For a Conference with an American delegation of about 60 per cent, finding a keynote speaker that students both north and south of the border identify with is always a challenge. As former ambassador to the United States and University of Toronto alumnus, the Honourable Michael Wilson will be filling those big shoes at NAMUN 2015.
“...on the international scale, Michael Wilson has represented Canada on a number of occasions, including at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which is one of the committees being run at NAMUN 2015 this year," said Christine Jacob, Director General for NAMUN 2015.
"Through his first-hand experience with the IMF and other international conferences, I believe Michael Wilson will provide an engaging discussion of international and global politics for all delegates.” Wilson will be giving the keynote address at the Conference's opening ceremonies at Victoria College's Isabel Bader Theatre on February 19.
“Because this is NAMUN’s 30th anniversary conference, we wanted NAMUN to return to its roots at the University of Toronto," said Jacob. "As a University of Toronto and Trinity College alumnus, and current Chancellor of the University of Toronto, Michael Wilson is the perfect fit.”
Wilson graduated from the University of Toronto (U of T) in 1959 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Since his graduation, he has often returned to contribute to his alma mater. He helped to establish the Cameron Parker Holcombe Wilson Chair in Depression Studies at the University of Toronto, has received awards from Rotman School of Management for his work, and was named U of T’s 33rd Chancellor beginning in 2012. After his three-year term, he was re-elected for a second term, and continues to devote time and energy to U of T.
Between accomplishments at home and abroad, Wilson has a political background to rival many.
“I believe that through these diverse experiences, the Honourable Michael Wilson can present an engaging outlook on global and international politics for delegates who attend our conference," Jacob said.
NAMUN 2015's Secretary General Larysa Workewych said that Wilson's relevancy to both Canada and the United States makes him an "ideal choice" for NAMUN.
“NAMUN’s delegate ratio annually is typically 40 per cent Canadian and 60 per cent American,” said Workewych. “Given the Honourable Michael Wilson’s previous position as the 22nd Canadian Ambassador to the United States, he perfectly bridges the Canadian-American separation."
Not only does Wilson's appointment as keynote speaker serve to connect Canadian and American cultures, but it also represents NAMUN's commitment to the history and tradition of the Conference, particularly for its 30th anniversary.
“In our interview with Kevin Talbot, NAMUN’s founder in 1985, it was learned that the University of Toronto’s Chancellor at the time, George Ignatieff, had a role in the conference’s inaugural opening ceremonies," Workewych said. "It’s only fitting to involve the University of Toronto’s current Chancellor in this year’s conference.”