The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Margaret Skok as Senior Fellow with its Global Security & Politics Program.

At CIGI, Ms. Skok’s focus will be on Central Asia, exploring the major security challenges, as well as the governance and institutional architecture of the region. During her career with the Canadian public service, she held positions with several departments and agencies with a focus on business, trade and security policy development. Ms. Skok also served with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa, at the Embassy of Canada in Moscow, and as Ambassador to three of the Central Asian countries.

“Margaret Skok is well known for her contributions to Canadian foreign policy and influence in one of the world’s most important regions,” says Fen Osler Hampson, director of CIGI’s Global Security & Politics Program. “Her expertise in the political, security and governance dimensions of Central Asia is a great addition to CIGI’s research on global security challenges. I am pleased that she is joining our team.”

Ms. Skok’s research project will involve developing and convening a series of conferences, workshops and expert panels to explore challenges in Central Asia, such as anti-terrorism, border management, human and narco-trafficking, in addition to energy, water and nuclear security. The project aims to strengthen the architecture of Central Asia’s regional security and institutional governance, in close consultation with bilateral and multilateral partners, as well as educational and private sector partners.

“I am delighted to work with CIGI to advance mutual interests in a region that is gaining in strategic importance,” says CIGI Senior Fellow Margaret Skok. “Since 1991 — that is, in a relatively short timeframe — the newly independent countries of Central Asia have worked hard to ensure their political and economic stability. Continuing to work with their traditional partners, they have also established new and dynamic bilateral and international partnerships in all spheres of their economy, education and security. The scope for increased cooperation is significant.”

While with Canada’s foreign service, Ms. Skok managed Canada’s agriculture relations and trade with the former Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. Post-1991, she worked with all levels of government and industry to support the establishment of new business opportunities and related policy development.  In 1992, she supported the establishment of Canadian diplomatic relations with Armenia and Kazakhstan.  From September 2006 to October 2009, Ms. Skok served as Canada’s ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan, with concurrent accreditation to the Kyrgyz Republic and to the Republic of Tajikistan.

Since her retirement from the Canadian public service, Ms. Skok has worked with Canada’s nuclear regulator to develop an international nuclear strategy, participated as an accredited Canadian observer to elections in Belarus and Ukraine, and consulted to the Canadian government and private sector on trade policy development, and bilateral agreements. As an independent consultant, she continues to provide advice to transitioning and emerging economies including Central Asian states.

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Kevin Dias, Communications Specialist, CIGI
Tel: 519.885.2444 ext. 7238 Email: [email protected]  

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit


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