Board Of Directors
Mark Entwistle draws on a rich and integrated mix of professional experience across disciplines and over twenty five years, in global business and international affairs, government relations and operations, public policy issue management, negotiation and diplomacy, strategic communications, media relations, public affairs and advocacy.
In the private sector for over a decade, and one of the world’s leading experts on Cuba, he is at present President of Chibas Consulting Inc., a specialist consultancy in strategic business development in Cuba and global business intelligence more generally.
Mark is also a Fellow of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute (CDFAI), where he co-authored the book In the National Interest: Canadian Foreign Policy in an Insecure World. He is now finishing a major book on Cuba.
Mark served for sixteen years from 1981-1997 as a professional Canadian diplomat. His Foreign Service career included assignments at the Canadian Embassies in Tel Aviv, Israel (1982-1985) and Moscow, in the former USSR (1986-1989), where he was responsible for political analysis and bilateral relations. In 1990, he was senior aide for Parliamentary Affairs to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, where he managed the relations between the Minister and all institutions of Parliament.
Mark was Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Cuba for four (4) years from 1993 to 1997, and has been visiting the island frequently since that time, maintaining a wide network of contacts at the senior-most levels of the Cuban government. As Ambassador, he guided all elements of the historically important and delicate relationship with Fidel Castro’s Cuba under the vigilant eye of the United States, including political, commercial and security relations. He was the architect of a dynamic trade development strategy. Canada’s trade with Cuba increased markedly, doubling year-over-year for two years in a row and, during his tenure, Canada became Cuba’s largest trade and investment partner.
In a 1997 academic book on the bilateral relationship between Canada and Cuba, his tenure as Ambassador to Cuba is described as follows:
“Of particular importance is Mark Entwistle …A tireless and extremely talented negotiator, he is undoubtedly the most dynamic and successful Ambassador to Cuba during the revolutionary period.”
At the same time, beginning in 1989, Mark acquired gritty and extensive practical experience in government operations and communications, acting first as Media Spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs. In 1991, he was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Office as Deputy Press Secretary responsible for foreign policy. Months later, he was appointed by the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada, to serve as his Press Secretary and director of communications. In that position, Mark was responsible directly for all aspects of the Prime Minister’s relations with the media and the public communication and marketing of the policies of the Canadian federal government on all issues and across the full range of government departments and agencies.
He was at the center of planning across government for all policy matters involving the Prime Minister, including national policy initiatives, budget and financial issues, federal-provincial relations and four G-8 Summits, numerous other summit meetings with world leaders.
From 1999-2000, Mark also served as Chief of Staff and senior communications advisor to the Right Honourable Joe Clark, also a former Prime Minister and Leader of the then Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. He continues to advise private clients in the world of political communications.
He is Director of several entrepreneurial public and private companies, including YM Biosciences Inc., a biotechnology development company specializing in oncology, and Coral Capital Group.
Mark is Director of the Canadian Urban Institute, a public policy think-tank that seeks to improve understanding of urban issues and policy-making and management in Canadian and world cities, and Director of Psychology beyond Borders, dedicated to dealing with the sociopsychology of human trauma from war, conflict, terrorism and disaster. He is a member of the Cuba Working Group of the World Wildlife Federation (WWF).
He is the recipient of the prestigious Saul Hayes Award for Human Rights of the Canadian Jewish Congress for his work in supporting the Cuban Jewish community.
Mark obtained his B.A. from the University of Ottawa in 1979 and his Masters degree in History from the University of Toronto in 1981.
He speaks three languages fluently: English, French and Spanish, as well as working Russian.