Aaron Shull is the managing director and general counsel at CIGI. He is a senior legal executive and is recognized as a leading expert on complex issues at the intersection of public policy, emerging technology, cybersecurity, privacy and data protection.
Aaron has extensive experience building global networks of experts to enhance engagement with researchers and practitioners drawn from government, academia, industry and civil society. He recently concluded a significant research effort that focused on Reimagining a Canadian National Security Strategy. This project was unprecedented in scale and scope in Canada. It engaged a multidisciplinary network of more than 250 experts to inspire updated and innovative national security and intelligence practices and offered a series of key policy recommendations to assist the Government of Canada in addressing the challenges of a new security environment.
This work was well received by senior officials in government and inspired public conversations with Canada’s minister of public safety; the national security and intelligence advisor to the prime minister of Canada; the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service; the chief of the Communications Security Establishment; and the privacy commissioner of Canada.
Aaron has authored several reports, essays and policy briefs examining digital transformation and the evolution of policy and practice in cyberspace, where he has argued for more robust international norms. He has edited and co-edited many essay series, including Governing Cyberspace during a Crisis in Trust; Security, Intelligence and the Global Health Crisis; Modern Conflict and Artificial Intelligence; Situating Canada in a Changing World: Constructing a Modern and Prosperous Future; The Ethics of Automated Warfare and Artificial Intelligence; and Space and Cybersecurity in a Contested World.
As a legal and national security analyst, Aaron has written for The Globe and Mail, The Hill Times, the National Post and the Toronto Star. He has also been a media contributor, having done several live interviews with CBC News, CTV and BNN Bloomberg, among many others. Aaron has spoken on various expert panels and delivered keynote lectures around the world, including at the International Bar Association, RightsCon, the Data Conference, and the Annual Meeting of Federal/Provincial/Territorial Information and Privacy Commissioners. He has also provided expert-witness testimony before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
Prior to joining CIGI, Aaron practised law for a number of organizations, providing strategic legal advice and trial and appellate advocacy in regulatory, quasi-criminal and white-collar crime. He has taught courses at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law and Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.
Aaron graduated as a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar upon receiving his LL.M. from Columbia Law School. He graduated cum laude with first-class honours when he obtained his LL.B. from the University of Ottawa and graduated with distinction when he received his M.A. in international affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Prior to this, he received his B.A. in political science and history from the University of Waterloo, where he graduated first in his class and was recognized as the departmental scholar.