to America Medal, Call to Service Award, in 2005 for spearheading efforts to develop and implement a comprehensive antiterrorism strategy in the border security context after September 11, 2001.

Mr. McAleenan has been a member of the U.S. Government’s Senior Executive Service since 2006. Prior to government service, Mr. McAleenan practiced law in California. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College.

Gilles-MichaudGilles Michaud
Deputy Commissioner, Federal Policing
Royal Canadian Mountain Police


Deputy Commissioner Gilles Michaud has been a proud member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) since 1986, when he was first posted to work in the Province of Quebec where he honed his Federal Policing experience from a small detachment in Mont Laurier to more specialized investigative units in St Jerome and Montreal.
He eventually transferred to Ottawa where he continued his progression in the Federal Policing environment as a Commissioned Officer both within a Division and at National Headquarters.

During his 30 years of service with the Force, D/Commr. Michaud acquired a wealth of experience in the areas of organized crime, proceeds of crime and commercial crime investigations at the national and international levels. For a number of years, he was in charge of the RCMP’s National Security Criminal Investigations Program which was entrusted with investigating counter-terrorism and espionage cases.

He recently served as the first Commanding Officer of the newly-established National Division, whose mandate is to oversee the conduct of sensitive investigations of threats to Canada’s national interests, as well as, to provide protective policing services in the National Capital Region, including security for the Parliamentary Precinct, the Prime Minister of Canada and other Canadian Executives and foreign dignitaries.

In October 2016, Deputy Commissioner Gilles Michaud was appointed to lead the Force’s Federal Policing business line, which is the core line of service carried by the RCMP across Canada and around the world.

D/Commr. Michaud is a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute’s 39th Session, the FBI National Academy’s 213th Session, as well as of the Leadership in Counter-Terrorism Program administered by the FBI National Academy. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Program in National and International Security and McGill University’s Executive Development Program.

He is a recipient of the Governor General’s medal for academic achievements, as well as, the Queen’s Jubilee and RCMP Long Service medals. In January 2014, D/Commr. Michaud was also appointed Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces. He is originally from St Leonard, New Brunswick and is a loving father to his two adult children.

Nicole Murphy
Senior Intelligence Research Specialist, National Critical Infrastructure Team
Royal Canadian Mounted Police


Nicole Murphy is a Senior Intelligence Research Specialist (Transportation Sector) with the RCMP National Critical Infrastructure Team (NCIT) at National Headquarters in Ottawa.
In this role, she is responsible for the collection and analysis of information relating to criminal threats and risks to Canada’s critical infrastructure. NCIT builds innovative partnerships with private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators, the Canadian intelligence community, Federal government agencies, and other police services to protect critical infrastructure and to support criminal investigations.

Previous to joining NCIT, she worked as an intelligence analyst with the RCMP Criminal Intelligence Program. Nicole has been a civilian member with the RCMP for the past 10 years.

John-OsswoskiJohn Ossowski
Canada Border Services Agency


John Ossowski was appointed President of the Canada Border Services Agency on December 7, 2016.

Prior to this appointment, John was Deputy Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency from July 2015 to December 2016. He has also held senior positions as Associate Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada and also as Assistant Secretary, International Affairs, Security and Justice Sector, at the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS). He has also worked at Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) where he was Director General, Policy and Communications and then Deputy Chief, Corporate Services. Before joining CSEC, John was Assistant Director, Government Relationships and Communications at the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, which is Canada’s financial intelligence unit. Prior to this, John spent a number of years at TBS in the Government Operations Sector and finally as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary.

Carla-L-ProvostCarla L. Provost
Acting Chief
U.S. Border Patrol


Carla L. Provost is the Acting Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, located in Washington DC.
Acting Chief Provost entered on duty with the U.S. Border Patrol on January 8, 1995, as a member of U.S. Border Patrol Class 277. Her first assignment as a Border Patrol agent was at the Douglas Station in the Tucson Sector. She was subsequently promoted to Supervisory Border Patrol Agent in 1998, and to Field Operations Supervisor in 2001.

In 2006, she transferred to the Yuma Sector as Assistant Chief Patrol Agent. In 2009, she became the Patrol Agent in Charge of the Wellton Station in the Yuma Sector, and in 2011, she was appointed to the SES position of Deputy Chief Patrol Agent of the El Paso Sector.

In 2013, Acting Chief Provost became the Chief Patrol Agent of the El Centro Sector, where she led 1,200 employees and oversaw all operations within her area of responsibility. In 2015, she became the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Professional Responsibility, where she oversaw compliance with all CBP-wide programs and policies relating to corruption, misconduct, or mismanagement. In 2016, Ms. Provost was selected as the Deputy Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Among Acting Chief Provost’s many accomplishments in her distinguished career, is her successful standup of CBP’s Use of Force Center of Excellence, newly named the Law Enforcement Officer/Agent Safety and Compliance Directorate (LESC), which is responsible for the development and articulation of all CBP use of force policies and provides the agency with comprehensive and operational Use of Force programs. Acting Chief Provost also led the CBP-wide implementation of Comprehensive Use of Force Policy/Law Training, with 100 percent compliance by all CBP law enforcement-covered employees in support of the newly released Use of Force Policy. Acting Chief Provost served as an instructor for bike patrol units, firearms training, and post-academy law while stationed at the Tucson Sector, and while at the Yuma Sector, she directed sector budgets and human resources, and later oversaw all station operations.

Prior to joining the U.S. Border Patrol, Acting Chief Provost served for 2 1/2 years as a police officer with the Riley County Police Department in Manhattan, Kansas. She earned a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice from Kansas State University.

John WagnerJohn Wagner
Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations
U.S. Customs and Border Protection


John P. Wagner has been the Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Field Operations since April of 2014.
In this role, Mr. Wagner oversees nearly 30,000 employees including approximately 23,000 CBP Officers and over 2,400 CBP Agriculture Specialists that protect U.S. borders. An annual operating budget of $4.8 billion provides for operations at over 330 ports of entry, and many programs that support the national security, immigration, customs, and commercial trade-related missions of CBP.

In his 25 plus years of service, Mr. Wagner has worked on a wide variety of operational and policy issues. Mr. Wagner has been a leader in developing many successful transformative efforts for the organization, including the development of the internationally acclaimed Global Entry program and the Automated Passport Control kiosks for international travelers. He is recognized as a driving force behind many of CBP’s resource saving and time saving initiatives, while simultaneously enhancing security operations at the ports of entry.

A native of Long Island, NY, Mr. Wagner graduated from the State University of New York at Albany, with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology. He began his Federal law enforcement career in 1991 when he joined the U.S. Customs Service as a Customs Inspector, and has worked at the New York/New Jersey seaport and the land border port of Laredo, TX before being assigned to Headquarters. Mr. Wagner is a graduate of the Senior Executive Fellows course at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University, and was honored as a finalist for a Service to America’s medal in 2015.

Chris WellstoodChris Wellstood
Director Marine Operations & Security, Harbour Master,
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority


Mr. Wellstood is the Director of Marine Operations & Security with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and is responsible for all Marine operations, Security and Emergency response activities within the Port of Vancouver.
Besides his role as Director, Mr. Wellstood also acts as the Harbour Master for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and provides leadership and guidance in all facets of port marine logistics and operations; ensuring secure, safe, efficient freight flow and environmental protection within the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s jurisdiction.

Mr. Wellstood started his career as a Maritime Officer sailing on semi submersible heavy lift deep sea vessels and later moved to the offshore industry where he became a Dynamic Positioning Officer on the largest self propelled crane vessels in the world. In these years he traveled the world extensively and visited many ports in many different countries.

After getting his hands “wet and dirty” in the marine environment Mr. Wellstood moved toward the management side of the marine business, starting out as Management Trainee with SMIT International, a division of Boskalis, one of the largest dredging and hydraulic engineering companies in the world, operating in the marine salvage, marine transportation, harbour towage and oil and gas terminals markets.

In the fifteen years with SMIT Mr. Wellstood was deployed in many different management challenges around the world and moved on from management trainee through various management positions to the position of General Manager. His last position with SMIT was as General Manager of SMIT Marine Canada Inc., based in Vancouver, where he was responsible for all operational and commercial aspects of SMIT’s operations in Canada.

Mr. Wellstood holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Maritime Sciences from the Maritime Institute “De Ruyter”, HZ University of applied sciences in Vlissingen, The Netherlands, a Master of Science Degree in Maintenance and Safety Management from the University of Bradford in Bradford, United Kingdom and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.

Chris is an inspirational leader with strong analytical skills, who enjoys leading and guiding his teams in activities that require ingenuity and unusual resourcefulness. He loves outdoor sports, such as skiing, skating, waterskiing and mountain biking and enjoys living in Vancouver with his wife, daughter and son.

Richard Wex
Richard Wex
Associate Deputy Minister of Immigration
Refugees and Citizenship, Canada

Richard Wex was appointed Associate Deputy Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, in September, 2015.
Prior to this appointment, he served as the Vice-President of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) responsible for policy and program development, covering the full span of the CBSA’s mandate, from facilitating low-risk travel and trade to preventing illegal goods and people from entering or staying in the country.

From 2007 to 2013, Mr. Wex served as the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Law Enforcement and Policing Branch at Public Safety Canada, where he provided strategic leadership and policy advice to the Minister of Public Safety in carrying out his responsibilities for the RCMP and the CBSA. In this capacity, he successfully negotiated a multi-billion dollar 20-year services agreement between the RCMP and contracting provinces, territories and municipalities; led the establishment of a new civilian oversight body for the RCMP; and worked extensively on Canada-US cross border initiatives.
Prior to joining Public Safety Canada, Mr. Wex held a number of executive positions with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He began his public service career with the Department of Justice, practicing in the areas of Public and Aboriginal law.

Mr. Wex has a Bachelor of Laws degree (L.L.B.) from Queen’s University, and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is a graduate of the Public Service Advanced Leadership Program, and the Senior Managers in Government program from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Solomon-WongSolomon Wong
Executive Vice President
InterVISTAS Consulting Inc.


Solomon Wong is InterVISTAS Consulting’s lead consultant on border and security facilitation and has spent 20 years advising clients in government, airports and airlines.
Mr. Wong has helped to improve processes for international air travel including major facility and process changes in Vancouver, Houston, San Diego, Aruba, among others. He has also supported a range of border process improvements including trusted traveler program development to current border automation solutions.

In 2017, Mr. Wong served as Principal Investigator for a major research project into the future of CBP facilities. He delivered a Companion Guide to the CBP’s Airport Technical Design Standard, designed to provide airports and designers with practical guidance to future-proof facilities. Additionally, he is an expert on the evolution of U.S. Preclearance, including policies, regulations, flows and business case development for new sites.

Mr. Wong is a member of the Airports Council International Facilitation committee, serves on the Board of the Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance and is active on the Airports Consultants Council.