Armstrong Strategy Group has added a bold new public affairs punch in welcoming Anne Dawson and Derek Ferguson to the team.
Dawson and Ferguson, co-founders of Ottawa-based Dawson Ferguson Strategies, join the ASG team as senior associates. With deep backgrounds on Parliament Hill and extensive experience in Canada's media landscape, the two bring enormous skill and wide networks of contacts with them.
Having held senior political reporting positions over almost two decades at Canada’s leading news organizations, including Sun Media’s first female Bureau Chief at Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill, National Political Correspondent at the National Post and CanWest News Service, and Ottawa Inside Out TV host on Global TV, Dawson is particularly adept when dealing with newspaper, broadcast and social media. Her superb writing and investigative skills earned her a prestigious Edward Dunlop journalism award and a journalism fellowship at the University of Toronto. She was twice elected President of the National Press Gallery and led the way to making significant changes in the manner in which the gallery interacts with the Supreme Court of Canada.
Dawson served as Executive Director of Communications at one of Canada’s largest crown corporations, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, through the economic downturn leading up to and beyond the 2008 recession. Responsible for communicating housing initiatives under Canada’s Economic Action Plan to counter the recession, she worked closely with various federal departments, the Privy Council Office and the Prime Minister’s Office.
Ferguson, meanwhile, has more than a decade of leadership in the financial and trade sectors of the federal government, including Director, Communications Policy and Strategy Division for the federal Department of Finance and Director of Public Affairs at Export Development Canada. He wrote and oversaw the development of key communications products for the annual federal budget and fiscal updates.
He served as General Director to the federal Liberal Research Bureau, overseeing the development of policy and strategic communications for caucus, including platform development and Question Period preparation. He worked daily with the Prime Minister’s Office as the official staff liaison for the caucus and led communications initiatives surrounding caucus and government announcements.
He had an extensive career as a resourceful, national political journalist at the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, including stints on Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park, as well as holding the title of Bureau Chief for Western Canada. He possesses superior writing skills with the ability to transform complex information into concise, understandable language under tight deadlines.
"Bringing Anne and Derek onto our team allows us to go even further than before to deliver the best results for our clients," says John Armstrong, President of Armstrong Strategy Group. "We're thrilled to work with two professionals with such a broad base of experience."
Dawson and Ferguson join a growing team alongside Armstrong, senior strategic advisor Sophia Aggelonitis, senior associate Jay Strauss, media and policy analyst Jeff Bolichowski and marketing and communications specialist Katie Farr.