Robert Fonberg was a deputy minister for the Government of Canada from 2000 to 2013, serving as Deputy Minister of National Defense from 2007 until his retirement from public service in 2013. In this capacity, he provided advice and guidance on defense policy and international defense relations to the minister of national defense and was accountable for the sound administration and financial management of the $20 billion annual budget, including the defence procurement program. In conjunction with the chief of the defense staff, Mr. Fonberg was involved across the full range of high-profile security, defense and humanitarian assistance files, including Afghanistan, Libya, Haiti, G7/G20 and the Vancouver Olympics. He was a core member of the government’s national security and intelligence community.
Prior to his appointment to the Department of National Defense, Robert Fonberg was senior associate secretary to the Treasury Board (2006-2007), deputy minister of international trade (2004-2006), and a member of the board of Export Development Canada. He served as deputy secretary to the Cabinet (Operations) and deputy secretary to the Cabinet (Plans and Consultations) at the Privy Council Office from 2000 to 2004. Prior to rejoining the Government of Canada, Mr. Fonberg spent time in the private sector in the Business Development Bank of Canada and Ernst & Young.
Mr. Fonberg is an executive fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, and a distinguished fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. He is frequent speaker on matters ranging from leadership to policy development in the 21st century to civilian-military relations, and he continues to provide strategic advice to a range of private sector clients. Mr. Fonberg is on the advisory board of a data analytics startup and a board member designate of a de novo bank in Canada.