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Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

Sponsored by the CSG International Committee


Thursday, Oct. 20, 3:30-5 p.m.


In today’s global economy, state leaders must look beyond traditional borders in seeking solutions to shared challenges in North America.  CSG is committed to providing state leaders with a practical understanding of the local impacts of global trends.  In addition to hearing from leaders about issues impacting North American states and provinces, participants will learn about existing cooperative working relationships between state legislators and their counterparts in neighboring Canadian provinces and Mexican states.



Assemblyman Marcus Conklin
Full Bio >>




MNA Francois Ouimet
Second Vice-President of the National Assembly
Full bio >>
Colin Robertson
Senior Strategic Advisor for  McKenna, Long and Aldridge LLP &
Former Head of the Advocacy Secretary and Minister at the Canadian Embassy in Washington and Consul General in Los Angeles
Full Bio >>



Moderator bio

Assemblyman Marcus Conklin
Marcus Conklin was first elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2002, and is now serving his fifth term. In 2011, he was selected as the majority floor leader of the Assembly. Before serving as majority floor leader, Conklin served as assistant majority leader since 2007. He is currently serving as vice chair of the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means and the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor. He was the chair of the Commerce and Labor Committee during the 75th legislative session.
During his tenure in the legislature, Conklin has championed consumer protection and ethics reform legislation. He was the author of Nevada's Do Not Call legislation in 2003, and in 2007 he successfully sponsored legislation to penalize mortgage lending fraud, to better monitor gifts from the pharmaceutical companies to physicians, and new requirements for limited liability companies that give political contributions.
Conklin earned a B.A. from the University of Redlands in Economics and Political Science and an M.A. in Political Science from Midwestern State University. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in Economics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
With a strong belief in community service, Conklin became involved in working with homeless youth. He was a founding board member and is currently the board chairman of the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. He has also do extensive volunteer work for the United Way and the American Red Cross. Back to Moderator


Speaker bios


MNA Francois Ouimet
François Ouimet is a lawyer specializing in business law. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil law and common law from McGill University and a Master’s degree in comparative Canadian literature from the Université de Montréal . François Ouimet is 50 years old and speaks three languages: French, English and Italian. Long involved in social causes, he became the youngest-ever chair of the Montreal Catholic School Board (CECM).
François Ouimet has been Official Opposition critic for education, justice and the Montreal region, and has served on several parliamentary committees as well as the Office of the National Assembly. François Ouimet assumed several positions following the election of the Quebec Liberal Party in 2003, including Chair of the land-use planning committee and the special committee on the Election Act, Co-chair of the caucus of Montreal Island Liberal MNAs and Parliamentary assistant to the Transport Minister.
Francois Ouimet became Chair of the Committee on Labour and the Economy as well as Parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Justice Jan. 14, 2009. He occupied these functions until April 5, 2011, at which point he was elected Second Vice-President of the National Assembly and member of the Subcommittee on Parliamentary Reform. Back to Panelists


Colin Robertson
A former Canadian diplomat, Colin Robertson is Senior Strategic Advisor for  McKenna, Long and Aldridge LLP working with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. He is Vice President and Senior Research Fellow at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.  He is an Honorary Captain (Navy) assigned to the Strategic Communications Directorate. Living in Ottawa, Robertson writes and speaks on international affairs and he is a commentator on CTV, CBC, CPAC and SUN-TV and a contributor to the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen,  The Mark and a contributing writer to Policy Options.
Robertson sits on the boards of  the Conference of Defence Associations Institute and Canada World Youth, where he is vice chair. He is the immediate past president and executive member of the Canadian International Council’s National Capital Branch. Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University, Robertson is a former member of Carleton’s President’s Advisory Council and a current member of the NPSIA Advisory Council. He is honorary chair of the Canada Arizona Business Council. He is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Retired Heads of Mission Association.
A career foreign service officer from 1977-2010, he served as first Head of the Advocacy Secretary and Minister at the Canadian Embassy in Washington and Consul General in Los Angeles, with previous assignments as Consul and Counsellor in Hong Kong and in New York at the UN and Consulate General. In his final assignment he directed a project at Carleton University’s Centre for Trade Policy and Law with the support of the Federal and Provincial Governments and the private sector on Canada-US Engagement. A member of the team that negotiated the Canada-US FTA and NAFTA he is co-author of Decision at Midnight: The Inside Story of the Canada-US FTA. He has taught at Carleton University, Queen’s University Public Executive Program and the Canada School of Public Service. He served as president of the Historica Foundation. He was editor of bout de papier: Canada’s Journal of Foreign Service and Diplomacy and president of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers.
Robertson was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal (2005), the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal (2006), the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association ‘Friend of the Industry’ (2004), and the distinguished alumnus award from the University of Manitoba (2004 ). Back to Panelists