Centre for International and Defence Policy

Centre for International and Defence Policy
Centre for International and Defence Policy

LCol PJ O'Halloran, Cdn VDF 2016-2018
Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick J. O’Halloran,

Assistant Professor, the Royal Military College of Canada
Canadian Armed Forces Visiting Defence Fellow, 2016-2018


Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick O’Halloran enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1981 as a Piper in the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa then transferred in 1983 to the Regular Force whereby he attended Royal Roads Military College in Victoria and Royal Military College in Kingston.  Upon graduation and completion of training he was posted to the 12e Régiment Blindé du Canada, an armour regiment in Valcartier, Quebec.  During his over 33 years of service he has served in a variety of regimental, staff and academic positions in Valcartier, Gagetown, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Ottawa, Kingston and Lisbon, Portugal.

He completed a tour as the reconnaissance squadron deputy commander and operations officer in Bosnia as part of NATO`s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).  As the principle Associate Deputy Minister (Policy) senior policy officer for the Afghanistan portfolio from 2003 to 2006, he collaborated with other government departments to develop and deploy Canada’s military contribution to Afghanistan in 2003 and the subsequent shift to Kandahar in 2005, including the establishment of a Provincial Reconstruction Team.  Lieutenant-Colonel O’Halloran received a Commander’s Commendation by the Commander NATO Joint Force Command Lisbon for his work as Plans Section Head and Chief Joint Operations Planning Group from 2008-2011, including his contribution and leadership on multiple NATO Response Force certification exercises, NATO’s counter-piracy operation Op OCEAN SHIELD, numerous prudent planning events including ones related to Somalia, Haiti and the Caucasus, and staff work to integrate NATO’s new planning directive and software within a revised staff structure.

From 2011-2014 he was first a directing staff at the Canadian Army’s Command and Staff College and then the Head of Formation Training Group, responsible for the professional development and simulation training of the Army’s high readiness task force and the Afghanistan National Command and Support Element Headquarters.  In 2014 he was posted to his current position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the Royal Military College of Canada.  His course load includes courses in comparative, introductory and Canadian politics and public policy. He is the deputy-chair of the Master of Arts in Public Administration Programme.

Lieutenant-Colonel O’Halloran was awarded a BA in Politics, MA in War Studies and Master of Defence Studies from RMC, and a PhD in Political Science from York University, Toronto.  His dissertation was on the impact of ethnonationalism on post-conflict political institution building, using Bosnia as a case study.  He was a lecturer in the Strategic Studies department of Collège militaire royal de St-Jean for two years, a lecturer in the War Studies programme for the Royal Military College and is now an Assistant Professor at the Royal Military College.  His publications include work related to humanitarian intervention, ethnonationalism and post-conflict statebuilding and, more recently, terrorist financing. He has presented at academic forums both in Canada and abroad.  He is a graduate of the Land Forces Staff Course, the Transition Command and Staff Course and the Joint Command Staff Programme. 

His hobbies include alpine and cross-country skiing, playing the bagpipes, ice hockey, sailing, walking his dog, running, body boarding when he can find a surf, and reminiscing about Portugal.

  • BA Politics and Economics, Royal Military College of Canada;
  • MA in War Studies and Master of Defence Studies, Royal Military College of Canada
  • Ph.D in Political Science from York University

Current Interests/Research:

  • Human Intervention
  • Ethnonationalism and post-conflict statebuilding, and
  • Terrorist financing

Office: Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 406
Telephone: (613) 533-6000 x: 75215

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