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Hon. Lisa Raitt Named Woodrow Wilson Center Global Fellow of the Canada Institute

January 16, 2020

WASHINGTON – The Wilson Center’s Canada Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Hon. Lisa Raitt as a Global Fellow.

“Throughout her career in both the public and private sector, Lisa Raitt has been a leader whose expertise in policy development and cross border issues is widely respected. We are proud to have her join our group of Global Fellows. We look forward to her contributions to policy discussions about important bilateral issues,” said Canada Institute Acting Director Jim Dickmeyer. 

Lisa Raitt is Vice-Chair of Global Investment Banking at CIBC. Previously, Raitt was the Deputy Leader of Opposition for Canada’s Parliament and served as a Member of Parliament in Canada’s House of Commons from 2008 to 2019.

Ms Raitt served in Canada’s Cabinet as Minister of Natural Resources (2008-2010), Minister of Labour (2010-2013), and Minister of Transportation (2013-2015). Notably, she played a key role in Canada’s response to the 2009 economic financial crisis, championed policy changes to support mental health in the workplace, and, days after her appointment to Minister of Transportation, headed the cross-border emergency response after the Lac-Mégantic train disaster. In opposition, she served as Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. 

Prior to her career in government, Raitt worked for theToronto Port Authority (TPA) for 10 years where she was Canada’s first female habourmaster and subsequently went on to become the President and CEO of the TPA.

Recognized as the #1 think-tank in regional studies, the Wilson Center is a nonpartisan public policy forum based in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to advancing dialogue and the free flow of ideas on emerging policy issues. The Canada Institute at the Wilson Center founded in 2001 is currently the only think-tank dedicated to exploring and strengthening the Canada – U.S. relationship.

For more information, please contact Mariana Sanchez Ramirez at or 202.691.4032.

Biographical Notes:

The Honourable Lisa Raitt is vice-chair of global investment banking at CIBC. She served in the House of Commons for 11 years. From 2008-2010, Ms. Raitt served at the Minister of Natural Resources. Curing the 2009 economic crisis, Ms. Raitt led consultations with stakeholders in the energy sector, the forestry sector and the mining sector developing policy to support employment and investment during the downturn. As Minister of Labour from 2010-2013, Ms. Raitt championed mental health in the workplace supporting the development of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace – the first of its kind in the world.  She was named the 2011 Champion of Mental Health, Public Sector by the Canadian Alliance of Mental Illness and Mental Health. In July 2013, Ms Raitt was named Minister of Transport just days after the train derailment in Lac Megantic.  She led the development and execution of the complex cross-border response to this disaster. Ms. Raitt initiated the comprehensive review of the Canada Transportation Act. She was responsible for the operations of Canada’s Crown Corporations including VIA Rail, Canada Post, and Marine Atlantic. In 2015, Ms. Raitt was appointed Finance Critic for the Official Opposition and in 2017 she was appointed Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. In 2018, she also became the Justice Critic for the Official Opposition.

Prior to her election to the House of Commons, Ms. Raitt was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Port Authority (Ports Toronto) having previously served as general counsel, corporate secretary and Harbourmaster.  Under her leadership, Billy Bishop Airport was revitalized and she helped the launch of Porter Airlines. Ms. Raitt is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University and holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Guelph. She earned her law degree from Osgoode Hall at York University and was a Harold G. Fox Scholar.

Jim Dickmeyer is the Canada Institute's Acting Director. From 2016 - 2017, he was the Wilson Center’s North American Competitiveness Fellow, detailed from the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Dickmeyer served as U.S. Consul General in Toronto from 2012 to 2015.  He was Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. embassy in Mexico, where he served from 2002 to 2007. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Mr. Dickmeyer served in six countries – Brazil, Guatemala, Paraguay, Bolivia, Mexico and Canada – during his 33 years of diplomatic service.


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