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About the Program

This program was formerly known as the Canadian Security & Intelligence Leadership Program (CSILP). Over 40 leaders within the S&I federal community across 15 organizations were consulted in the redesign of this program, now known as the Executive Security & Intelligence Leadership Certificate (ESILC).

The complexity of geopolitical trends and threats affecting Canada is changing rapidly. Multidimensional existential threats are increasingly crosscutting jurisdictions, accountabilities and organisations and blur distinctions between domestic and global issues. Within this complex operating environment, leaders must demonstrate the ability to think critically, brief for purpose, collaborate effectively and demonstrate agility and well-honed executive leadership of teams, partnerships, people, and issues.​

Designed in consultation with the Security & Intelligence (S&I) community for the S&I community, the program provides you with strategic and practical leadership approaches and tools intended to enhance executive and advisory skills. foresight, engagement, operational awareness, and the reduction of biases and failures. Grounded in exploration and dialogue, the ESILC will provide you with a learning environment that expands your networks and connections beyond your current organisation to include diverse sectors, experts from academia, and private sector partners.

The program consists of a ½ day orientation followed by five modules of 2 to 3 days each over the course of five months. In addition to the classroom time, you will complete a guided independent study and workplace assignments.

This program is co-championed by Deputy Minister Jody Thomas, National Security and Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister, and John Hannaford, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet.

More information can be found in our prospectus.

Download Prospectus

Program Highlights

1. One-of-a-kind Design

Guided by a senior leader advisory group, the program incorporates a cross-disciplinary approach, integrating Telfer’s leadership development expertise with an advanced and applied exploration of domestic and global security and intelligence issues. 

2. Real world issues

Each year, issues critical to Canada’s security become integrated into the program. Exploring leadership challenges through the lens of current issues enables participants to develop and transfer learning relevant to them into their team action plans.

3. Community mindset

The ESILC aims to actively develop the next generation of leaders attuned to Canada’s S&I community needs, and with a deep understanding of the wide scope of players and issues. 

4. Exceptional access

Participants will have frequent opportunities to engage with leaders and stakeholders in the public and private sectors. Direct access in the classroom and through interviews and site-visit discussions will give participants new perspectives on trends and threats as well as the opportunities and challenges facing today’s S&I leaders.

5. Networking

A cohort environment offers participants the opportunity to build a network of their own that they can draw on throughout their career.

6. Accountability for learning

Participants will engage with senior S&I leaders to share what they have learned and make leadership recommendations for Canada’s S&I community going forward. Participants are encouraged to develop action plans for application back in their organisations.

Who Should Attend?

  • Directors and aspiring directors general (EX-01/02 and equivalent) who have some S&I roles and responsibilities and who will be providing leadership to the federal S&I community​
  • High-performing middle managers (EX-M1) who are transitioning into executive roles and/or have been acting or performing at the executive level
  • The program is also suitable for directors general (EX-03) re-entering the S&I community and who wish to re-establish an S&I network and refresh their knowledge in this space.

What You Will Learn

Through this program you will develop your executive presence and self-awareness, and hone your abilities in:

  • Leading with vision and critical thinking; 
  • Communicating strategically and providing trusted advice to clients; 
  • Exercising accountability and advancing public trust; 
  • Collaborating within Canada’s security and intelligence community; 
  • Leading enterprises, people, and diverse and inclusive workplaces; 
  • Leading through effective partnership with stakeholders; 
  • Leading through complexity and crises; 
  • Leading innovation, change, and organizational transformation; 
  • Developing executive presence and self-awareness; 
  • Enhancing foresight, engagement, future thinking, and the reduction of biases.

Program Takeaways

A community and future-focused mindset that contributes to advancing S&I community development and cohesion, and strategies to address S&I opportunities and challenges.

A greater awareness, assessment, understanding, and appreciation of:

  • the evolving definition of national S&I priority-setting processes.
  • national and international threats and geopolitical trends impacting Canada and Canadians.
  • how intelligence should influence policy and operational decision-making communicate a vision aligned with priorities.
  • the role of parliament and the need for transparent public discourse on security and intelligence issues, and how to lead and contribute to Parliamentary committee and review body processes.
  • the functions, players, and governance of the S&I Community and how it operates as a “team sport”.
  • the importance and implications of diversity and inclusion in engagement, problem-solving, and policy development.
  • the leadership challenges of the changing cyber world and Artificial Intelligence.
  • how leadership styles influence leadership effectiveness.

Strategies for:

  • effective communication and briefing aligned with different client and stakeholder needs and preferences.
  • mitigate the risk and threat of misinformation and disinformation.
  • building and sustaining effective teams.
  • enterprise security and risk evaluation and management.
  • developing and maintaining effective partnerships
  • managing responses to crises.
  • decision-making through complex issues.
  • managing change recognizing the interrelationship amongst people, culture, and organizational change.
  • developing resiliency and the ability to manage emotional triggers.


Program Directors

Jennifer Irish

Jennifer Irish


James Clemens

James Clemens



Registration Deadline

Friday, December 13, 2024


In-person sessions


The program begins with a half-day Orientation and reception on Wednesday, January 15, 2025. For full program dates, please consult the Program Schedule.


$11,000 + HST
Cancellation & Payment Policy

More Information

99 Bank St., Suite 200 Ottawa, ON K1P 6B9

Tailored Programs

Our programs and certificates can be delivered to your employees and tailored to fit your organization’s specific requirements.

To discuss your needs, please contact us.

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