Institute Profile

The Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute is a charitable, independent, non-partisan, research institute with an emphasis on:


Canadian foreign policy

Defence policy, and

International aid


 We provide Canadians with factual and comprehensive policy analysis to promote their understanding of Canada’s foreign affairs and aid policies and the state of our military preparedness by developing and sponsoring authoritative research and education programs. The Institute studies these areas through a full range of national and international applications with an emphasis on their economic, political and social impact on individual Canadians.


Click here for a PDF of CDFAI's profile.






Vision for Canada:

Canada will have a respected, influential voice in the international arena based on a comprehensive foreign policy, which expresses our national interests, political and social values, military capabilities, economic strength and willingness to be engaged with action that is timely and credible.



To be a catalyst for innovative Canadian global engagement.



CDFAI exists to provide its target audience with international policy research and education programs that are informative, useful and thought provoking.



Corporate Goals


What we want to achieve:

To focus the national debate and understanding of the underlying issues that will ensure a more proactive and globally engaged Canada.

To enhance Canadian security and prosperity and to encourage public debate on these issues.

To become the national go-to independent international policy think tank.

To reach a target audience of “10,000” (politicians, civil servants, media, donors, corporations, NGOs, academics and interested public).

To develop relationships with the media such that they will routinely contact CDFAI.

To be a premier “go-to” New Media internet site among Canadian research institutes.

To achieve an international presence with other research organizations, governments and NGOs in order to exchange ideas and collaborate on research.

To develop dependable annual funding to support our expanding programs.



What we want to preserve:

The network of national fellows and advisors;

The reputation for authoritative research in the areas of defence, diplomacy and development;

The non-partisanship and integrity of our programs, projects and products;

Our values of innovation and entrepreneurialism;

Our relationships;

Our efficient distribution of products;

Our independence;

Our cost effective business process; and

The concept of projects consisting of papers, conference, op-eds, events and speaker series, which have given us our current reputation.




Values & Beliefs: 


A nation’s international influence governs it ability to defend, and advance its national interests, be they cultural, economic, social, or political.

International status is determined by a combination of cultural influence, diplomatic leadership, economic power, military power and moral authority. As a nation small in population, Canada’s place in the world can only be maintained by a judicious balance of these five factors since the prospect of Canada acting as a dominant global power in any one of these areas is rather slim.

 Canada’s quality of life and standard of living depends on international trade and the free flow of people and ideas across international boundaries. Canada has a vested interest in a peaceful, democratic world wherein human rights, individual freedoms and the rule of law are respected.

Canada’s global requirements ought to determine its spending on defence, security, foreign affairs and international aid.

Canada has the economic potential and political and social values to make a significant contribution to international peace and security.

If Canada were participating in international affairs at or near its potential, the world would be a more secure place and there would be less suffering as a consequence.

Understanding Canada’s place in the world and knowing its interests and the conjunction between Canadian interests, Canadian values and Canadian capacity is a prerequisite to acting responsibly as a nation.

 Authoritative analysis and research is necessary to develop logical arguments and create innovative ideas that persuade Canadians to support an active global presence.

Based in Western Canada, CDFAI represents innovation, perseverance, optimism, risk taking, individualism, a can do attitude and team work.









CDFAI is a federally registered non-profit organization with charitable status.


It is funded mainly by corporate, foundation and individual donations and sponsorships.


These sources share the belief that an informed electorate will in turn produce an informed polity. Dissemination of information will lead to the drafting, implementation and support of innovative and comprehensive Canadian policy in the areas of foreign affairs, defence and international development.






The Institute is structured for solid oversight and minimum overhead. The intent is to operate with minimum infrastructure so that the maximum percentage of funding will be available for programs.









Monthly Column


December 2014
What’s the Saudi Game?

by J. L. Granatstein

New from Colin Robertson

  Now Available
The top task for Canadian politicians: Get to know the new U.S. legislators

by Colin Robertson

The Dispatch


Now Available
Winter 2014
Edition of
The Dispatch

The 3DS Blog

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Canadian Defence &
Foreign Affairs Institute

Suite 1600
530 8th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2P 3S8




Canadian Defence &
Foreign Affairs Institute

8 York Street
2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1N 5S6

Phone:  (613) 288-2529 

© 2003-2013 Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute.