The Sexual Misconduct Response Centre Announces New Executive Director

News Release

Dr. Denise Preston selected to lead victim response and support operations

June 27, 2017 – Ottawa, Ont. – National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces

After a hiring process open to the public, Deputy Minister John Forster is pleased to announce that Dr. Denise Preston has been selected to be the first permanent Executive Director of the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC).  The SMRC was specifically established to support Canadian Armed Forces members who have been affected by harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Prior to joining the Department of National Defence, Dr. Preston worked for the Parole Board of Canada where she occupied the position of Regional Director General for the Ontario/Nunavut Region for eight years.  Dr. Preston also possesses extensive clinical background in psychology, and two decades of in-depth professional experience working in the federal criminal justice system with victims of sexual abuse and assault.

Dr. Preston is the first full-time permanent public servant hired into the position.  Her main focus will be on enhancing service delivery for CAF members, connecting with CAF leaders across the country, and building relationships with partners, stakeholders, and national and international like-minded organizations.


“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Denise Preston to the Defence Team as the new Executive Director at the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre.  The wealth of knowledge and experience she brings to the table will ensure CAF members continue to benefit from the essential services the Centre provides.”

John Forster, Deputy Minister of the Department of National Defence 

“I am delighted to join the team at the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre.  I look forward to working with the staff and team of counsellors in place to see how we can best meet the needs of CAF members. “

Dr. Denise Preston, Executive Director, Sexual Misconduct Response Centre

Quick Facts

  • The SMRC was established in September 2015 as part of Operation HONOUR, a recognition by the Canadian Armed Forces that there was a need to better support and facilitate access to services for members who have been affected by harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour.

  • The SMRC operates under the authority of the Deputy Minister, independent from the chain of command.

  • The SMRC provides confidential supportive counselling by telephone or email to CAF members.  Its goal is short term and is focused on active listening, identification of options, provision of information on resources, and facilitated access to services provided by the vast network of internal and external resources.

  • The SMRC’s focus is exclusively on harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour and provides members with the option of anonymity and confidentiality without the requirement to report to the chain of command or the Military Police.


Media Relations
Department of National Defence
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