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Meet the speakers: Donald J. Johnston

by C:F Team on 30th April, 2010 at 11:30 AM CEST

The Gala section of the upcoming Challenge:Future Summit in Bled will feature two great keynote speakers: futurist Joel Barker and Donald J. Johnston, OECD Secretary-General from June 1996 to June 2006. We have already introduced Barker's Keynote that will try to highlight key trends for the next 10 years, so let's also take a closer look at Johnston's Keynote that will open a discussion on how we can achieve a stronger, cleaner and fairer world.

Donald J. Johnston at the C:F Summit

A stronger, cleaner and fairer world economies

Donald J. Johnston will limit his comments to the financial market meltdown and what policy measures are appropriate to strengthen the system; he will give also a word about fighting protectionism. ‘Cleaner’ will be considered in light of the environmental degradation including impacts of climate change and ‘fairer’ invites a discussion of closing the poverty gap both within countries and globally.

About Donald J. Johnston

Mr. Johnston was Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from 1996 to 2006.

Prior to that, he was a member of the Canadian Parliament from 1978 to 1988. He served in the Cabinet, first as President of the Treasury Board and then as Minister of State for Economic and Regional Development, Minister of Science and Technology, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. In 1988, Mr. Johnston ended a decade of political life to become legal counsel to the prominent Canadian law firm, Heenan Blaikie, of which he was a founder in 1972.

He returned to politics in 1990 as the president of the Liberal Party of Canada, until he was elected as the first non-European OECD Secretary-General in 1996. After a decade of successful work at OECD, he returned to Heenan Blaikie in 2006.& The firm now has more than 500 lawyers in offices in Canada and the United States. In 2008, Mr. Johnston was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada, in recognition of his contributions to public service in Canada as well as his achievements at the OECD.

Mr. Johnston studied Arts and Law at McGill University, graduating from law in 1958 as the Gold Medallist. In 1958-59 he studied at the University of Grenoble on a scholarship. He taught fiscal law at McGill University from 1963 to 1976. He has written many articles on taxation, law and public affairs and is the author of several books including a best-selling political memoir.

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