Chris Kilford will be the guest speaker at the Canadian International Council’s first in-person event on May 25. (CIC)

Chris Kilford will be the guest speaker at the Canadian International Council’s first in-person event on May 25. (CIC)

International affairs expert giving talk on Putin in Whitehorse

Chris Kilford set to speak in Whitehorse May 25

The Yukon branch of the Canadian International Council (CIC) will welcome Dr. Chris Kilford to the organization’s first in-person events scheduled for May 25.

“We’re pretty excited,” Yukon branch president Keith Halliday said of having Kilford speak.

Halliday and his wife Stacy Lewis began working on getting a Yukon branch in place in 2020, but the pandemic put things on hold.

Halliday had worked overseas in the Canadian Foreign Service and with so many international issues that impact the Yukon, he and Lewis thought it would be a good idea to have a platform where Yukoners could discuss international issues and have experts come in with presentations on various topics.

In February, the local chapter hosted a virtual event over Zoom with the book launch of Dr. Mark Williams’ book The Politics of the Asia-Pacific: Triumphs, Challenges and Threats.

Halliday said the organization is pleased to host its first in-person event and is hoping for a big turnout to Kilford’s talk.

Halliday said Kilford, as the president of CIC’s Victoria branch, had already been extremely helpful in administrative matters that came with setting up the new Yukon branch.

“He’s also an expert in his own right,” Halliday said.

Kilford will be part of a noon roundtable happening at Yukon University, followed by a 7 p.m. talk at Baked Cafe on May 25. The focus of Kilford’s presentations will be Putin’s Shadow: The Coming World Order and What Does It Mean for Canada.

Halliday pointed to the importance for Yukoners in discussing the impact of world issues on Canada and the Yukon.

Kilford is a fellow at the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy, a research fellow with the Conference of Defence Associations Institute and president of CIC’s Victoria branch.

Prior to these roles, Kilford’s military career spanned nearly four decades and included work as the military liaison officer between the Department of National Defence and the Senate standing committee on national security and defence. His postings also included the Canadian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan where he served as the Canadian deputy military attaché and at the embassy in Ankara, Turkey where he served as the Canadian defence attaché. He retired from his military career in 2014.

A graduate of the Army Staff College, the Joint Command and Staff Program, the Advanced Military Studies course and holding an equivalency for the Canadian Armed Forces’ National Security Program, Kilford has written articles and chapters in books about Canadian and foreign policy issues and serves as a sessional professor at the Canadian Forces College.

Kilford also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba, two Masters degrees from the Royal Military College, and a PhD from Queen’s University, where his studies focused on civil-military relations in the developing world in the post-colonial period.

The Yukon branch of the CIC is one of 19 branches across the country in seven provinces and the Yukon.

The organization serves as a platform for citizens to engage in discussions on international issues, it’s noted on the website.

The CIC website states the Yukon branch is dedicated to bringing Yukoners together for discussions on international affairs about topics ranging from circumpolar affairs, climate diplomacy, Arctic sovereignty and security as well as trade and immigration.

Halliday said the Yukon branch is hoping to bring up guest experts a couple of times each year as well as hosting one or two digital events over the year.

While the Yukon branch is considering presentations on topics like circumpolar affairs, climate change and more, Halliday also said it will be gathering suggestions for future topics during the May 25 events.

Registration is required for both May 25 events, which are free, with those interested asked to email

Contact Stephanie Waddell at