Al Sutherland is an executive and policy planner with the Privy Council Office of the Canadian government. In this capacity, he has had the privilege to reflect and provide policy advice on some of the 21st century challenges and opportunities facing Canadian society. Among these are ensuring that Canada’s place in the world is one of pride and influence, broadening and deepening Canadian society’s respect for diversity and adapting to the new security imperative in the post-September 11 world. He recommends public service highly to students with a love for their country, a spirit of inquiry and willingness to weigh and consider different perspectives.
After graduating from King, Al went to Queen’s University where he earned his BA Honours in Arts and where he received several academic awards. From there, he attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he earned his Masters in Public Policy. Upon graduation, he turned down job opportunities in the United States to join the Canadian public service. To date he has: 1. provided policy advice to Prime Ministers Chrétien and Martin and served their respective Cabinets; 2. given transition advice to the new Martin government on North American and global issues; 3. offered strategic assessments of the implications for Canada of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon to the Clerk of the Privy Council and Prime Minister in the hours and days following September 11; 4. helped to prepare the 2002 and 2004 Speeches from the Throne; and; 5. worked on the 1995 Québec Referendum for the federalist cause.
Al wishes to convey his deepest thanks and gratitude to the students, particularly the Class of 1983, and staff at KCSS. While at King, he drew inspiration from the instruction he received from the History and English departments. The Moderns Department’s attempts to improve his French continue to hold him in good stead. Some of his fondest memories at KCSS occurred in the gym or on the football field and for these he thanks his team mates, the coaches and the phys-ed department.
Al lives in Ottawa with his wife, Kerry Anderson, and their sons Sam and Adam whom he bores to tears with his tales of the old days, professing a continued willingness to suit up for the Green, White and Gold. He defiantly insists that King City is the centre of the universe and believes that Markham, Bayview and Huron Heights constitute the real axis of evil.
Written October 2004
Recognizing outstanding KCSS alumni