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Lt. Gen Romeo Dallaire (Ret)

Leadership Expert, International Champion of Human Rights & Award-Winning Author

A passionate and moving speaker, General Romeo Dallaire inspires audiences to challenge the status quo and take action in shaping a new future. His candid presentations weave together complex ideas in a way that is fully accessible. One of the most sought-after leadership speakers in the business, Dallaire has the unique ability to make each audience member take pride in the leadership they show in what they do. He is able to take a positive approach on difficult subject matter by focusing on the solutions, rather than the problems. Dallaire’s words will echo in the hearts and minds of audiences long after an event concludes.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Dallaire’s Story of Courage and Conviction
By standing up for the rights of those he was working with, and trying to protect, Dallaire is considered a hero by the international community at large.  He has faced battle and peacekeeping and returned home to boldly share his story, inspiring others to be vocal about what they believe in.

The New Leadership: A Humanistic Approach
Sharing his personal plight further to his experiences in Rwanda, Dallaire is lauded for his role in providing exemplary leadership in a mission fraught with obstacles. Upon his return to Canada, he spearheaded the efforts to redefine the long-term professional development and training requirements of the Canadian Forces Officer Corps. With the aim of helping make our leaders pro-active, Dallaire shares his advice on how they can regain the initiative on current situations while simultaneously anticipating what the future holds. His inspirational presentations encourage leaders to embrace a new form of heart-to-heart communications with their team, who will then have the confidence to go beyond the perception of their own abilities. A competitive edge and personal fulfillment will be yours if you put your team members and your fellow man – their skills, their continuous development and their quality of life – at the forefront.

International Conflict Resolution in this New Era
Dallaire challenges us: “Can we prevent conflict, or are we in a state where we’re always reacting to the initiatives of the belligerents? Are we always going to be crisis managers?” Peace operations have become one of the most important tools the international community has to achieve conflict resolution. Rather than discard peacekeeping altogether because of its checkered history, we need to learn from its failures as well as its successes. We have more resources and stronger mandates. Information should come from both human sources and from modern intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) technology to save lives and alleviate human suffering.

Mental Health & Invisible Wounds
Due to the PTSD he suffered from the horrors of the genocide, Dallaire was medically released from the military in 2000. Since then, he has tirelessly worked on raising awareness about mental health issues and post-traumatic stress disorder. Dallaire’s courage in going public about his own experience with mental health issues gives him undeniable credibility on the issue. This presentation will inspire audiences to break the stigma around mental health. He speaks with compassion and insight on how the challenges and disagreements on treating mental illness can affect all of us. As mental health wounds are not always visible on the exterior, Dallaire speaks on how much more needs to be done so that those suffering in silence can not just survive, but thrive.

Canada 150

Canada 150: A Strategic Vision In this presentation, Dallaire examines the current state of Canada as a nation. He offers up an assessment on what Canada could have done in the past and a vision of what it should be doing in the future. Dallaire also takes time to reflect on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, a defining moment for Canada where the nation emerged from the shadows of colonial Britain to showcase its greatness. He explores Canada’s role in international security and peacemaking while providing an outlook on where it can provide leadership on the international stage.

Platform Plus

Panelist/In Conversation

A decorated lieutenant-general and former Canadian senator, Dallaire brings forth stimulating & powerful discussions drawing on his 35 years service with Canadian Armed Forces & UN Mission for Rwanda. He is very passionate to discuss topics such as Mental Health & PTSD, Global Security, Child Soldiers & Conflict, Humanitarian Issues and Leadership.


Veterans Ombudsman Commendation
Calgary Peace Prize
Royal Military College Wall of Honour
Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal
CUSA Human Security Award
United Nations Association | Pearson Peace Medal
Harvard University Humanist Award
Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec
Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction
Officer in the Order of Canada
  • Through all your trials and sorrows, you have come to exemplify the greatest ideals to which we can aspire. You move us to come together and express our common humanity...you have made us all more human, more feeling, more emotionally attached to people and situations half a world away. We know one thing - you will not quit - and this in itself is a reason for all of us to remain hopeful, to keep looking for reasons for optimism.

    - Former Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson
  • The overall feedback about the General’s attendance was overwhelming. Many stated that this was the best keynote of the last 10 years.
    I also want to extend my personal thanks to Mr. Dallaire, whose attendance has not only impressed many of our more “experienced” participants but also left quiet an impression with the younger student crowd.

    - Coordinator, Humanitarian Congress
  • Romeo Dallaire was the most moving, real and compelling speaker we've hosted in over 20 years of Ramsay Luncheons. I would highly recommend him to any audience because he speaks with such passion and conviction to everyone.

    - Ramsay Luncheon Group
  • Vastly comprehensive, weaving together many different complex ideas in a way that was fully accessible. While highly analytical, the entire speech was infused with a passion for the particulars of his subject matter and for making the world a more decent place. And, I believe that General Dallaire is one of the kindest people I have ever encountered. What a humanist!

    - Michigan State University
  • You helped in changing us into becoming better contributors to Canada's success on the world stage. Your presentation today brought to light in the clearest terms what we need to do. You challenged everyone in the room to pick up their game in order to meet the needs of the institution and the country. Your analysis of where Canada fits in the world and our role as a leading middle power drew together your experience coupled with our curriculum. I have heard you speak on many occasions and today was one of the most insightful talks I have heard you give.

    - Brigadier General David Fraser
  • Gen. Dallaire likened our work as healthcare providers to humanitarian work and said "humanity will thrive not just survive". That’s what we want for our patients. It was an inspiring and eye opening talk…He is an inspiring and amazing human and so down to earth. If even in the midst of monumental pain and hopelessness, he can walk a sacred path of kindness, generosity and humanity, surely so can we.

    - Executive Assistant, Peterborough Family Health Team

Summary Profile

A passionate and moving speaker, Dallaire inspires audiences to challenge the status quo and take action in shaping a new future. His candid presentations weave together complex ideas in a way that is fully accessible. A kind, thoughtful and generous man, Dallaire has the unique ability to make each audience member take pride in the leadership they show in what they do. He is able to take a positive approach on seemingly difficult subject matter by focusing on the solutions, rather than the problems. Dallaire’s words will echo in the hearts and minds of audiences long after an event concludes.

His humanitarian commitment, honesty, and integrity have made a lasting imprint around the world. A decorated Lieutenant General and former Canadian Senator, Dallaire served 35 years with the Canadian Armed Forces, was Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda, is the bestselling author of three books, and leads the Child Soldiers Initiative.

His courage and leadership during the Rwandan mission earned him the Meritorious Service Cross, the United States Legion of Merit, the Aegis Award on Genocide Prevention, and the affection and admiration of people around the globe.  His defiant dedication to humanity as General has been well-documented in films and books, including his own account: Shake Hands with the Devil: the Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2004 and the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for political writing awarded by the Writers’ Trust of Canada.  It provided the basis for an Emmy Award-winning documentary as well as a major motion picture of the same name; and, has been entered into evidence in war crimes tribunals trying the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide.

Dallaire works tirelessly in shaping the dialogue within public discourse to create a momentum towards tangible solutions on important issues of our time including: mental health & PTSD, conflict resolution, veteran’s affairs, eradicating the use of child soldiers, genocide prevention and humanitarian intervention. His 2016 bestselling book Waiting for First Light offers a no-holds-barred self-portrait of the man and his ongoing battle with PTSD. The candid commentary reflects on what it’s like to live with the illness while motivating himself and others via humanitarian work.

Since the publication of his 2nd bestselling book (and subsequent documentary) They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers in 2010, General Dallaire’s primary focus has been his work with the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, continually seeking innovative ways to assist militaries worldwide to help eradicate the use of child soldiers, a mission to which he has committed the rest of his life.

Throughout his distinguished military career, General Dallaire served in staff, training, and command positions through North America, Europe, and Africa.  Most notably, General Dallaire was appointed Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda prior to and during the 1994 genocide.  General Dallaire provided the United Nations with information about the planned massacre, which ultimately took more than 800,000 lives in less than 100 days; yet, permission to intervene was denied and the UN withdrew its peacekeeping forces.  LGen Dallaire, along with a small contingent of Ghanaian soldiers and military observers, disobeyed the command to withdraw and remained in Rwanda to fulfill their ethical obligation to protect those who sought refuge with the UN forces.

General Dallaire has served on UN Advisory Committees on Genocide Prevention and Peacekeeping Training, and as Special Adviser to Government Ministers on Veterans Affairs, National Defense, and War Affected Children.  From 2005 to 2014, he also served as a Canadian Senator.

An important reminder: the Child Soldier crisis is not going away. @ChildSoldiers https://t.co/rjID0OiQZj (2018-11-22 04:00:18)
RT @ChildSoldiers: Today marks the 1st Anniversary of the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping to Prevent the Recruitment and Use of Child… (2018-11-15 05:30:14)
https://t.co/obrHBWYwIm (2018-08-18 12:19:03)