March 2020 - Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy) - Peter Hammerschmidt

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  • Appointed in January 2018
  • 21 years in the Public Service, including at National Defence, Public Safety, and the Privy Council Office


  • Provide the Minister with advice and support on the implementation of Canada’s defence policy
  • Generate policy input for Canadian Armed Forces operations
  • Manage the Minister’s international defence and security relations
  • Provide the Minister with policy advice on continental, as well as international defence and security
  • Advise and support the Minister in fulfilling Cabinet and Parliamentary responsibilities
  • Engage external experts to address defence and security policy problems (Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security)

Key facts

Total Employees:

  • 207 (165 civilians, 42 military)


  • $35.578M across three votes
  • Vote 1 O&M - $4.672M
  • Vote 1 SWE- $16.588M
  • Vote 5 - $262K
  • Vote 10 - $14.053M

Primary location:

  • 101 Colonel By (Pearkes Building)

Key Partners


  • All Defence Team


  • Other government departments – Central Agencies, Global Affairs Canada, Public Safety and Portfolios
  • Defence and Security Expert Community
  • United States Office of Secretary of Defense
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Five-Eyes Partners

Top Issues for Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy)

Continental Defence Policy

Challenge: Evolving threats to North America, including in the North and in emerging technologies, particularly within the space and cyber domains.

Next steps: ADM(Policy) leads the development of advice on continental defence policy, including to modernize North American Aerospace Defense Command. The Group is also leading ongoing policy work to enhance and advance DND/CAF’s cyber and space posture.

Strategic Defence Policy

Challenge: Conduct research to support DND/CAF and Government of Canada in addressing hostile state activities directed at Canada and its allies.

Next Steps: support defence policy work that:

  • Safeguards earmarked investments for enduring capability requirements while also accommodating new pressures;
  • Delivers strategic guidance and seeking associated authorities/resources for pressing requirements;
  • Moves out on the government’s identified way forward issuing refreshed implementation strategies for existing policy directives.

International Security Policy

Challenge: Informed by Canada’s foreign and defence policy priorities and in direct support of Canada’s strategic interests, maintain and strengthen relationships with like-minded partners and develop or enhance relations with rising global actors.

Next steps: ADM(Policy) provides advice to the Minister of National Defence based on policy considerations, feasibility assessments, resource and other constraints, in consultation with the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments.

Support to Parliament and Cabinet

Challenge: the Minister is accountable to Parliament and Cabinet for government-wide defence activities. Defence issues typically garner significant attention from Parliament.

Next Steps: ADM(Policy) leads the preparations for the Minister’s engagements in Parliament and Cabinet.

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