Christyn Cianfarani has been appointed president of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries, replacing Tim Page, who departed this summer to become vice president of government relations for Seaspan Shipyards.
Cianfarani, until recently the director of advanced training solutions and government relations at CAE, steps in at a time when the Canadian defence industry is grappling with the rollout of the government’s Defence Procurement Strategy.
She was a contributor and expert advisor to both the Emerson aerospace review and the Jenkins report, Leveraging Defence Procurement Through Key Industrial Capabilities, that shaped the government’s approach. More recently, she was appointed to the interim board of directors of the Defence Analytics Institute, one of several key planks in the government’s strategy. As such, she is recognized as a strong advocate for the defene and security industrial base and has been at the table with federal ministers and government officials as the policy and processes were created.
“It’s time for industry and government to work closely together to go from strategy to implementation and execution,” Cianfarani said. “In this particular case, execution is critical given that the outcome we are seeking is the timely delivery of exceptional equipment and services for our Canadian Armed Forces. This is something that we cannot afford to compromise in the process of increasing economic benefit to Canada and growing the defence industrial base.
“What has been put in place through the DPS has the potential to be transformative for the defence sector in Canada; it represents a departure from the past and a change for the better,” she said. “Maintaining a strong, open and honest relationship with the Government as we have done to date will be critical to success.”
A member of CAE for the past 17 years, she has held positions overseeing government relations, R&D and intellectual property as well as in a range of portfolios from product and project management to bids and proposals. Before joining CAE, she served in the Royal Canadian Navy as a MARS officer.
“Christyn’s appointment is good for our industry, good for the government and good for CADSI,” said Mike Greenley, chair of CADSI’s board. “Her knowledge, experience and enthusiasm are exactly what we need to guide us through these challenging times.”