TORONTO—Bernd Christmas has joined Hill & Knowlton as senior vice president and leader for the firm’s newly-created aboriginal affairs practice. A former Bay Street lawyer, Bernd Christmas is a specialist in the field of aboriginal economic development. Most recently he worked with the Mi’kmaq First Nation community of Membertou in Sydney, Nova Scotia, as CEO, increasing profitability of the community from a $4.5 million revenue organization with a million dollar deficit to a $75 million operation.
“With Bernd joining H&K, our clients gain access to a world-renowned expert on Canadian aboriginal economic development, an area of growing interest to many organizations,” says Michael Coates, president and CEO of Hill & Knowlton Canada. “This new aboriginal affairs knowledge married with our stakeholder outreach and public affairs expertise allows us to offer the most valuable insight available on First Nations issues and concerns, government policies, economic development and regulatory matters.”
Christmas is a member of the Governor General’s Leadership Conference Executive Committee, and a member of the Prime Minister’s External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation. From 2000 to 2002, he was one of three Canadian commissioners to the International Commission for the Conservation of Tuna. He was a member of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board.