Derek H. Burney, Chancellor

Portrait photo

Derek H. Burney is Senior Strategic Advisor to Norton Rose Canada LLP. He is Chairman of GardaWorld’s International Advisory Board, a Director of TransCanada Pipelines Limited, a Governor of the Ottawa Hospital Board of Governors and a member of the Advisory Board of Paradigm Capital Inc.

Dr. Burney was President and Chief Executive Officer of CAE Inc. from October 1999 until August 2004. Prior to joining CAE, Dr. Burney was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bell Canada International Inc. (1993-1999).

From 1989-1993, Dr. Burney served as Canada’s Ambassador to the United States. This assignment culminated a distinguished thirty-year career in the Canadian Foreign Service, during which he completed a variety of assignments at home and abroad, including a period as a Deputy Minister of External Affairs.

From March 1987 to January 1989, Dr. Burney served as Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister. He was directly involved in the negotiation of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. He was the Prime Minister's personal representative (Sherpa) in the preparations for the Houston (1990), London (1991) and Munich (1992) G-7 Economic Summits.

In February 1992, Dr. Burney was awarded the Public Service of Canada's Outstanding Achievement Award. In July 1993, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Burney headed the Transition team for Prime Minister Harper from January to March, 2006. From 2008 to 2010, he chaired the Selection Committee for awards of $10 million Canada Excellence Research Chairs for Canadian universities.

Dr. Burney was conferred Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Lakehead University, Queen's University, Wilfrid Laurier University, Carleton University and University of Windsor.

Dr. Burney is co-author of “Brave New Canada: Meeting the Challenge of a Changing World”, published by McGill-Queen’s in 2014.   His memoir of government service - “Getting it Done” - was published by McGill-Queen’s in 2005.

Dr. Burney was born in Fort William (now Thunder Bay), Ontario, and was educated at Queen's University, where he received an Honours B.A. and an M.A. He is married to Joan (Peden) and has four sons. Dr. and Mrs. Burney have been strong supporters of Confederation College over the past decade.