The Hon. Roy MacLaren was born in Vancouver, Canada, in 1934. He holds Masters degrees from both the University of Toronto and the University of Cambridge and he attended an Advanced Management Program from Harvard University.
As a diplomat, MacLaren served in Vietnam, Prague, and at the United Nations as well as in Ottawa in the years 1958-1969.
He then worked in the private sector as Director of Public Affairs for Massey Ferguson (1969-1974), President of Ogilvy and Mather Canada (1974-1977), and President and Publisher, CB Media Ltd. (1977-1983). From 1984-1993 he served as a Director of Deutsche Bank (Canada) Ltd., London Life, and Royal LePage, and from 1986-1993 as a Director of Broadview Press Ltd. From 1979-1984 and again from 1988-1996.
He was a Member of Parliament, and he served in the Cabinet as Minister of State, Finance (1983), Minister for National Revenue (1984), and Minister for International Trade (1993-1996). In 1996 he returned to diplomatic life, serving as High Commissioner for Canada to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1996-2000). He is a director of Standard Life (UK) , Patheon, Algoma Central and Pacific Safety Products.
- "owns, manages and builds businesses that generate sustainable cash flows. Through its major investment holdings the Company is engaged in real estate development (with major office properties in North America), power generation (with power generating plants in North and South America), and the harvesting of timber and manufacture of timber products in North America. The Company also provides banking and other financial services."
One of the directors of Brascan or Brookfield, Conrad Black, along with three other former executives of Black's media empire, Hollinger International, allegedly engaged in insider trading to boost Hollinger stock:
- "Authorities said Black, along with other officials, used insider trading to boost Hollinger stock in 1998, arranging for the Canadian company Brascan to buy Hollinger shares at the same time short-sellers were unloading their stock. At the time, Black was a director at Brascan, now called Brookfield Asset Management. "While Brascan used its own funds to purchase the shares, Black guaranteed their downside and interest rate, and also guaranteed their profit," prosecutors wrote, saying Black and other executives received cash from the deal."
Lord Black, along with MacLaren, is a member of the Trilateral Commission and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and a director of the Centre for Policy Studies, just like Standard Life's Norman Blackwell.
Brascan is a major contributor to the Liberal Party in Canada, as is Standard Life, which has had a long association with the country. A Scotland on Sunday article, before the de-mutualisation of Standard Life, stated that:
- "Europe’s largest mutual is also facing criticism after making payments of C$20,000 to the Liberal party in Canada. One policyholder said the company declared in its annual report that it made no political donations. However, Standard Life said it is not obliged to declare donations made outside the European Union. Malcolm Wood, director of legal services at Standard Life, said: "If the donation had been made in the UK it would have been disclosed."
MacLaren served in the Canadian Foreign Service and was responsible for economic affairs in the Canadian Mission. He was a delegate to UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) and ECOSOC (United Nations Economic and Social Council). He is also the Honorary Colonel of the 7th Toronto Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. MacLaren sits on the Council of the Champlain Society, the Canadian Institute for International Affairs, and the Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission. He is also a Past Chairman of the Atlantic Council of Canada. 
As Minister of International Trade (1993-1996), Mr. MacLaren negotiated the final stages of NAFTA and of the Uruguay Round of the GATT. He is also a member of the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, where he joins luminaries of the world of 'intelligence' such as Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, General the Lord Guthrie, Rita Hauser and Lord Powell of Bayswater. MacLaren is also a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation. 
MacLaren is Co-Chair of the Energy Roundtable, an initiative of the Canada Europe Roundtable for Business (CERT). CERT is an association of Canadian and European companies founded in 1999 to provide public policy recommendations to the Government of Canada and the European Commission in efforts to increase bilateral trade and investment. MacLaren is also a member of The Fields Institute,  and co-chairman (with Bill Emmott, the former editor of the Economist) of the Canada-Europe Roundtable for Business.
- Canadians on the Nile, 1882-1898 (1978)
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- Honourable Mentions (Deneau Publishers, 1986)
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