COVID-19 Update

Our Members’ health and safety – and that of our Communities – remains our top priority. As the COVID-19 situation is dynamic, we are continuing to monitor and shape the events for our membership with health, wellness, and safety top of mind.

With that said, all 2020 WiDS events will be delivered in a virtual format. Follow us on social media for news on upcoming networking and professional development events.

WiDS 2019 Virtual Annual General Meeting

Date:           Thursday, 18 June 2020

Dial in:        1-800-883-1836

                   Code: 1224908

Time:          3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

View the slide deck here.

  • Member Spotlight
  • Ottawa

Member Spotlight on Canada Army Run Race Director Major Lesley Quinlan

Major Lesley Quinlan was named Canada Army Run Race Director earlier this year. We chatted with her about how she found herself in this new role, her passion for health and fitness, and why being a part of the WiDS community matters to her.


  • Announcement
  • Ottawa

Women in Defence and Security Announces New President

Women and Defence and Security (WiDS)’s Executive Team is pleased to announce that Lorena MacKenzie will become its next President on June 18, 2020.

Lorena has been an active member of WiDS for over a decade and has served on the Executive Committee since 2018 as Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

“We are thrilled with Lorena’s appointment to President. Not only has she demonstrated tremendous passion for the WiDS organization through active involvement, but she is dedicated to what we stand for,” said outgoing WiDS President, Jana Lee Murray. “Coupled with her career experience in the defence industry, she is uniquely suited to ensure the continued success of WiDS.”

In response to the appointment, Christyn Cianfarani, President and CEO of CADSI and WiDS parent organization, said “We’re excited to see what the future holds for WiDS under Lorena’s leadership; it goes without saying that the organization will continue to grow and thrive.  We also want to thank Jana-Lee for her dedication and incredible contributions to WiDS as President over the past 5 years.”  

With more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, Lorena has worked extensively throughout industry supporting the Canadian Armed Forces, allied forces, and security agencies on a global scale, implementing strategic campaigns across six continents. She has been with General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada since 2001 in increasingly senior roles and currently serves as International Marketing & Communications Manager.

For her contributions in support of the Canadian Armed Forces, Lorena was awarded Esprit de Corps’ Breaking Down the Barricades: Women in the Defence World. 

“This community – and WiDS truly is an amazing community – provides tremendous value as a platform to put critical conversations on the table. I have spent the bulk of my career in the defence and security industries and, while I am encouraged by the strides being made toward a more diverse and inclusive environment, there is work to be done,” said Lorena. “I am truly honoured to be taking on the role of President and doing my part to make that work happen”.

WiDS has also announced the following new members will be joining Lorena on the WiDS Executive Team:

  • Debbie Goodleff, Co-Vice President, Industry Relations
  • Natasha Jamieson & Morgan Little, Vice President, Marketing and Communications
  • Christina Jutzi, Co-Vice President, Scholarships & Fellowships
  • Caroline Leprince, Vice President, Professional Development
  • Julia Scouten, Co-Vice President, Government Relations, Canadian Armed Forces and DND

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