Our President

Michael Murphy

A trailblazing executive with a  record of creating innovative and effective solutions in the public, private and voluntary sectors

"Mike" Murphy began a short but intense first career as a professional pilot while still in his teens, flying single and multi-engine aircraft on wheels, floats and skis accident-free throughout Ontario, Northern Quebec, BC, Alberta and the Western Arctic.  The holder of an Airline Transport Pilot License, he developed and implemented many safety and client innovations, including, aircraft re-certification, use of rain repellant and pioneering the use of a BN2A-27 Islander for smoke-jumping, all before he was 22.  He has flown more than 21 types of aircraft and has stick-time on the Aérospatiale Gazelle (helicopter) and C-130 Hercules and simulator time on the Canadair CL-44 (Yukon) and Lockheed C-130 (Hercules), P-3 (Aurora/Orion) and L1011 (Tristar).

In 1978, Murphy joined Transport Canada as a Civil Aviation Inspector, where he enjoyed an exceptional second career.  After analyzing the many problems then afflicting the enforcement program, he developed a plan that was embraced by management and which led to reforms that have stood the test of time.  A pioneer with office microcomputers, (starting with a Kaypro IV), less than three years later, at age 25, he was appointed Superintendent, Enforcement, responsible for the enforcement of air safety regulations across Canada.  Here, he and a strong team of resolute but fair-minded colleagues across the country were able to completely re-invigorate a previously moribund organization in remarkably short time. He drew wry satisfaction in being accused of presiding over an enforcement organization that was widely perceived to be 10 times larger than it actually was.

After three years, he was again promoted, this time into the ranks of senior management as Chief, Aviation Enforcement, and assigned significantly broader responsibilities, including specialist training, legal appeals and Aviation Occupational Safety and Health (OSH). Under Murphy's direction, each of these programs was expanded aggressively, including publicity, audio visual presentations and the "Fair but Firm" compliance program.  He successfully led prosecutions that were deemed "unwinnable" and, as a delegated quasi-legal adjudicator, decided high profile and politically sensitive cases, none of which were ever challenged on appeal.  He qualified as an Expert Witness in court and as a Case Presenting Officer,  where he presented successfully before the Civil Aviation Tribunal.   While with Transport Canada, Murphy was captain-qualified on the  Beech Queen Air and Beech King Air.

In 1988, he was promoted to the executive level as Regional Director, Aviation Regulation for Central Canada and moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba.   There he was responsible for a professional staff of 95 and program accountability for airworthiness, air carriers, aircraft and personnel licensing, enforcement and system safety.  During this period, he introduced numerous employer, client and regulatory innovations, including the federal government's PS2000 (client focus) initiative and an internationally recognized policy that fostered the growth of remarkably sophisticated Advanced Ultra-Light Aeroplanes.  

In 1991, he was promoted to Regional Director General, Aviation for Central Region, with 830 highly competent staff and the additional responsibilities of Air Traffic Control in the Winnipeg Flight Information Region (FIR) and its supporting Technical Services and Air Navigation Systems Requirements.  While serving in this capacity, he implemented Upward Feedback, TQM and Systematic Risk Management along with a string of other initiatives including University in the Workplace and a bold Commercial Space Launch Office. Many of these innovations were recognized provincially, nationally and internationally.  He was also very active in United Way and was Federal Co-chair for Winnipeg in 1994, exceeding a target of $500,000 under difficult circumstances. He dealt with six separate labour unions and forged an excellent working relationship with each, based on trust, open communication and mutual respect.

While with Transport Canada, he completed studies at Carleton (Management), McGill (Professional Aviation Management) and Queens University (Executive Program) .  He has lectured at both McGill and the University of Manitoba and has chaired and presented at numerous symposia and seminars and has authored a number of management reports and technical papers.  

Having given Transport Canada his best effort over the full range of Civil Aviation responsibilities and beginning to get restless, Murphy started his third career as a management consultant.  He accepted an invitation to join Omega Systems, a Washington, D.C. area systems risk management firm in January 1996.  This one-year assignment also neatly satisfied the post-employment guidelines that there be a 12 month "cooling-off" period before consulting with the federal government.  As Program Manager, his services were engaged by FORTUNE 500 companies, the nuclear industry and a major public figure. He was subsequently named as a Director to Omega's Board and later also served as that corporation's Secretary.  

His assignment complete, in 1997, Murphy moved back to Ottawa to set up his own consultancy, CADMUS Corporate Solutions Limited, a federally incorporated company specializing in risk, quality and process management, of which he is President.  He has set up and facilitated Risk Management Programs for various clients including the Canadian Air Force, and repeat business with Public Works Canada, Transport Canada and the Public Service Alliance of Canada.  He is the author of numerous risk assessments, including the internationally acclaimed 500-page report entitled "An Evaluation of Emergency Response Services at Airports in Canada."  This report concluded that Canadian regulations for airport emergency services had fallen below International Standards and Recommended Practices.  The depth of research, as well as the candid conclusions, won him admiration, even from his critics.  Transport Canada has begun to address some of the deficiencies identified.  Murphy's efforts, as well as his proficiency with graphics and as a presenter have gained him international speaking engagements in Kansas City, New York and Manchester, England as well as in Ottawa and Montreal, Canada.   

Concerned that the safety interests of 78 million Canadian airline passengers were not being adequately represented in the rule-making process and in the media,  in 1999, Murphy and former Transport Canada Assistant Deputy Minister James T. Lyon, Q.C. founded the Air Passenger Safety Group.  Murphy was founding Chairman until 2001.  The APSG, dedicated purely to the safety of the travelling public, has been effective in shedding public light on complex and previously obscure technical issues.  With Murphy as its lead spokesperson, APSG has also been influential in advocating improved aviation safety standards in Canada, hosting, at Murphy's initiative, an Air Passenger Safety Symposium in Ottawa on 19 August 1999.  APSG, is a component of  Transport 2000 Canada a volunteer transportation watchdog group and also enjoys a special affiliation with the International Aviation Safety Association, which has been successful in raising the profile of defective aircraft wiring.  As a Director of Transport 2000 Canada, Murphy is a frequent commentator concerning aviation safety, in both English and French, on national television and radio.  He is also a member of the Canadian Association of Airline Passengers (CAAP) and was the co-author of the Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights.  He has testified before House and Senate committees on airline safety and passenger matters.  

A former Journalism student (Carleton University), Murphy enjoys working with the written word.  His articles have appeared in numerous aviation and professional publications over the years, including Canadian Flight and more recently, Aviation Fire Journal, FIRE INTERNATIONAL and Fire Prevention (June 2001).  A visionary of sorts, his op-ed piece in the Ottawa Citizen (13 August 1999) presaged the drinking water crisis that erupted in Walkerton, Ontario and subsequently in hundreds of communities across Canada several months later. Concerned about aircraft wiring and the limitations of current technology circuit breakers, he wrote an article that was published in the January 2001 issue of Transport Canada's widely respected Aviation Safety Newsletter and also in the March-April 2001 issue of Flight Safety Australia.  He also writes, edits, publishes and distributes the highly acclaimed monthly newsletter, Managing Your Public Risk, which enjoys a growing international readership and reader feedback. 

Murphy is a member and former Director of the Ottawa Chapter of Christian Business Men's Committee (CBMC).  Among other affiliations, he is a member of  the Center for the Study of Great IdeasAmnesty InternationalLes Gens de l'Air du Québec, Canadian Airport and Aircraft Fire Protection Section and the International Aviation Fire Protection Association.  

Since May 2001, Murphy has acted as a Business Risk Consultant to the Government of Ontario's Management Board Secretariat.  

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Last modified: June 09, 2001

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