The International Forum for Peace, Security & Prosperity is honoured to be supported by a select group leaders from the fields of academia, the profession of arms, politics, and business. Our Honorary Patrons are highly accomplished ambassadors for our mission and vision.
Hailing from the Ahuntsic neighbourhood in Montréal, Québec, Tony Loffreda is a certified public accountant with 35 years of experience in the Canadian financial industry.
Mr. Loffreda holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University, and has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility ranging from Senior Auditor and Regional Vice-President of Commercial Financial Services at the Royal Bank of Canada (Québec headquarters) to the position of Vice-Chairman of Royal Bank of Canada Wealth Management.
Mr. Loffreda has served on various boards and committees including, but not limited to, the Concordia University Board of Governors; the Integrated Health and Social Services University Network for West-Central Montréal; Montréal International; the Italian-Canadian Community Foundation; and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada. He also previously served as a member of the executive committee of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal.
He is a leading philanthropist, active in service to many communities, having chaired fundraising activities across the province for various causes such as the Giant Steps School; the Montréal Jewish General Hospital; McGill University Goodman Research Centre; and the Montréal Cancer Institute. He is also a frequent and sought-after speaker on economic and community issues.
Among his many awards and distinctions, he is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and has been awarded the Governor General of Canada Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers; the Lieutenant Governor of Québec’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Merit; the Senate of Canada 150th Anniversary Medal; and the Philhellene of the Year Award by the Hellenic Community of Greater Montréal. He was also inducted as an administrator into the Montréal-Concordia Soccer Hall of Fame.
Lieutenant General Luigi Francesco De Leverano was born in Lecce on May 25th, 1958. He joined the Army in 1976 at the Military Academy in Modena (Course 158) and later attended the School of Applied Military Studies in Turin (1976-1980).
At the end of his studies (1980), he was assigned to the ‘Leonessa’ Signals Battalion in Civitavecchia (Rome) where he served as First Lieutenant (Platoon Leader), Captain (Company Commander), and Lieutenant Colonel (Battalion CO).
He has also manned several staff positions at the Signals Inspectorate and the Army General Staff, notably Staff Officer; Chief Regulations Section; Chief 1st Section, Recruitment, Legal Status, and Promotions Branch; Chief Section at the Legal Affairs Branch; Chief Recruitment, Legal Status, and Promotions Branch; and Chief Recruitment Branch at the Personnel Legal Affairs Division, Army General Staff.
As a Colonel, he was the Commanding Officer of 235th ‘Piceno’ Regiment, a training regiment where female personnel were first incorporated.
In the rank of Brigadier, after serving as Deputy Commander, Italian Contingent – Iraq, he was appointed Commanding Officer, ‘Sassari’ Mechanised Brigade.
Lt.Gen. De Leverano was also Deputy Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Defence, Acting Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Defence. As Major General, he served as Head, Central Staff of the Chief of Defence.
In the rank of Lieutenant General, he was the Commanding Officer, 2nd Operational Defence Forces Command in San Giorgio a Cremano (Naples); Commanding Officer, Interregional Defence Forces (South) in Naples; Commanding Officer, Operational Forces Command (South); Army Logistic Commander; and Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff.
On November 27th, 2021, Lt.Gen. De Leverano has been appointed Military Advisor to the President of the Council of Ministers. In this capacity, he has also been appointed Secretary of the Inter-ministerial Committee for Space and Aerospace Policies, and confirmed as such on 17 June 2021.
Along his career, Lt.Gen. De Leverano has taken several other positions, notably: Member of the Board for the Evaluation of Personnel to be included in the Selected Force; Tutor for the Doctorate in Strategic Sciences at the University of Turin; Member of the auditing committee for the Central Committee of the Red Cross; Member of the technical panel for the implementation of the provisions of Decree 22/2008 of the President of the Council of Ministers concerning crime-related victims of duty and their survivors; Member of the Working Group for the review of military criminal laws in peace and in war; Member of the Governmental Commission for the implementation of the provisions of the Agreement between Italy and the Holy See signed on 18 February 1984 and ratified with law 121 or March 25th, 1985; Project Officer for the rationalisation, harmonisation, and implementation of available military facilities in Naples (Palazzo Salerno, and the compound comprising the ‘Calò’, ‘Minucci’, and ‘Marselli’ barracks and the ‘Albricci’ Stadium.
He delivered conferences at the University of Florence about “Women in the Armed Forces”; at the University of Tor Vergata (Rome) on the “Organisation and Tasks of the Armed Forces” within the Post Graduate Specialisation Course in Journalism for War Correspondents; and at the Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta (Rome) about “The International Deployments of the Armed Forces and the Participation of Female Personnel: the First Ten Years”.
He has contributed to “Specchio Economico” magazine and published several articles on the Army in-house magazine (Rivista Militare), including: Il Riallineamento è una realtà (Realignment has become reality), …La chiamano mini naja (They call it ‘mini conscription’), Ha dieci anni e non li dimostra (Ten Years Old and Still Looking Young). On the Defence in-house magazine (Informazioni della Difesa) he authored La specificità della condizione militare (The special legal status of military personnel); La formula del giuramento (The Wording of Military Oath); 3P: Professionalità, Professionalizzazione, Professionisti (3Ps: Professionalism, transformation into a Professional Force, and Professionals); Specificità: vantaggio o svantaggio? (The special legal status of military personnel: advantage or disadvantage?), In nome del Comitato dei Capi (In the name of the Joint Chiefs of Staff).
Lt.Gen. De Leverano attended the following courses: Information Course for Electronic Warfare Officers; 23rd Course for Battalion / Group Intelligence Officers; 8th distance learning English course; 115th Staff College Course; 115th Advanced Staff College Course; NATO Joint Service Course for EW Planning and Analysis in Exercise; 36th Session of the Italian School for International Bodies; Master in European Studies at the ‘Alcide de Gasperi’ Institute; ‘M. Cutuli’ Post Graduate Specialisation Course in Journalism for War Correspondents.
He has obtained the Degree in Strategic Sciences and the following Masters’ Degree at the University of Turin, as well as the Degree in Political Sciences at the University of Trieste.
Lt.Gen. De Leverano speaks English and Spanish and has a working knowledge of French.
He was also awarded several decorations and awards, such as Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic; Cross of Grand Officer of the Maltese Order of Merit of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; Mauritian Medal for Fifty Years of Military Career; the Gold Medal and the Bronze Medal of Merit of the Italian Red Cross; the Gold Medal for Long Command; the Gold Cross for Seniority; the Joint Honour Cross of the Defence Staff; the Commemoration Cross for the Participation to Peace Keeping Missions (SFOR); and the Medal for International Relief (Antica Babilonia/X in Iraq).
Last, but not least, Lt.Gen. De Leverano has been awarded the Commemorative Bronze Medal for Relief Missions for the populations hit by the earthquakes in Irpinia and Basilicata; the Cross with Swords of the Maltese Order of Merit; the title of Knight of the Equestrian Order of St. Sylvester, Pope; the Ribbon of the Sacred Constantinian Order of Saint George; and the Commemorative Cross for the Operations for the Protection of Institutions and Public Order (Operation ‘Safe Streets’). In February 2017, the French Ambassador to Italy awarded him with the title of Officer of the Order of Merit of the French Republic.
He was awarded the Honour Badge of the Italian Fencing Federation in February 2021
Lt.Gen. De Leverano is married to Mrs. Flavia Bottioni and they have a son
Tony Battista served in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) 40 years, from the rank of Private to Colonel. Prior to retirement from the CAF, he was Canadian Defence Attaché to 10 countries and Chief of Staff/Deputy Commander of the Canadian Defence Academy. Upon retirement from the military in 2014, Tony was employed as Chief Executive Officer of the Conference of Defence Associations (CDA) and the CDA Institute for 4 years, and then joined IBM as Executive for National Defence, Veterans Affairs and Public Safety. He is founder and sponsor of the Captain Nichola Goddard Award (Nichola was the first Canadian female soldier to be killed in action). Tony continues to be an avid supporter of education for young Canadians, as well as a strong supporter of veterans. He enjoys many hobbies and volunteers his time with dozens of worthwhile charity projects throughout Canada and abroad.
Mr. Peter Hammerschmidt was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy) in December 2017.
Prior to assuming his current duties, he was Director General Policy Coordination at National Defence, Director General National Cyber Security at Public Safety and Executive Assistant to the Clerk of the Privy Council.
Previously, he held the following positions within the Government of Canada: Senior Director Planning and Information Management at the Treasury Board Secretariat, Director Cabinet Liaison at National Defence and First Secretary for Financial and Military Affairs at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York. He began his career in the Public Service with the Policy Officer Recruitment Program and held various positions at National Defence from 1998 to 2001.
Mr. Hammerschmidt holds a Master’s degree from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and a Bachelor’s degree from Queen’s University.
Karen De Bruyne is a teacher and coordinator in a secondary technical school in Belgium – West Flanders, Torhout. She has a master’s degree in criminology and teaches young people interested in security professions (including future police officers, soldiers, private security officers, prison wardens, etc.) especially criminal law, international humanitarian law and has developed expertise on organization and legislation of the private security industry in Belgium.
Karen strongly believes, together with her colleagues in Belgium, in the added value and importance of international cooperation and exchange in education so that students can meet and learn from each other.
Steve is the Founder of the Institute for Economics & Peace, a global think-tank dedicated to building a greater understanding of the factors that create and sustain peace. He is also the founder of the Global Peace Index – the world’s leading measure of peacefulness as used by governments, corporations and multilateral organisations. An accomplished entrepreneur, published author and philanthropist, Steve is at the forefront of philanthropic activities focused on sustainable development and peace. In 2000, he established The Charitable Foundation, which has substantially impacted the lives of over 3 million people in some of the world’s poorest communities.