Assistant Deputy Minister (Science and Technology) and Chief Executive Officer of Defence Research and Development Canada, Isabelle Desmartis

Isabelle Desmartis, Assistant Deputy Minister (Science and Technology) and Chief Executive Officer of Defence Research and Development Canada

As Assistant Deputy Minister of Science and Technology (S&T), Ms. Desmartis oversees the investment in S&T for the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Bringing leadership to national issues of defence and security, Ms. Desmartis is also the Chief Executive Officer of Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), a national network of science and technology research centres with 1300 employees supporting the defence and security communities.

Integral to her organization’s role is the provision of scientific advice and solutions to the defence team as well as public safety and security practitioners. The defence and security S&T network extends to partnerships with the Canadian public and private sectors, academia, non-governmental organizations, and allied defence and security S&T organizations.

Previously serving as the Director General of Policy Planning at DND, Ms. Desmartis led the development of Canada’s defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged, and contributed strategic policy advice to senior DND/CAF leadership on current and emerging global trends in the defence and security domains. Key policy files included strategic defence, the Arctic, cyber and space security, regional and functional strategic analysis on global trends, as well as arms control and non-proliferation.

Particularly in the areas of international and national security, Ms. Desmartis has extensive experience in intelligence and policy issues. From 2011 to March 2015, she served as the Assistant Chief of Defence Intelligence supporting the Chief of Defence Intelligence for DND and the CAF in all leadership functions. As Director of Strategic Analysis at National Defence from 1998 to 2005, she worked in various policy functions including weapons of mass destruction and arms control. From 2006 to 2011, Ms. Desmartis occupied various positions in the areas of national and transportation security, including Director of Intelligence and Senior Director of Aviation Security Policy at Transport Canada.

Ms. Desmartis trained as a lawyer and is a graduate of Laval University, where she earned a PhD in international security.

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