General ‘Walt’ Natynczyk is a modern-day leader with a business administration degree and a masters degree in Strategic Studies, who speaks the language of values, loyalty and humility. While he believes goal #1 is mission success, Natynczyk knows you cannot achieve a mission without caring for your team, building trust, and ensuring they have all the tools to do their job effectively.
With over 30 years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces, including a stint as Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff, Natynczyk has extensive leadership experience. He’s led Canadian troops in high-pressure situations across the globe, including Afghanistan, Haiti, and Bosnia. He’s overseen the Canadian Forces’ response to natural disasters and other crises. And he’s received numerous awards and honors for his service, including the Order of Canada and the Meritorious Service Cross.
But Natynczyk’s experience doesn’t end there. He’s also served as the President of the Canadian Space Agency, where he oversaw the development and implementation of Canada’s space program and represented Canada on the international stage. His unique perspectives on innovation and technology can help any organization stay ahead of the curve.
When you book Natynczyk as a speaker, you can expect him to share his insights on what it takes to lead in high-pressure and high-stakes situations. You’ll also learn about the importance of values like integrity, courage, and respect, which are critical for success in any organization. And you’ll get a glimpse into the world of innovation and technology, from someone who’s been on the forefront of Canada’s efforts in this area.
Whether you’re looking to motivate your team, inspire innovation, or simply hear from someone who’s been there and done it, consider General Walter Natynczyk.
- Leadership: Natynczyk can offer unique insights into what it takes to lead in high-pressure and high-stakes situations, drawing on his experience in the military and as a senior executive.
- Values: Natynczyk can speak to the importance of values like integrity, courage, and respect, which are critical for success in any organization.
- Innovation: Natynczyk’s time at the Space Agency gives him a unique perspective on how innovation and technology evolve, which he can share with audiences looking to stay ahead of the curve.
Highlights of his experience:
- Served in the Canadian Armed Forces for over 30 years, rising to the rank of General and serving as Chief of Defense Staff from 2008 to 2012.
- Led Canadian troops in Afghanistan, Haiti, and Bosnia, and oversaw the Canadian Forces’ response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
- Appointed President of the Canadian Space Agency in 2013, where he oversaw the development and implementation of Canada’s space program and represented Canada on the international stage.
- Served as Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada from 2014 to 2021
- Received numerous awards and honours, including the Meritorious Service Cross, and the Legion of Merit (United States).
Easy-going yet in-command and committed, he’s self-described as “Walt from Winnipeg…always remembering my roots in North end of Winnipeg.” He joined Air Cadets at age 13 and has spent nearly four decades in the military, ultimately reaching the rank of General and serving as Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff.
On completion of his duties in uniform, he was an executive in Canada’s Public Service for almost eight years. General Natynczyk served as Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada from 2014 to 2021 with three primary goals: to ease the transition from military service to civilian life, improving the well-being of Veterans and supporting their families.
Walt Natynczyk also served as the President of the Canadian Space Agency from 2013 to 2014. He worked to implement the Government’s vision for the Agency which included a new Space Policy Framework. That framework outlined five key principles for Canadian space activities: placing Canadian interests first, positioning the private sector at the forefront of space activities, making progress through partnerships, supporting excellence in key capabilities like space robotics and remote sensing, and inspiring Canadians.
During his tenure as Chief of Defence Staff, he oversaw Canada’s commitments in Afghanistan, Haiti, Libya the Vancouver Olympics, and protecting both G8 and G20 summits.
The retired General’s operational experience consists of four years on NATO duty in Germany; UN peacekeeping duties in Cyprus ; in the Former Yugoslavia with the UN as Sector South-West Chief of Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, then as the Chief of Land Operations, in Croatia. He commanded The Royal Canadian Dragoons in domestic operations during the Winnipeg floods of 1997 and in the Ottawa region during the 1998 Ice Storm, and he served as the Canadian Contingent Commander in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1998.
He became the third Canadian to serve as Deputy Commanding General, III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas and deployed with III Corps to Baghdad, Iraq in 2004 serving first as the Deputy Director of Strategy, Policy and Plans and subsequently as the Deputy Commanding General of the Multi-National Corps.
Upon his return to Canada, he assumed command of the Land Force Doctrine and Training System. He was subsequently appointed Chief of Transformation where he was responsible for implementation of the force restructuring and the enabling a renewed operational culture in the Canadian Armed Forces. From 2006 to 2008, he served as the Vice Chief of Defence Staff. He became Chief of the Defence Staff in 2008.
He earned his business administration degree and a masters degree in Strategic Studies.
Walt enjoys fishing and sailing. He and his wife Leslie have three children, Margaret, William and John, who serve in the Navy, Air Force and Army respectively. He is very proud of his seven grandchildren.