Charles Sullivan received a Governor in Council appointment to serve as chairperson and chief executive officer of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada for a four-year term effective October 27, 2018. Charles first joined the Tribunal in October 2014 as a part-time member and was later appointed vice-chair and acting chairperson in October 2017.
Charles is a former general officer and senior military commander who has served at the highest levels of operational leadership and command. He entered the private sector in November 2009 as chief operational safety oversight for NAV Canada, Canada's air navigation service provider, following a 31-year career in the Royal Canadian Air Force. In July 2013, he transitioned to private consulting where he mentored and coached on business strategy, ethics and leadership, safety oversight and enterprise risk management, and intelligence-led operations. In October 2015, Charles joined David Pratt and Associates as an associate and senior counsel.
Charles has also served in several senior executive and high-profile leadership positions throughout his career. As director general of capability development at National Defence headquarters, he led a diverse team of defence research scientists, PhD academics and senior military analysts in designing and implementing capability-based planning to identify Canada's future military capabilities. As director of international security and senior defence advisor in the prime minister of Canada's Privy Council Office, he championed policy oversight of the “Canada First Defence Strategy”, NORAD, NATO, and Canada's security mission in Afghanistan. As the director of operations for the Canadian NORAD region, he led the transformation of Canada's new homeland defence and continental security mission in the wake of 9/11, and the air security mission for the 2002 G8 summit in Kananaskis, Alberta.
Prior to retiring from the Air Force, Charles served at the rank of major-general on a 12-month tour of duty in Afghanistan as NATO's air component commander and deputy chief of joint operations. As the theatre air commander, he commanded Kandahar, Kabul and 12 other coalition airfields, and led military and civil air operations country-wide, including combat air operations for NATO's 42-nation coalition. As the deputy chief of joint operations, he had command approval authority over ground-force and special forces operations, dynamic and time-sensitive targeting, and NATO's counter-narcotics mission.
During his Air Force career as a professional aviator and fighter pilot, Charles accumulated over 3,500 hours flying jet aircraft, 1,600 of which were flown on the CF18 Hornet in the ground attack and air superiority role. He has flown operational missions over Europe, the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Canada's High Arctic and the North Atlantic. He has commanded a tactical air control party, a CF18 fighter squadron, an Air Force fighter wing and main operating base, and NATO forces during combat operations in Afghanistan.