Speaker Bio:
Neil Thompson



Speaking Topics:

Army, Cold War, Careers, Technology

Neil Thompson OMM CD


Neil joined the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa as a Private in 1966. In 1978, he transferred to the Regular Force as an Intelligence Officer. During this period, he was employed as a duty officer in the National Defence Intelligence Centre (NDIC) and as a strategic intelligence analyst.

In 1980, he became the G2 of the Special Service Force in Petawawa. During this time, he completed his parachute training. In 1983, he was posted to Mobile Command Headquarters and in 1984 completed the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff Course.


In 1987, he returned to the NDIC as the Deputy Director and daily briefer to the Chief of Defence Staff. Neil was appointed as the Deputy Director of Imagery Exploitation in 1988. In 1990, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assumed responsibility for the Eurasia Section within the Directorate of Defence Intelligence.


In 1991, he was seconded to the Privy Council Office where he held the position of Deputy Executive Secretary of the Intelligence Advisory Committee. From 1992 to 1995, he was a member of the International Military Staff at NATO Headquarters. In Brussels, he was the Branch Chief responsible for Special and Warning Intelligence.


Between 1995-1998, he was the Director of the National Defence Intelligence Centre. During this period, he was responsible for current and warning intelligence and for providing intelligence support to deployed Canadian Forces. During that time, he was deployed to the Former Yugoslavia


In 1998, Neil was appointed J2 Imagery. During this time the Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre was created. In 2001, he became the first Commanding Officer of the Unit. In 2002, he became a Defence Attaché in the United Kingdom and took up the position in London as the Canadian Forces Intelligence Liaison Officer to the UK Defence Intelligence Staff. In 2005 he was promoted to Colonel. Upon returning to NDHQ in 2005, Colonel Thompson became the Director Intelligence Operations within the Chief of Defence Intelligence Staff. In 2007 he was appointed as the Director Geospatial Intelligence and the Branch Advisor of the CAF Intelligence Branch. He retired in 2010 and became the Managing Partner of WCGroup and in 2015 the Vice President of a Blue Mountain Botanical Medicines Corp.


Neil Thompson was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Military Merit in 2004. He has also received the Owen Kenyon Award, the United States of America National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Medallion for Excellence, and awards from the US Defense Intelligence Agency and other US intelligence agencies.

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