Peter Avis BA, MA – Class of ‘79 Biography – 2019
Born in Kingston, Ontario, Pete grew up on the shores of the St Lawrence River and, except for a sabbatical year for Wally (Dictionary-writing Dad) in Calgary in 1963, went to school and played rugby, football, hockey, and competitive sailing in the Kingston area. After graduation (Ontario Scholar) from Lasalle Secondary School, Pete went to RMC to complete an Honours BA in English and Philosophy. He started as a recruit with Booner and Killer in Brant (6) Squadron – and finished as a CSL (and Winter CWC) in the Frigate. He was awarded the Victor VanderSmissen-Ridout Award on graduation in June 1979. After graduating from RMC, he carried out the many duties of a junior Naval officer in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. In 1991, he was favoured with a wonderful Staff College posting to Paris, France at the Ecole Militaire. The exposure to the cultures and professional methods of officers from fifty-five nations, most of whom were francophone and non-NATO, was truly one of the high-points in his military career.
After Staff College, in 1996, he returned to sea as Executive Officer of NCSM VILLE DE QUEBEC, the East Coast's only francophone, mixed gender ship. Following this, he was appointed as Executive Officer of the Sea Training Unit in Halifax. He was promoted to the rank of Commander on completion of the Sea Training appointment. He assumed the position Commanding Officer of HMCS FREDERICTON in May 1999. Over a two and-a-half year period of command, he took part in two STANAVFORLANT deployments and several major NATO exercises. Just before September 11, 2001, Captain (N) Avis took over the position of Director Maritime Policy, Operations and Readiness for the Chief of the Maritime Staff in the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. During this posting, he was the strategic-level Operations Officer for the Navy during Operation APOLLO and became a member of the original Interdepartmental Maritime Security Working Group (IMSWG) in Ottawa.
Experienced in interdepartmental, multi-jurisdictional, defence and security policy development, concepts and doctrine development, interdepartmental collaboration, and high-level government training, highlights of Pete’s experience include serving on numerous international defence committees, developing the National Interdepartmental Marine Security Plan for IMSWG after 9/11, influencing policy options to Cabinet as a member of Privy Council Office (PCO), and training high officials of national government in the Federal Emergency Response System through Exercise Triple Play in 2005.
Pete was a Masters Student at Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University, Ottawa in 2003-2004. His Master’s degree was focussed on Security and Intelligence, Conflict Prevention, and Conflict Resolution. Pete’s thesis was entitled Approaches to Maritime Security in the Post-911 Era. Pete authored the book National Security Approaches to Maritime Security in the Post-9/11 Era published by Dalhousie University Press in 2006. This academic thesis brought forward seven best-practices to be used by the Canadian government to improve maritime security across the nation. This work was recognized by the Navy League of Canada as a significant contribution to national (and international) security in 2007 by the awarding of the national-level Hendy Award.
Pete’s final posting was in command as Commander Maritime Operations Group Four, Maritime Forces Pacific, Esquimalt, BC. He commanded over 500 military and civilian personnel and led a full operational staff, including the 6 Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels, a VICTORIA-class submarine, the advent of the new ORCA Class vessels, the Pacific Diving Unit (including National-level EOD specialists), the Reserve Port Security Units.
In July 2008, Pete retired from the CF and joined as a civilian senior consultant with the Ottawa-based consulting firm Lansdowne Technologies Inc. He served with Lansdowne for ten years and, as a full partner in the business, enjoyed mentoring middle-level leaders across several departments. His focus as a consultant was his business line called “Security, Emergency Management, and Exercises (SEMEX).” Pete was a co-leader for the team that completed a ground-breaking project which dealt with renewing the Lessons Learned process in the Canadian Forces directly after the lessons of the Olympics and G8/G20 Summit were observed. He has written reports on Capability Assessment for DND, Cargo Security for the Canadian Trucking Alliance, Maritime Security Strategy for Transport Canada, and a strategic-level Emergency Management Review for the Government of Ontario.
My current Linkedin profile states: “Avis moves back to home town! Country Gentleman (independent). In 2017 (60th birthday – and what a rocking party it was!!!). I have moved back to Kingston to the red house in the Shire (Cartwright Point). Primary Address: Peter Avis, 5 Oriole Lane, Kingston, Ontario, K7K 5E2.
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
· Book Author: Comparing National Security Approaches to Maritime Security in the Post 9/11 Era, (Dalhousie University Press, 2005).
· 2006 National-level Robert I. Hendy Distinguished Achievement Award (Navy League of Canada – to individuals who have accomplished achievements of national or international significance in the area of maritime affairs).
· Author of Chapters of Two Dalhousie University Press books – Breaking the Box: The Increasing Demands of Non-Combat Roles on Maritime Forces; and Global Perspectives on Oil Security. These books are available at: http://centreforforeignpolicystudies.dal.ca/pubs.php#marsec
· Published Defence and Security Articles in RUSI/Janes, Canadian Military Journal, Frontline Defence and Frontline Security magazines.
· Masters’ Degree in International Affairs, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), Carleton University, Ottawa, 2004.
· Brevet Militaire (Masters level) Ecole Militaire Staff College in Paris, France, 1991.
· Bachelor of Arts (Honours English and Philosophy), Royal Military College Kingston, 1979.
· Medals: Canadian Decoration (CD); Ex-Yugoslavia Operation 1995; Peacekeeping 1996; NATO Special Service 1983 and 1999.
· 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 editions of Canadian Who’s Who.