Founding Chair, Canadian Council on Africa
Robert Blackburn has been Senior Vice President at SNC-Lavalin International since 1997, responsible for Sub-Sahara Africa, Government and International Development Institutions. SNC-Lavalin is one of the leading groups of engineering and construction companies in the world and a global leader in the management and ownership of infrastructure. Founded in Canada in 1911, SNC-Lavalin is acknowledged for its world class technical expertise, project and construction management and procurement and financial arrangement services - all delivered locally to clients in some 125 countries through its extensive international network of offices, partners and suppliers. Blackburn is Founding Chair and a Board member of the Canadian Council on Africa. He is also a member of the Boards of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the Defence Science Advisory Board (DSAB), the Trade Facilitation Office Canada, the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre and the Rideau Club of Ottawa. He is also an alternate member of the Board of the Commonwealth Business Council. Blackburn had a 30-year career in the Canadian federal public service from which he retired in 1995. In government his assignments included Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Priorities and Planning in the Privy Council Office, Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy at the Department of Industry Science and Technology, Deputy Administrator of the Canada Oil and Gas Lands Administration and Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy at the Department of Public Security. Starting his career in the Canadian Foreign Service in 1966, Mr. Blackburn served in the Department of External Affairs in Ottawa and on assignments in Paris and twice at the Canadian Embassy in Washington. Mr. Blackburn holds B.A. and M.A. (Modern History) degrees from the University of Toronto.