Christine McGuire

Executive Director, Diefenbunker

Christine McGuire

Executive Director, Diefenbunker

In today’s dynamic landscape, women are playing pivotal roles across industries, driving transformative change and breaking barriers in traditionally male-dominated domains. From technology and finance to government and cultural institutions, women leaders are at the forefront of innovation and progress. Among these influential figures is Christine McGuire, the accomplished Executive Director of Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum. McGuire exemplifies exceptional leadership, steering the museum with confidence and vision. As one of The Most Influential Women Leaders to Watch in 2024, she stands as a testament to the remarkable contributions of women, proving that their impact extends far beyond boundaries, reshaping narratives, and inspiring future generations.

Forging a Legacy of Leadership

From a young age, Christine McGuire drew inspiration from her parents’ strong work ethic. Her mother, who raised five children and ran a daycare, and her father, who established a metal manufacturing business in Ottawa, instilled in her the values of hard work and ambition. Influenced by her three sisters’ drive, her little brother’s kindness, and encouragement from her high school sweetheart, now her husband of nearly 20 years, Christine’s upbringing shaped her as an individual with a strong sense of purpose.


When her father died from leukemia when she was just 18 years old, she learnt about the value of life and chasing one’s dreams. It was a very important juncture that brought to an end one journey and commenced another journey. Also, from her early childhood, Christine thought of museums as wonders of curiosity and learning, and her drive for this passion led her to obtain an MA in Public history from Carleton University with emphasis on the historical representation and public memory of the 1973 Chilean coup d’état.


Her academic journey exposed her to the profound impact of museums as spaces where traumatic memories materialize and communities share their narratives. Working with refugees during her degree, Christine learned the significance of consultation and representation, understanding that histories are best told through the perspectives and experiences of those who lived them. Now serving as the Executive Director at the Diefenbunker, Christine considers community consultation crucial, providing a platform for underrepresented groups to share their Cold War stories. She believes in the transformative power of sharing stories to shape a better present and future collectively.

From Museums to History’s Frontiers

Over the course of the past 18 years, Christine McGuire has had the privilege of contributing to various facets of the museum sector, showcasing her expertise in executive leadership, visitor experience, exhibition content and development, digital initiatives, marketing and communications, education, community outreach, interpretation, and evaluation. Throughout her distinguished career, she has consistently brought creativity, drive, and passion to redefine exhibitions and elevate audience engagement. Renowned for pushing the boundaries of experiential exhibitions with a foundation in innovation, public engagement, and social responsibility, Christine has provided leadership to organizations seeking transformation and growth. Her advocacy for change management, strategic planning, and strong leadership has been instrumental in driving success and growth within the museum realm.


In 2018, Christine McGuire humbly assumed the role of Executive Director at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum. Intrigued by its uniqueness, the Diefenbunker stands out globally as the only underground bunker of its scale recognized as a national historic site and operating as a public museum year-round. Recognizing the immense potential of this organization, Christine, along with the exceptional team, aims to expand its reach and share the significant Cold War history with local, national, and international audiences.

As the Executive Director

In her capacity as the Executive Director, Christine McGuire takes on the crucial responsibility of safeguarding and stewarding the Diefenbunker organization, offering strategic leadership for the creative implementation of the museum’s mandate, vision, and overall direction. This involves the adept utilization of the facility’s unique resources and extensive collections, employing fundraising and marketing strategies to deliver a comprehensive and integrated visitor experience, along with a successful public engagement program.


Given the independent charitable status of the Diefenbunker, a significant aspect of Christine’s role revolves around securing funds for site preservation and museum growth. With a reliance on revenue generated by award-winning programs and exhibitions, Christine actively pursues and secures grants to enhance the organization. Over the past three years, she has successfully obtained grants exceeding $3 million for various initiatives, including visitor experience renewal projects and capital upgrades. Positioned as leaders in the museum field, the Diefenbunker team, under Christine’s guidance, is pioneering site preservation efforts, fostering an immersive educational platform, diversifying revenue streams, and fostering community collaborations, ensuring a promising future.


The Diefenbunker holds a dual mandate, proudly contributing to Canada’s heritage landscape by preserving the site as a national historic site while operating as a Cold War museum. Embracing their role in fostering interest and a critical understanding of the Cold War for future generations, the organization values both the history encapsulated within its walls and the individuals, past and present, dedicated to preserving and interpreting it.

Navigating Challenges

Amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Christine McGuire, at the helm of the Diefenbunker, witnessed the transformative impact on the museum landscape in Canada. With the visitors contributing three-quarters of the operating revenue, the pandemic necessitated a significant shift in the organization’s direction. Despite the hurdles, the Diefenbunker emerged as a beacon of resilience, agility, and creativity, navigating through the storm and leading with a poignant narrative of a nation confronting isolation, fear, and global tension during the Cold War.


Christine’s leadership during these trying times underscored the importance of engagement, connection, collaboration, and communication. Her satisfaction lies in guiding an exceptional team that prioritizes iterative learning, innovation, and best practices. Fostering an environment that encourages experimentation and learning from failures, the team embodies a culture of “dreaming big,” perpetually seeking improvement and elevation.


The vision under Christine’s guidance is for the Diefenbunker to become the world’s foremost experiential Cold War learning environment. This involves expanding the national profile and visibility of the Diefenbunker as Canada’s Cold War Museum, leading visitors through a compelling journey of Canada’s Cold War story. Financial sustainability is targeted through diversifying revenue sources and growing fundraising capacity, alongside a commitment to establishing a long-term sustainability and preservation plan.


Beyond its role as a museum, the Diefenbunker envisions itself as a testament to resilience and sustainability, a cultural, heritage, and tourism attraction in rural Ottawa, sharing stories of national and international significance. Serving as a safe haven for learning from the past, the Diefenbunker holds a central place in the community, inviting reflection, appreciation, and remembrance—a beacon illustrating how international diplomacy can defuse conflicts and how collective effort can overcome differences.

On a Personal Note

Christine McGuire, residing on a spacious 3-acre lot in the countryside, passionately indulges in her love for gardening. The expansive garden reflects her commitment and dedication, traits she seamlessly applies to cultivate it with ease, focus, and a clear vision. In contemplating her work at the museum, Christine frequently draws inspiration from the energy and mindfulness she invests in her gardening pursuits, aiming to infuse that same passion into her professional endeavors.




Christine McGuire
Executive Director



The Diefenbunker was commissioned by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in 1959, as part of his government’s reaction to escalating tensions in the Cold War. The purpose of the bunker was to house key members of the government and military in the event of a nuclear attack on Canada.

Read Magazine

View more profiles

Beyond her professional avatar as a Boss Woman, Margot is a hardcore pleasure seeker at heart. Anything which guides her away from the mundane way of life,

Valerie Berthereaux feels incredibly fortunate to have a loving and supportive family and friends. Her two children bring her immense pride,

Balancing her personal life with her role as a transformative coach, Jennifer practices what she teaches. She remains true to her values, recognizing the essential.

Passionate about healthy living, Patricia Berrocal, an advocate for balanced well-being, finds joy in activities such as sports, yoga, and skiing.

Committed to both personal and professional development, Paula prioritizes continuous learning to enhance her performance and capabilities.

With a steadfast vision for advancing along this path, Winnie sought counsel from seasoned entrepreneurs.

Renée Dobos has a profound personal connection with the transformative power of education.

From a young age, Christine McGuire drew inspiration from her parents' strong work ethic.

Caroline Alan, not hailing from a scientific or medical background but rather from the tech realm,

In his daily pursuit, James focuses on incremental success, acknowledging that small achievements compound over time.

Frank and his team’s philosophy is to treat the rest of the organization as their clients, and themselves as a key service provider to the company.

At Doppelmayr, Daniela Guerrero has emerged as a trailblazer in this movement.

He progressed with his life obtaining an education in the field of Accounting and Commerce at Deakin University.,

As a young cross-country skier, Viktoria traveled extensively during weekends for competitions across Finland.

Veronica Boh, a Malaysian of Chinese heritage, spent the early years of her life in the UK, Germany, and Taiwan, returning to Malaysia at the age of five.

Ms. van Teeffelen's early years were truly remarkable, marked by her upbringing as an expatriate child.

Nicole Mauthe was born in November 1978 in a small village in Bavaria, Germany, as the daughter of a carpenter and a technical draughtswoman.

Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, Nicole Lehrer's upbringing already shaped her groundwork for her future mission.

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Amber entered the world to a courageous teenage mother who believed that entrusting her child to a more prepared family was the best course of action.

Amidst the vast digital highways of submarine cables, a standout luminary emerges in the exciting world of modern telecommunications.

Persuaded by her experience, Laurel Sim decided to partner with Taleo during a crucial point in her career.

The expertise and guidance of CTOs are vital for companies as they navigate the complexities of the modern digital era.

Luke Marchant stated that his love of technology was sparked at a young age while reflecting on his journey.

Caio Almeida, a pioneer in the field of creative technology, serves as the Chief Technology Officer of OPTO CREATIVE LAB INC.

Tristan McKinney envisions a future for Sofi Exploration that encompasses relentless growth and adaptability.

Being that person who was always interested in sports since his early years, Mike Edwards was appointed as a red shirt for his University Basketball team.

In his role as COO, Kevin has been involved in various aspects, from overseeing expansions into new territories to crafting employee benefit plans.

Dominic Haas leads a youthful and dynamic team at Legacy Network, setting the tone for a culture steeped in growth and entrepreneurial mindset right from inception.

The crucial role played by specialty pharmacy has never been more evident in a time of unheard medical discoveries.

In recent years, there has been an incredible growth in the number of high-quality real estate firms operating worldwide.

During her tenure at the Firm, Ana has assumed diverse roles, finding particular fulfillment through her active participation.

There are many opportunities and challenges that come with working as a Banking Client Partner.

Ana O. Ramirez has vital direct knowledge of the particular requirements of Rhisco’s target market.

As the Director Principal Alison ensures that the workspace is a testament to their ...

Beyond her work at Bonjour et co., Alexandra Kemp leads a social and active lifestyle.

Robert SEREC, the CEO and visionary founder of the White Hydrogen Coalition, is in charge of the organization.

Lorri Haines finds himself amidst the bustling dynamics of a new addition to the household—a baby that has added a layer of busyness to his days.

Under Gert J. Roselt’s leadership, Probe Integrated Mining Technologies has successfully built a dynamic team and a robust network.

Technology offers limitless prospects for Daniel Pizon, a tech fanatic driven by an insatiable quest for innovation and progress.

Scott Berry assumes responsibility for overseeing the agency's service offerings and pricing strategies.

Roger Clements, the driving force behind the marketing and strategy function at Matrix, emphasizes that the measure of success for both himself and his team is crystal clear.

In his marketing strategy, Ori Matarasso places a strong emphasis on executing campaigns at a very specialized level.

Lars feels incredibly privileged to be a member of a remarkably prosperous company that has experienced extraordinary achievements in recent times

Frank Huang has been a valued member of Genesis Wealth Management since 2020.

As the CMO of RSA-Cannabis, Dylan Mulders has positioned the company as a Registered Financial Service Provider catering to the cannabis industry in Africa and soon globally.

Benedikt Grass, who holds the position of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at PassportCard Deutschland GmbH.

Ms. Lee, operating as the current Chief Marketing & Development Officer at CareSTL Health, has an impressive background that reflects her skillset.

A Chinese National by origin, Celina Shi has been living in the UK for the past 13 years. She began her career in Motorola as the Team Lead.

Allan can easily be described as a serial entrepreneur, constantly devising novel solutions to various problems

Alexander Koenig started his career as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and McKinsey & Co.

As the Managing Director, Mr. McKenna sees himself as a coach who motivates and inspires others.

Prudence Masako faced numerous challenges during her career, but two stood out.

As a co-founder, Ms. Lauren’s main objectives include staying abreast of the latest developments and trends in the education industry.

As a young adult fresh out of college, Kathi Klawitter was eager but unsure of her path.

Anna-Maria Hoffmann oversees the company's efforts to satisfy the mass of orders despite the exclusive and restrictive distribution of the luxury industry.

As a female leader and the CEO of censhare, Esther Donatz believes in creating an environment where all women have the opportunity to succeed.

Zaher El Houssari always begins with a written plan, aiming to minimize unnecessary expenses and prioritize short-term goals.

Yeliz Kalafat's leadership in financial management has been instrumental in driving the company's growth and success.

As the Group CFO for the NIRAS Group, Ms. Christensen is tasked with overseeing the group support functions, including Finance, IT, People Development, and Communication.

Nicolas Dupont ensures that all the lodges and activities in Vaolo’s inventory have undergone a rigorous 15-point evaluation process and have received certification and labeling.

As the Chief Financial Officer, one of Lee’s primary responsibilities is to oversee OnlyFans vast payments network and manage its financial risk exposures.

Henriksson has been with Eton Shirts since 2019 and has been instrumental in leading the brand's financial strategy, driving growth, and implementing operational changes.

As CFO, Couture has been instrumental in overseeing the financial operations of the company, implementing cost-saving measures, and driving profitable growth.

Nadir Causholli has distinguished himself as a dynamic and forward-thinking leader, propelling CFO Pharma to new heights of excellence.

As the CEO of Aparavi Software, Gregor Bieler is leading the company towards change by emphasizing the importance of data management in today's business landscape.

Making remarkable contributions to the software industry, today women leaders are managing some of the most innovative and successful software companies .......

Dr. Eric Leire, the CEO of Genflow Biosciences, is one such leader. He dedicates himself to the development of novel gene-based therapeutics targeting the aging process in dogs and humans.

Vladimir Stulančák venture into this field started in the year 2009, when he was looking for a change from the automotive industry, where he had served for a good amount of time.

Just like any other entrepreneur, for Chris - starting his very own skincare brand has been both the most fulfilling and nerve-wracking experience of his life.

Richard Sarti heads the operations at NODES as the CEO, who is known for his quick yet effective decisions

Dr. Marine Hadengue grew up in the Caribbean Islands and spent more than 15 years residing in Canada and the United States before relocating to the South of France.

A leader in the field of software development should possess a diverse range of skills and qualities to stay ahead in the highly competitive market.

Delmar Assis, who as the CEO of DRZ Corporation is converting regular companies to well-performing data-driven companies. Since its inception - DRZ has made a commitment to transform data....

Peter Nagy is focusing on creating outstanding RPG games, which aligns with his long-standing dream of creating immersive fantasy worlds and adventures.

Edwin Elias is the current Chief Executive Officer of Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) - Botswana, which has a rich history of over 40+ years. The mine currently runs both the underground and opencast operations...

The Entrepreneur's Source (TES) has been the sole Career Ownership Coaching organization for more than 38 years, offering education, awareness, and discovery to countless individuals in...

Professor Petro Terblanche has a successful track record in the strategic and operational management of technology intensive organizations.

Martha Shwartz is a founding partner of Martha Shwartz Partners (MSP), a leading international design practice whose work focuses on regenerating, activating and beautifying natural sites and urban centers.

As the current Vice President and an Executive Board Member of UDN Group, Ms. Cynthia Huang has earned a name for herself as a manager who is more of a friend and a guide to all her colleagues and subordinates.

As the CEO of a non-profit charitable organization called The Open Doors, which for 25 years has been working relentlessly towards helping those individuals and families who find themselves vulnerable in situations,

Ms. Isabel is a strongly passionate individual who leads by example striving to make an impact on teams, business performance and ultimately and most importantly, she says, for patients.

As the CEO of Horizon Empowers, Gretchen Villegas works relentlessly to identify and cater to the unique needs of each individual child within their care, guiding them through the rescue-restore-empower framework.

As the Chief Marketing Officer of ABBYY, Ms. Lukianchuk is the main person in charge of accelerating its growth, well-focused towards exponential business impact.

The CEO and the Founding-Partner of Olympus Marketing, it was always Diana Muniz-Lebrun’s passion to create something that she is really interested in, and in this very pursuit Olympus Marketing was started.

Denise Schuster is a prominent figure in the logistics industry, known for her exceptional leadership and expertise in the field. Schuster has made significant contributions to the industry.

As the Co-Founder & CEO of PitchSee, Nataša Đuričić displays tremendous vigor, passion and support, helping several businesses grow in their own space, and prove their mettle of innovating and outperforming.

Adriana Vadillo currently leads Global Computing, managing the operation and sales, working in the field to identify needs and translate them into business opportunities.

Annie Liao Jones’ story as a capable women leader in marketing, began on these very lines, serving as the Founder and CEO of Rock Candy Media.

Margo attributes the successful resurgence of SEAVIEW LEARNING to her team, Kathryn “Miss Kat” Oteri and Daniel Badger.

Juliet La, the 21-year-old Marketing Director, as she narrates her real-life story about turning adversity into opportunity.

A female chemical engineer with two Master’s degrees, a certified Executive Coach and Emotional Intelligence practitioner, a former Fortune 50 executive.

Jennifer Libby is an outpatient psychotherapist of 20+ years who treats a variety of ages but specializes in adolescent mental health.

When her theater school colleagues told Margaret Keymetian Ng to ‘break a leg’, little did she know that one day she would literally do so and that her fortunes would change for the better.

The Montessori Group is an international organisation with social impact at its heart.

Brenda Wunsch is the Co-CEO of Sapphire RCMS, LLC. Working for the health care company since March 2020,

Antonietta Pugliese is the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Financial Officer at Mana Group.

Amber Vanderburg is a multi-award-winning international businessperson, keynote speaker, author, and founder of The Pathwayz Group.