Canada’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is David MacNaughton?
David MacNaughton, a long-time member and behind-the-scenes politician for the Liberal Party, took over as Canada’s ambassador to the United States on March 2, 2016.
MacNaughton is from Ancaster, Ontario, now part of the larger city of Hamilton. He attended secondary school at Ridley College in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, where he played football and hockey. He graduated in 1967. He went on to the University of New Brunswick, earning a B.A. in 1971.
After graduation, MacNaughton went to work as executive assistant to Don Jamieson, a Liberal Party member of Parliament. While working for Jamieson, MacNaughton traveled to Washington with his boss and then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. MacNaughton has recounted, as a young functionary, having lunch with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
MacNaughton left government in 1977 to be president of KinMac Consultants, a public and government relations firm. In 1981, he helped found the Public Affairs Resource Group, which performed similar work. He also took time in 1987 to chair the ultimately successful campaign by David Peterson for Premier of Ontario.
In 1989, MacNaughton joined the giant firm of Hill and Knowlton Strategies, at first leading its Canadian division, and from 1993-94 in charge of its North American operations. He left Hill and Knowlton in 1994 and the following year became president of Strathshore Financial, a Canadian securities broker. In 2000, MacNaughton became a senior adviser to CIBC Capital Markets, part of the investment banking subsidiary of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
MacNaughton returned to government in 2003 as the principal secretary to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. In 2005, MacNaughton became president of Strategy Corp., a government relations firm. He also served as board chairman of Comcare, a home care provider, and Aereus Technologies, a startup in Ontario. MacNaughton remained at Strategy until being appointed ambassador.
MacNaughton’s wife, Leslie Noble, is a prominent member and former president of the Conservative Party. MacNaughton is quoted as saying that he and his wife tend to discuss sports more than politics in their house. They have four grown daughters.
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