Peter Rickard (Canada)

Master of International Customs Law and Administration, December 2008

Current Job Position: Manager of Compliance, Advance Passenger Information, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

Professionally, my studies with CCES enhanced my awareness of the global arena, providing a thorough understanding of the principles of international law, of the organizations that influence national governments and administrations, and of the international agreements that shape domestic law and policy in Canada.  That knowledge permits me to readily discuss the basis for many trade and border programs with a broad audience, domestically and internationally.

While pursuing my Masters studies with CCES, I conducted research into regulatory compliance and advance information programs.  That research provided a solid footing for me when I moved from trade facilitation into aviation security to assume responsibility for the CBSA’s API/PNR compliance program.

Importantly, the interaction that I enjoyed with fellow students from around the globe afforded insights that I might not otherwise have known.  Hearing of their experiences allowed me to appreciate diversity and the challenges we share.  Since graduating, I have been very fortunate to represent the CBSA at numerous international fora where I have been able to share and discuss best practices on topics including trade facilitation, data quality, and regulatory compliance.

It gave me tremendous pride to learn that I was the first Canadian and the first official from the CBSA to graduate from the Masters program.  I was determined to emulate the professionalism of the CCES professors who taught me and to share my knowledge with others.

It is very easy to remain within our comfort zones, to focus on local or regional issues, and to avoid adversity or uncertainty.  I would challenge each of us to seize the opportunity that the CCES has provided; to continue to build on our network of alumni and colleagues; to share our experiences (whether successes or failures); and to never hesitate to reach out and help each other.  The CCES has given us a tremendous opportunity; it is now up to us to go forward and use our knowledge where it is most needed.