John Harker is a former Canadian diplomat with extensive experience in African security issues. His engagement with Africa began when he served as advisor on African Liberation Movements to Canadas Prime Minister at the 1979 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Lusaka. He later authored the proposal on South Africa which was taken up by Commonwealth Heads of Government at their 1985 Nassau Meeting as the Eminent Persons Group. In 1990, he was appointed to chair the Commonwealth Expert Group on Human Resources Development for a post-Apartheid South Africa, as requested by Nelson Mandela.In 1995 he was appointed as advisor to the chair of the Senate Inquiry into Canadas peacekeeping mission in Somalia. In 1996-97, he served in Pretoria, as Special Advisor in the Office of the President, working on the creation of the National Development Agency. In 1999 the Government of Canada appointed him as Special Advisor on African Issues and tasked him with examining the role of Canadas largest oil and gas producer in the context of the civil war in Sudan.In 2002, former US President Jimmy Carter invited him to advise on Security issues in Sierra Leone during the first post-war Elections and after this he served for 10 years as President and Vice Chancellor of Cape Breton University, retiring in 2013.
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