Alan Stephenson brings a broad range of skills and experience to David Pratt & Associates (DP&A), from Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) combat fighter pilot to academic Fellow at a leading Canadian policy think-tank. As an Associate Consultant with DP&A, a government relations and strategic consultancy firm located in Ottawa, Canada, Alan specializes in aviation, defence and security matters. Alan is also President of Touchdown Solutions Inc., providing government and small/medium enterprises with strategic and operational advice.
Alan retired as a Colonel with 35 years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). His extensive knowledge of NORAD and NATO airpower follows from his career as a CF-18 pilot with 3600 hours flying fighters and as a senior officer at all levels of command. Having held key appointments such as Special Assistant to the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, Director of Western Hemisphere Policy, and NATO AFNORTH Chief of Tactical Evaluation, he has a broad understanding of military and interagency operational and strategic interaction, both domestically and internationally. As a former member of the Permanent Joint Board of Defence (PJBD), Alan was intimately involved with the formulation and delivery of Canada-United States defence policy.
Operationally, Alan has extensive experience in both the ground attack and air superiority fighter roles, having flown operationally throughout North America and Europe, Canada’s high Arctic, trans-Atlantic and over the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He has command experience in an Air Force Fighter Wing and Main Operating Base, a deployed CF-18 squadron flying operational combat missions, and 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron, home of Canada’s CF-18 basic and advanced ‘top gun’ training schools. Following his retirement from the CAF, Alan established himself as an aviation and defence consultant, working primarily with small and medium enterprises interested in defence procurement, while pursuing his PhD.
Alan is a graduate of Royal Roads Military College with a BSc in Physics (Sword of Honour recipient), the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College (with Distinction), and the United States Air Force Air War College where he received a Master of Strategic Studies with a focus on the strategic employment of airpower. His Master’s thesis, “Shades of Gray: Gradual Escalation and Coercive Diplomacy” won the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategy Essay Competition in 2002, the only international student so honoured to date. Alan completed his PhD at Carleton University writing his thesis on Canadian National Security Culture. As a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, he is an active contributor to academic discussion on Canadian Defence and Foreign policy issues.