Senior Officer Biography
VICE-ADMIRAL DONALDSON A.B. , CMM, CD
VICE CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE STAFF
Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson assumed the responsibilities of Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in July 2010, and as such not only commands the VCDS Group, with its varied and wide-ranging mandate, but is also responsive to the Deputy Minister and the Chief of the Defence Staff for corporate matters.
Prior to this appointment, he commanded Canada Command in the crucial period during which were held the 2010 Vancouver Games and the G8/G20 summits. Previously, he had spent 18 months as Director of the Strategic Joint Staff, and two years in command of the Canadian Pacific Fleet. His earlier command appointments include the frigate HMCS VANCOUVER, the Sea Training Staff on the West Coast, and the destroyer HMCS ATHABASKAN, while flagship for the Canadian Atlantic Fleet.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson joined the Canadian Forces as a Naval Reserve Officer in 1977, transferring to the Regular Force in 1982. He initially specialized in navigation, and had a number of operational and training appointments in that area. He completed a Head of Department tour as Weapons Officer then Combat Officer in the East Coast flagship. He was the Executive Officer of the frigate HMCS REGINA and of the fleet replenishment ship HMCS PROTECTEUR.
Staff appointments have included Training Coordination Officer in the Naval Officer Training Centre, Senior Staff Officer Policy Coordination in the Maritime Command Headquarters, and Director Asia-Pacific Policy and Special Assistant to the Director General International Security Policy in the Policy Group of the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Economics from Carleton University in Ottawa, and a Masters Degree in International Relations and Maritime Strategic Studies from Dalhousie University in Halifax. He is a graduate of both the Command and Staff Course and the National Security Studies Course at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, is a member of the initial cadre of the Government of Canada Advanced Leadership Programme and is the Champion of the Defence Youth Network.