Former Canadian Ambassador in Washington
Derek H. Burney is Chairman of Burney Investment Group. He is Chairman of Enablence Technologies Inc. and a member of the Advisory Board of Paradigm Capital Inc. He currently serves as a ranch hand on ranches owned by two of his sons.
Mr. Burney was Chairman of GardaWorld’s International Advisory Board from 2008 to 2021 and was Senior Strategic Advisor to Norton Rose Fulbright Canada from May 2006 until July 2019. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of CAE Inc. from October 1999 until August 2004.
Prior to joining CAE, Mr. Burney was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bell Canada International Inc. (1993-1999). From 1989-1993, Mr. 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, Mr. Burney served as Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister. He led the Canadian delegation in concluding negotiations of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and 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, Mr. 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. Mr. Burney was conferred Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Lakehead University, Queen’s University, Wilfrid Laurier University, Carleton University and University of Windsor. Mr. Burney is co-author of “Braver Canada – Shaping Our Destiny in a Precarious World”, published by McGill-Queens in March 2020 and “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.
He is regular contributor to newspaper, television and radio media outlets in Canada. Mr. 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 they have four sons and fifteen grandchildren.