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Globe Columnists
Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019

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Norman Spector

Norman Spector received his BA (Honours) in Political Science from McGill University; his M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from Columbia University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow; and his MS degree in Television, Film and Radio from Syracuse University, where he was a Newhouse Fellow.

After lecturing for a year at St. Paul's College, University of Ottawa, he entered the Ontario Public Service and eventually became Executive Director at the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. In 1980, he moved to British Columbia and, from 1982-86, served as deputy minister to Premier Bill Bennett.

In August, 1986, Norman moved to Ottawa as Secretary to the Cabinet for Federal-Provincial Relations, a position he filled until August, 1990, when he became Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. In February, 1992, he was appointed Ambassador of Canada to Israel (in which capacity he was also responsible for relations with the Palestinian Authority), and High Commissioner to Cyprus.

He returned to Canada in August, 1995, to resume his career as a deputy minister, when Prime Minister Jean Chrétien appointed him President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. He resigned from the public service a year later and became Publisher of The Jerusalem Post in May, 1997, after a brief stint at as VP Corporate Affairs at ITL in Montreal.

Norman is fluent in English, French and Hebrew, and has knowledge of Russian and Arabic. He has been writing for The Globe and Mail since 1995, and is a frequent commentator on television and radio.

His book, Chronicle of a War Foretold: How Mideast Peace Became America’s Fight, was published by Douglas and McIntyre in 2003. The following year, he contributed an Afterword to William Kaplan’s "A Secret Trial," published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Norman resides in Victoria, B.C., where snow-drops are seen in December and the cherry trees blossom in February. To e-mail him, visit his website at

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