The O. D. Skelton Memorial Lecture

Inaugurated in December 1991, this lecture series honours Oscar Douglas Skelton, a prime architect of what became Global Affairs Canada (then Department of External Affairs) and of Canadian foreign policy. The lectures encourage a scholarly examination of topics within the subject of Canada’s international relations with distinguished Canadian lecturers. The O. D. Skelton Memorial Lecture is given annually during the academic year.

About O. D. Skelton

Before becoming then prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s advisor on international relations and then his second under-secretary of state for external affairs, Mr. Skelton had been Sir John A. Macdonald Professor of Political and Economic Science and then Dean of Arts at Queen’s University. Mr. King’s choice of Mr. Skelton to succeed Sir Joseph Pope, the first under-secretary of state for external affairs, was influenced in part by an address given by Mr. Skelton to the Canadian Club in Ottawa in 1922.

As head of the Department of External Affairs for more than 15 years, Mr. Skelton helped to define a distinct Canadian foreign policy. A firm believer in appointment and promotion by merit, he was responsible for the recruitment of a remarkably able group of foreign service officers. In view of Mr. Skelton’s scholarly background and his contribution to Canadian public life, Global Affairs Canada decided to honour his memory with a public lecture series.

List of lectures and speaker biographies

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