David Connelly, CD, MBA
Critical Minerals and Indigenous Economic Development
David Connelly CD, MBA, B.Comm., lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. He is the former Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Strategy of Cheetah Resources and Vital Metals, Canada’s only producer of rare earth products and owner of the consulting firm Royale Enterprises Ltd., which specializes in strategic planning, community engagement and ESG.
As an investor in and advocate for responsible economic development, David has structured many successful strategic alliances and led turnarounds. He has helped pioneer groundbreaking Indigenous business partnerships and impact benefits agreements.
He serves or has served on over two dozen public companies, private companies, Indigenous development corporations, not-for-profit, quasi-judicial and government boards.
With more than 40 years of experience, David began his career in project and international banking in Japan, Australia and Canada, including a stint with the Government of Canada restructuring funding for challenging projects. He then transitioned to developing transportation, communications and energy infrastructure projects.
As President and CEO from 1992-1997, he led the turnaround of the Inuvialuit Development Corporation, then Canada’s largest Indigenous development corporation. He co-authored the “Five Year Review of The Nunavut Land Claims Agreement 1993 -1998”. In recognition of his contributions to Indigenous economic development, he received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2002 and, in 2012, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee for the leadership of volunteer groups and corporate social responsibility.
He shared the Prospector and Developers Association of Canada’s Environmental and Social Responsibility Award and the NWT MAX Environment and Community Engagement Award and again in 2022 for Economic Contribution to the NWT. David chaired the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee (CSR) for Canada’s first publicly traded exploration company to elevate CSR to the Board level.
David volunteered for five years, first as the founding Chair of the National Property Committee and then as Deputy National Commissioner of Scouts Canada, responsible for restructuring a $300 million property portfolio. King Carl XVI, Gustaf of Sweden, made David a Baden-Powell Fellow of the World Scout Foundation in 2017.
David is a past Governor of Scouts Canada, Past Chair of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council North, Co-Chair of the Friends of HMCS Yellowknife, and a past three-term National Vice President of a major Canadian political party. He is a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary.
David is a Trustee of the Interamerican Scouting Foundation. He served three terms on each of the national boards of Scouts Canada, Saint John Ambulance and The Order of St. Lazarus (Palliative Care) and three terms as Chair of the NWT Social Assistance Appeal Board and Treasurer of NWT Skills Canada. He is the Past Chair of United Way NWT and NWT Chamber of Commerce. As a Naval reserve officer, David served as the Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Advisor to eight Commanders of Joint Task Force (North). He deployed in numerous sovereignty operations. David was awarded the Canada Decoration with clasp and commendations for meritorious actions saving civilian lives.
David was promoted to Commander in the Order of St. John in 2010 for leadership and community service and Knighted by the Order of St. Lazarus for supporting palliative care in the Arctic in 2015. From Cape Breton (Ile Royale), Nova Scotia, he is an adventure traveller, who frequently treks in remote areas. He is an avid scuba diver and enjoys cooking, wine and the arts. He is a proud husband to Rebecca Connelly, a brother, uncle, and puppy daddy.