Global Horizons Magdalena Surma

Communicating Canada’s Role in Assisting Syrian Refugees Part II with Major Lena Angell

Major Lena Angell immigrated to Canada at the age of eight. Growing up in Alberta, she was actively involved in the Army Cadets program and joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1998 under the Regular Officer Training Plan. She attended the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, O.N. where she obtained a Baccalaureate of Arts with a Major in Business (2001), and a Masters of Arts, in Communications, Media and Public Relations from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom (2014). Upon graduation in 2001, she was posted to the Royal Canadian Dragoons as a tank troop leader. In 2002, Maj. Angell decided to pursuit her interest in communications and underwent a voluntary occupation transfer to Public Affairs. Her first employment as a Public Affairs Officer (PAO) occurred in Petawawa, O.N. during which time 2nd Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group was mounting Rotation 0 of Operation ATHENA, Canada’s combat operation in Afghanistan.

In 2004, Maj. Angell was posted to Gagetown, N.B. as the Base PAO. It was here where she had a chance to interact closely with the local media and gained a strong appreciation of the importance of working closely with journalists to inform the community about the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF’s) mission, mandate and operations. In 2006, Maj. Angell was posted to 3rd Canadian Division (3 Cdn Div), Edmonton, A.B. where she occupied the Army News Officer positon and later was assigned as the Deputy Division PAO. She worked closely with her PAO team to communicate Canada’s domestic operations including the 2013 and 2014 Southern Alberta Floods, and 2014 Winnipeg Floods, as well continuing to inform the public of Canada’s readiness on the international stage.

She deployed on Operation ATHENA in 2009 as the Task Force 3-09 Battle Group PAO where she was presented with the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Commendation. On her return to Canada, Maj. Angell was posted to the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre, Wainwright A.B. where she was responsible for the management of the Exercise Media Cell, which delivered sophisticated and realistic media training. In July 2011, Maj. Angell was promoted to her current rank and posted back to 3 Cdn Div. In August 2014, she was posted to the National Defence Public Affairs Office, Ontario region in Toronto as the regional manager where she works to engage the population of Ontario in dialogue on Department of National Defence and CAF policies, activities and programs through the delivery of outreach services.

In November 2016, occupying the positon of senior communications officer, Maj. Angell deployed to Lebanon as part of Operation PROVISION Canada’s commitment to the resettlement of 25,000 Syrian to Canada. During the two-month deployment, Maj. Angell engaged with Whole-of-Government partners to help communicate the mission to Canadians.

On Wednesday February 24th, Major Lena Angell delivered a presentation at the NATO Association of Canada. Listen to the second part of the presentation.

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Communicating Canada’s Role in Assisting Syrian Refugees Round Table Discussion with Major Lena Angell


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Communicating Canada’s Role in Assisting Syrian Refugees Round Table Discussion with Major Lena Angell


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Speaker: Major Lena Angell
Organizers: Magdalena Surma and David Sutton
Photographer: Sophia Śniegowska

Magdalena Surma
Magdalena Surma is currently Canada's NATO Program Contributor and Outreach Coordinator. Former Program Editor of Global Horizons, Magdalena completed a BA in Legal Studies (Honours) and a Masters in Public Service at the University of Waterloo. She also attended Harvard during two summers, where she completed courses in psychology, government, and law. In addition, she successfully completed Harvard Law School’s Executive Education Program in Negotiation and Leadership. Magdalena is currently completing an LLB through University of London’s International Program. She is passionate about law, government, and charitable non-profit organizations. As an avid researcher, she hopes to extend her research to investigate women in security while examining society, culture, and international relations. In addition, Magdalena is also passionate about international business and economy. She is very excited about being involved with various projects at NATO, specifically engaging youth and society about international affairs. Apart from a love of politics, Magdalena enjoys fine art, ballet, and classical music.