Critical minerals + the North American EV battery value chain

EarnscliffeLive webinar: Critical minerals + the North American EV battery value chain

Panelists

Bud Locklear
Moderator

Principal, Earnscliffe Strategies

Susan Crystal

Consul General, U.S. Consulate General in Toronto

Jeff Labonté

Assistant Deputy Minister, Lands and Minerals Sector, Natural Resources Canada

David Paterson

Vice President, Corporate and Environmental Affairs, General Motors of Canada Company

Rahul Bedi

Principal, Earnscliffe Strategies

Watch the webinar recording:

Moderator

Bud Locklear
Principal, Earnscliffe Strategies

With over 30 years of public policy and international relations experience  in both the United States and Canadian governments, Bud is a results-oriented team player with the proven ability to motivate and lead. His professional expertise includes climate, energy, environment, trade, and defence issues, as well as space and innovation policy.

Prior to joining Earnscliffe, Bud served as Special Advisor for Energy and Environment at the United States Embassy in Ottawa. For over two decades Bud provided expert advice and analysis to decision-makers at the Embassy, U.S. Consulates General across Canada, and to officials in Washington D.C. on developments in Canadian economy, government, and society with an emphasis on climate, energy, environment, and trade issues.  During his tenure at the embassy Bud worked extensively with Canadian federal and provincial government officials to achieve mutually beneficial solutions across the border.

As a defence scientist with the Department of National Defence in Ottawa, Bud developed strategies, options and recommendations for defense science and technology policy – including Canada’s defence S&T partnerships with the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, and with NATO’s Research Technology Office.

He began his government career as a Foreign Service Officer with External Affairs and International Trade Canada. He served in Hong Kong, Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Colombo, Sri Lanka, as well as in Ottawa. Additionally, his work experience includes modelling natural gas flow for a major gas transmission pipeline company, spending time as an oilfield laborer, and working summers as a telephone “Central Office Technician”.

Bud holds an MPA from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Lethbridge, and a graduate degree in medical science from the University of Calgary. He is also a diplomate in Industrial Engineering Technology from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, Bud was born in Kansas, raised in Alberta, and formally became an Ontarian when he married an Ottawa native.

Susan Crystal
Consul General, U.S. Consulate General in Toronto

Susan R. Crystal assumed her duties as Consul General of the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto in October 2020.

A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor, Consul General Crystal recently served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).  She was responsible for overseeing a broad array of professional, youth, cultural, and sports exchange programs for U.S. and foreign audiences.  She places a strong focus on mentoring, diversity and inclusion, and leadership coaching.

Consul General Crystal has held assignments in the Bureau of Global Talent Management in the Office of Career Development and Assignments where she and her team were responsible for advancing career development innovations for the 14,000 members of the Foreign Service.  Other Washington assignments include the Bureaus of Western Hemisphere Affairs and European Affairs.

Overseas, Consul General Crystal held public diplomacy positions in Australia, Ecuador, Haiti, Mauritius, and South Africa as well as in Ottawa, Canada where she served as the Minister Counselor for Public Affairs.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she worked in constituent services for a Member of the United States Congress.  Originally from Pittsburgh, she is a graduate of the School of International Affairs at Pennsylvania State University and holds a professional certificate in Leadership Coaching from George Mason University.  Her foreign languages are French and Spanish.

Jeff Labonté
Assistant Deputy Minister, Lands and Minerals Sector, Natural Resources Canada

Jeff Labonté joined Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) in 1993. Prior to being named Assistant Deputy Minister for Lands and Minerals Sector, Mr. Labonté served as Assistant Deputy Minister for the Major Projects Management Office.  He was formerly Director General, Energy Safety and Security Branch and International Energy, and Director General, Petroleum Resources Branch in the Energy Sector, at NRCan. He has also held senior executive positions at the Geological Survey of Canada and the National Mapping Agency.

Jeff holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography and Political Science, as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Carleton University. He has also completed the Public Sector Leadership and Governance program at the University of Ottawa.

David Paterson
Vice President, Corporate and Environmental Affairs, General Motors of Canada Company

David Paterson leads Communications, Government and Environmental Relations for General Motors Canada and is a member of GM’s global Public Policy and Communications teams. His areas of expertise and responsibility for GM Canada include international trade agreements, climate and carbon policy, electricity costs, vehicle GHG and electric vehicle regulations, safety regulation, cyber security, privacy, taxation, investment incentives, pensions, worker compensation, real estate, labour law and red tape reduction.

David is a past Chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Journalism Foundation, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association, the Canadian American Business Council, and the Executive of the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council.

Prior to joining GM in 2014, he was Senior Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy at BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion) where he led global government relations and public policy. At BlackBerry he led a global team of 60 responsible for regulatory advocacy and engagement in 175 countries. Key issues included international market access, intellectual property, lawful access, and privacy.

Prior to joining BlackBerry in October 2010, David was Senior Vice President, Public Affairs at Manulife Financial, one of the world’s largest insurance and financial services companies.

From 2002-2009, David served as Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of General Motors Canada Limited where he negotiated an $11 billion restructuring support agreement with Canadian Governments – one of the most challenging periods in the Company’s history. From 1995 to 2002, he was Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs at AGRA Inc., and post merger in the same role for AMEC plc, one of Europe’s largest engineering services companies. At AMEC, he managed corporate and investor communications, based in London, U.K.  From 1990 to 1995, David led corporate and international government relations accounts at Hill and Knowlton Canada where he became Senior Vice President.

Between 1986 and 1990, he worked on the staff of various Ontario Government Cabinet Ministers, acting as Executive Assistant to the Government House Leader and as a Special Assistant to the Ministers of Government Services, Education, the Attorney General for Ontario and the Minister responsible for Race Relations, Native Affairs and Women’s Issues. 

He is married with a daughter and lives in Toronto, Canada.

Rahul Bedi
Principal, Earnscliffe Strategies

Rahul Bedi joined Earnscliffe Strategies in April of 2021. Prior to joining Earnscliffe, Rahul served as the Chief of Staff to Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. In that role, he led a team tasked with overseeing the government’s approach for growing and retaining business investment and economic development in the Province of Ontario. This included leading the development of policy and strategic communications in areas such as Ontario’s innovation and life sciences ecosystem, advanced manufacturing and auto sector strategy, the creation of Invest Ontario, international and interprovincial trade policy, and expanding domestic production capacity.

Rahul also served as Deputy Chief of Staff (Policy & Budget) to Ontario’s Minister of Finance. In that role, he led the development of key policy files including provincial taxation, securities regulation, alcohol, cannabis, gaming, and key fiscal documents including Ontario’s Budget and Fall Economic Statements.

At the federal level, Rahul has served as Senior Policy Advisor to Canada’s President of the Treasury Board. This included leading the development of policy on files such as regulatory reform, Public Service reform, IT strategy and procurement, and expenditure management.

In addition to his work in government, Rahul has also served as the Senior Manager for Government Relations at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, advocating on behalf of its 60,000 members and 135 chambers of commerce and boards of trade across the province.

Rahul holds a Master of Business Administration from Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Waterloo.

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