General Rick Hillier (Retired)
Former Chief of the Defence Staff, Canadian Forces; Former Chancellor, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Born in Newfoundland and Labrador, Rick Hillier enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1973 through the Regular Officer Training Plan program and graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He joined his first regiment, the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s) and also served with – and later commanded – the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Canada and Germany.
Throughout his career, Hillier commanded troops from the platoon to multi-national formation levels within Canada, Europe, Asia and the United States. He worked as a staff officer in several headquarters, first at the army level in Montreal and later at the strategic level in Ottawa. In 1998, Hillier was appointed the first Canadian deputy commanding general of III Corps, U.S. Army in Fort Hood, Texas. In 2000, he took command of NATO’s Stabilization Force’s Multinational Division (Southwest) in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In May 2003, he was appointed commander of the army and in October 2003, was selected as the commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Rick Hillier was appointed Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff in 2005 and served in that role until his retirement in 2008. In 2008, he was named chancellor of Memorial University of Newfoundland and served a four-year term.
Rick Hillier will deliver the conference luncheon keynote address on June 18.