Assistant commissioner Gilles Michaud, the commanding officer of the RCMP's national division, speaks at a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. (Fred Chartrand/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canadian Mountie appointed to top UN security job

A high-ranking official with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has been appointed as the United Nations Undersecretary General for Safety and Security, UN Secretary General António Guterres announced Thursday.

RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gilles Michaud, a 33-year veteran of Canada’s national police force, will succeed Peter Drennan of Australia.

“Mr. Michaud brings to the position a wealth of experience in directing national and international security programmes and initiatives, coupled with extensive knowledge and hands-on experience in the management of significant physical, financial and human resources,” said a UN press release.

Michaud also brings experience in specialized investigative units under Canada’s Federal Policing Program, including several years overseeing the RCMP’s national security investigations, the statement said.

The Federal Policing Program, which Michaud has led since 2016, is primarily responsible for investigating the most sophisticated criminal activity that impacts Canada and Canadians internationally, including transnational organized crime and national security, according to the press release.

As the first commanding officer of the RCMP’s National Division, Michaud was also responsible for providing protective policing services in the federal capital of Ottawa, including security for the Canadian Parliamentary Precinct, the Prime Minister of Canada and other Canadian executives and foreign dignitaries, according to his official biography.

Michaud also has experience in leading projects related to witness protection, border security, international capacity-building and liaison, and peacekeeping.

According to his official biography, Michaud is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Executive Institute’s 39th Session, the FBI National Academy’s 213th Session, and the Leadership in Counter-Terrorism Program administered by the FBI National Academy.

He is also a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Program in National and International Security and McGill University’s Executive Development Program.

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