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Jurisdiction: Building Confidence in a Borderless Medium

July 26-27, 1999
Montreal, Canada

Speaker Biography

Richard J. Simpson Director General, Policy Coordination
Canada's Task Force on Electronic Commerce

Since October 1997, Mr. Richard Simpson has been Director General, Policy Coordination with Industry Canada's Task Force on Electronic Commerce, where he is responsible for developing the department's overall strategy for electronic commerce. In this capacity, one of his primary tasks was to direct preparations for the OECD Ministerial Conference on Electronic Commerce held in Ottawa in October 1998.

He was formerly Executive Director of Canada's Information Highway Advisory Council. Established in May 1994, the Advisory Council was a group of 29 senior private sector executives, appointed by the Minster of Industry to advise the Canadian government on issues pertaining to the development of communications and information technologies in Canada. The Council's Final Report, Preparing Canada for a Digital World was published in September, 1997.

From April 1992 to November 1995, Mr. Simpson served as Assistant Vice-President for Telecommunications and Technology with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) in Vancouver, B.C., where he had overall responsibility for its communications technology programs in support of distance education. He also was interim President of the organization from March to September 1995. Prior to joining COL, Mr. Simpson was Director General, Telematics and New Media in the Canadian Department of Communications. In that capacity, he was responsible for strategies to promote the development of advanced computer-based communications services and their deployment within the Canadian economy. One of the main concerns of his unit was the application of communications technology in education and distance learning.

Mr. Simpson has worked in the field of telecommunications policy and regulation since 1975, first as a provincial government official and later for the federal Department of Communications (DOC) in Ottawa. He took his first position with DOC in December, 1982, working in the Telecommunications Policy Branch. From 1987 to 1988, he played a central role in the formulation of a comprehensive national telecommunications policy for Canada. His academic career included graduate studies at the University of Windsor and at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

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