John Barrett

Board Chair

President of Portolan Global; past President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association

Dr. John Barrett is President of Portolan Global Inc., a consulting firm specializing in Government and Stakeholder Relations in the nuclear energy sector. His areas of expertise include diplomacy and international governance relating to nuclear technology; geopolitical risk in the clean energy transition; policy advice on the role of nuclear energy and small modular reactors (SMRs) in decarbonization strategies; and developing sustainability/ESG profiles for nuclear technology companies.

Dr. Barrett was formerly President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association (2013-2019). Before that, he served as Canada’s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency; the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization; and the United Nations Office in Vienna. He was Chair of the IAEA Board of Governors; President of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; and Canada’s Ambassador to Austria and Slovakia. At Global Affairs Canada, he served as Director General, Strategic Planning and Coordination; Chief Risk Officer; and Director for Disarmament and WMD Non-Proliferation. He has held executive positions in the Privy Council Office, the Office of the Governor General of Canada, and the Department of National Defence. From 1994 to 1999, he was Director of Policy and Planning at NATO Headquarters (Brussels).

Dr. Barrett is a Director of the World Institute for Nuclear Security (Vienna), a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI), and holds the ICD.D certification of the Institute of Corporate Directors (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto). He is a founding member of the Brussels International Map Collectors Circle, a member of the Rideau Club (Ottawa), and a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. Dr. Barrett holds a PhD from the London School of Economics.

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