NATO Champions

NATO Champions

As a way to ensure that Canadians from all walks of life will understand the importance of NATO, the NATO Association of Canada has formed an advisory committee to recommend the creation of a list of Canadians from the areas of sport, arts, media, tech, business the military and government, to be “NATO Champions.”

This group will be highlighted by the NATO Association, invited to our major events and will help spread our message about the importance of NATO and the international rules-based order to Canada.

NATO Champions should:

1. Be respected Canadians
2. Demonstrate outstanding achievement in their field
3. Show dedication to Canada’s peace, prosperity and security
4. Have an interest in public education and civic engagement

If you believe a distinguished Canadian meets all of these requirements, you are welcome to nominate them to become a NATO Champion by sending an email to

Meet our NATO Champions

Alexander Moens is professor and Chair of Political Science at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and founder and director of the Canada NATO Field School and Simulation Program. (

He was the first Marcel Cadieux Fellow in Canadian Foreign Affairs in Ottawa (1992) and the first Eisenhower Fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome (2015). He holds a Cormack Teaching Award at SFU and is a senior fellow with the Macdonald Laurier Institute. Moens has published books and journal articles on American foreign policy, NATO and defence studies, Canadian-American relations, and International Politics.

Nicole Verkindt is the founder and CEO of OMX, a collaborative platform for increasing diversity and local spend in global procurements as well as tracking, managing, measuring and reporting on socio-economic impacts in global supply chains.

Nicole is StartUp Canada’s 2019 Woman Entrepreneur Ambassador of the year. She was named StartUp Canada’s 2017 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. She was a Dragon on CBC’s “Next Gen Den”, and was one of Adweek’s 2018 “Toronto Brand Stars”. She is an investor in early stage tech companies on Gimlet Media’s “The Pitch”. She is commentator on CBC’s Tech panel.

Nicole sits on the boards of Canadian Crown Corporation, Canadian Commercial Corporation and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. She is also a Next Gen member of the Canadian Business Council, which is made up of the CEOs of Canada’s top 100 businesses.

Tom Lawson grew up in Etobicoke, Ontario, and attended the Royal Military College of Canada to attain degrees in Electrical Engineering, later teaching engineering at  RMC. Following pilot training he was posted to various bases in  Canada and Europe where he flew CF-104, CF-18, Challenger and Airbus aircraft.

Lawson has commanded at many levels during his career, as CO of 412 Squadron, as Wing Commander of 8 Wing in Trenton, and as Commandant of RMC. As a General officer, Lawson was appointed Deputy Commander of the RCAF, Deputy Commander of NORAD, and ultimately Canada’s 18th Chief of the Defence Staff. As CDS, Lawson oversaw the completion of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, the deployment of Canadian troops to Eastern Europe as part of  NATO’s response following Russian aggression in Crimea, and Canada’s contribution to the coalition effort against the Islamic State. General Lawson now provides strategic advice to several Canadian companies and enjoys speaking engagements based on his years in command positions.

Appointed Citizenship Judge for the Greater Toronto Area in June 2014, Albert Wong had over thirty-nine years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces, serving in various public affairs positions with the military across Canada, with the United Nations in Eritrea and Ethiopia, and in Afghanistan.

As a volunteer, he made valuable leadership contribution to several organizations including as Chair of the Mississauga Board of Chinese Professionals and Businesses (CPB).

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Albert is a recipient of the Chinese Canadian Legend Award (2012), the NAAAP 100 award (2015), and the Transformation Award for Public Service (2015).

He is currently serving as the Chief Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and was awarded the Vice-Regal commendation in 2014.

Dr. Bricker holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Carleton University, and a BA and MA from Wilfrid Laurier University.  He has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by Wilfrid Laurier University, which named him one of their top 100 graduates in the last 100 years. Darrell is also a Research Fellow with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, Ontario. 

Darrell has written seven national bestselling books. His latest, NEXT: Where to Live, What to Buy, and Who Will Lead Canada’s Future is a major release with Harper Collins Canada. Dr. Bricker is a popular public speaker who regularly engages with audiences around the world. He’s written articles for publications as diverse as Canada’s Globe and Mail and France’s Le Monde. He has also appeared on television and radio with all of Canada’s major national networks, and around the world with news broadcast organizations such as CNN, the BBC and NPR.