Col. (ret.) Stephen B. Appleton

Col. (ret.) Stephen B. Appleton

Contracted with Afghan private sector in Afghanistan in the reconstruction and security sectors



Visiting Senior Mentor / HCSC (2005) Module 1 – War, Strategy and Operations the Last 15 Years
Visiting Senior Mentor / HCSC (2006) Module 2 – 21st Century Armed Conflict
Visiting Senior Mentor / HCSC (2007) Module 103 – 21st Century Armed Conflict and Operations
Visiting Senior Mentor / JCGSC (2007-08) Module 104 – Combined Joint Operations Planning at Operational Level


Summary of Qualifications/Skills

Dynamic leader with a management career encompassing numerous successful assignments (Canada, US, Europe, Middle East, Afghanistan, and Australia). Award-winning performance in optimizing competitive drive to facilitate change. Brings a “value-added” commitment to the mission for each organizational unit. Skilled in designing strategic plans then translating them into realistic, achievable corporate objectives. Proven builder of first-class organizations with the emphasis on people–skills and continual learning. Excels at working in fast-paced, changeable environments. Additional expertise in government and public relations, supply chain management, transportation and distribution, engineering and construction, environmental affairs, IT, budgeting and customer service. Successful in startup and turnaround environments. Union and non-union experience. International guest lecturer at the university level.

Work Experience

President, Appleton Consulting Inc:
• Officially incorporated 17 March 2007
• Presently contracted with Afghan private sector in Afghanistan in the reconstruction and security sectors

Program Manager: USAID-UNOPS Secondary and District Roads (June 2005-31-March 2007)
• Managed the USAID $400M Reconstruction Program to build 1100kms of Secondary and District Roads in Afghanistan
• Grew the Program from an original $35M USD initiative to its present scope; introduced credit-based financing to Afghan construction companies with ING, and micro-financing with Aga Khan Development Foundation to Communities affected by road projects
• Formed Joint Ventures within the construction sector to advance private sector capabilities
• Developed and implemented the Human Resources capability to support this expansive Program attracting professionals from the international marketplace. Included the development of the recruiting, job requirements, reward systems, and job hiring processes to ensure the outcome was talented, motivated professionals and support staff 
• On behalf of the GoA, served as Chair for the National Consultative Working Group on the development of the Afghan private sector in the construction industry 
• Developed, coordinated, and managed the associated capabilities of: security, demining, community engagement and development, capacity building, contract management, public relations, and strategic planning
• Dealt extensively with USAID, US Embassy, Government of Afghanistan, Aga Khan Foundation, Peace Dividend Trust, SRG (UN), Louis Berger Group Inc., Parsons Group, US DoD and ISAF Military
• Oversaw all contract and financial management issues, including FIDIC based contracts, UNOPS contracts, and FIS
• Lead negotiator with international and national private sector contractors and associated stakeholders
• Brought the existing USAID budget to within 1.3% of over-programming with 12 months remaining in the Program 
• USAID assessed this Program as the most effective amongst its entire portfolio of almost $2B USD in country 
• Introduced procurement planning capability to the Program as part of an integrated Finance and Contracts Cell
• Introduced Communications and Business Development capabilities to the Program

Project Manager: Kabul Afghanistan International Airport (KAIA) (March 2005-June 2005): ATCO Group of Companies
• Oversaw the transition of a NATO sourced organization to a civilian contractor at a 1700 soldier camp in Kabul with a 52 person Project Team.
• Liaised extensively with the US and Canadian Embassy; Government of Afghanistan (GOA); UN; USAID; Afghanistan Reconstruction Group; private US, Turkish, and Afghan businesses.
• Oversaw the hiring of all staff members 
• Conducted the ATCO study for future NATO airfield projects; assisted Corporate HQ identify and plan the possible business relationships between ATCO-Frontec, US and Turkish businesses for upcoming projects as a Joint Venture or Prime-Sub relationship.
• Completed the one year transition plan in 3.5 months

International-Level Strategic Planner: As Chief of Strategic Planning for the Iraqi Sovereignty Transition Team (March 2004-July 2004):
• Worked closely with a variety of government agencies including the US State Department, private contractors, U.S. and U.K. military leaders, as well as Iraqi leadership to develop strategic plan for the country’s transition to a self-sustaining democracy.
• Partnered with such non-military agencies as the United Nations Elections Committee, USAID plus the Iraqi Ministries of Oil, Agriculture, Planning, Municipalities, Public Works, Defense and Interior to ensure a comprehensive perspective on this complex process.

National–Level Operations Executive: As COO of the Canadian Army (staff of 85) (June 1999-June 2002):
NOTE: This assignment was the private-sector equivalent of being the #2 Executive in almost any service-based business, and encompassed such critical elements as daily operations (including logistics, transportation, facilities and equipment maintenance); establishing/maintaining a complex supporting infrastructure (administration, IT, telecom, finance, accounting, customer service, etc.); managing a very large/complicated budget to within very tight parameters; and recruiting/training a top-performing, multi-faceted work force.
• Led recruitment and training effort that successfully maintained a superior level of performance for this organization’s 30,000 personnel in both domestic and international operations (Bosnia, Kosovo, Africa, Afghanistan, etc.). 
• Ensured maximum operational readiness/reliability of $2 billion worth of facilities, equipment and all logistical functions.
• Oversaw the initial implementation of an infrastructure (IT, administration, finance, budgeting, etc.) that consistently supported this complex organization in the most cost-effective manner possible.
• Established seamless working relationships with national and local government agencies as well as union-based subcontractors to maximize overall productivity.
• Oversaw senior management proposals to the Government for construction and maintenance; strategic-level implementation and continuation of preventive maintenance programs; and infrastructure measurement/readiness to optimize overall performance.
• Maintained stewardship over the organization’s environmental program, including delivery of its strategic plan to the national government. This included a wide range of preventive measures and environmental/contamination remediation programs.

Regional-Level Operations Executive: As COO of a Canadian Land Force Division based in Ontario (July 2004-March 2005):
• Directed the virtually seamless daily operations of a 15000 person organization, including 1500 unionized private sector employees.
• Employed disciplined yet creative finance and cost control techniques to maintain a budget of $500M to within .01% of prescribed limits, while introducing significant improvements to operational quality and productivity.
• Built 150 person staff (IT/telecom, administration, HR, logistics, finance, public affairs, security and police services) into a top-performing, cost-conscious and customer-focused team that consistently exceeded performance goals.
• Initiated a superior, enterprise-wide program (HR, Public Affairs, and logistics) that consistently delivered the most effective service possible in support of 20 autonomous business units located throughout Ontario and New Brunswick.
• Successfully managed the organization through a very disruptive national public strike. As Chair of the Committee for Labor Management, maintained excellent working relationship with the Province of Ontario’s Union Vice President and union leadership team.
• Based upon outstanding performance, recommended by the Army Commander for immediate promotion to General Officer.

Additional Information

Began Army career in 1978 and, with a consistent record of award-winning performances, advanced to a series of increasingly responsible assignments that have included the management of cross-functional, international teams and organizations ranging from 20 to more than 400 persons. For the first time in the history of the US Army War College (created in 1904) was the first non-American to be invited to join the College faculty as a Director. Served as Chief Engineer for horizontal construction projects in British Columbia, and Alberta, as well as the Canadian Army’s lead Engineer in the joint military-civilian operations to build the Brunkild Dike (42kms) in Winnipeg as part of the national effort during the Red River Flood Disaster in 1997. Formally recognized by the GoA in Feb 2007 for his contribution to the national reconstruction effort in Afghanistan.


2003 Masters Degree in Strategic Studies (Honors) from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA in (first non-American recipient of the Commandant’s Award for Excellence). Thesis submission published In the US.
2001 Masters Degree in Business Administration (Executive) (High Honors) from the University of Ottawa (recipient of the Top Gun Award for Excellence in Corporate and Business Strategy)
1982 BS in Civil Engineering (Honors) from the Royal Military College of Canada; graduated second in class; science and engineering book prize winner in second year (1980) 

Additional studies. A commitment to professional excellence that includes ongoing studies in leadership, best management techniques, best business practices, logistics, finance, and administration. 
• Graduate of post-graduate courses in Operations Leadership (Queen’s University Business School); 
• Organizational Resiliency (Woodside Institute, Silicon Valley, California); 
• Management Innovation (Woodside Institute);and 
• Since 2004, Guest lecturer and Senior Mentor in strategic and international studies at the NATO Baltic Defence College in Estonia 
• Published articles in various media, ranging from Professional Engineer Journals (APEGGA) to the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) in the US. 


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