Chief of the Defence Staff Office – Biography

HCol John Wright BA, CAIP, FRCGS

HCol John Wright

HCol John Wright is the inaugural Honourary Colonel for the Chief of Defence Staff Office (CDSO). HCol Wright is a highly recognized national and global public opinion research practitioner and a pioneer in the Canadian public affairs profession. He has provided advice and counsel to leaders in the corporate, public, and not for profit sectors for over four decades.

HCol Wright has been deeply involved in supporting Canada’s armed forces and their families for decades. He was a founding director of Canada Company that provides full post-secondary tuition scholarships to children of those Canadians Forces members who have made the ultimate sacrifice, is a former founding director and Chair of the Royal Canadian Air Force Foundation (RCAFF), and a former director and Chair of Wounded Warriors Canada.

HCol Wright has served as HCol RCAF William G. Barker, VC., College of Aerospace Studies, HCol Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Studies, HCol RCAF 400 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, and HLCol for the Canadian Army Ontario Regiment (Armored Corps). A long-standing member of the RCAF Commanders Advisory Council, HCol Wright is the recipient of five Canadian Forces Commanders commendations—the RCAF (3), the Royal Canadian Navy (1), and the Canadian Land Forces (1). A founding director of the Canadian Forces College (CFC) Foundation, he also served as the Chair of the Toronto Garrison Ball Program Committee from 2013-2015.

A recipient of the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for his efforts to honour Canadian W/C William G. Barker, VC, who is the most decorated military member in the British Empire and the first Executive Director of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), HCol Wright was also awarded the Ontario Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Community Volunteerism for his distinguished service as a director to numerous charities and institutes including the Alzheimer Society of Canada (ASC), Diabetes Canada (Ontario), and as a director and Vice Chair of the Ontario Institute for Clinical Evaluative Studies (ICES).

HCol Wright is a recipient of the Public Affairs Association of Canada President’s Award and Life Membership for his contribution to the practice of public affairs (he co-authored the first book on the profession in Canada and was a founding director and later president of the Association itself), designed and undertook the commissioned research for two International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Jake Witmer Research awards, was a founding director of the Canadian Association of Public Opinion Research (CAPOR), was conferred with the designation of a Certified Analytics and Insights Professional (CAIP Canada), has served as a member of the Canadian Research Insights Council (CRIC) Public Opinion Research Thought Leadership Council, and is a member of the British Polling Council (BPC).

A graduate of the University of Toronto and an Arbor Award recipient, HCol Wright is a former Ontario Legislature Intern, a founding director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, DC., and is both a Distinguished Fellow School of Public Policy at Queens University and Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society (FRCGS). As the co-author of three bestselling Canadian books about Canadians and their beliefs, HCol Wright is a much sought-after speaker and media commentator on topics ranging from politics and current issues to the economy and the impact of ever-changing demographics.

HCol Wright has four adult children and lives with his wife Jennifer in Toronto, Ontario.

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