Biographical notes

Backgrounder

Susan Bincoletto (MA [Economics], University of Ottawa, 1984; Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School, 2011) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada in 2013 as assistant deputy minister, international business development, investment and innovation, and as chief trade commissioner. From 2000 to 2013, she served as chief financial officer; assistant deputy minister of spectrum, information technologies and telecommunication sector; and assistant deputy minister, strategic policy sector, at Industry Canada. She held various positions in the Privy Council Office and the Department of Finance Canada, where she started her career in 1984.

Louise Blais (BA, McGill University, 1988) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1996 after having worked as manager of the Development Office at the National Archives of Canada and as an analyst with Interpol. Ms. Blais was posted first to Washington, D.C., as counsellor for public affairs and then to Tokyo as head of public affairs. At Canada’s mission in Paris, she served as minister-counsellor for political affairs and director of the Canadian Cultural Centre. In Ottawa, Ms. Blais has held the positions of director of public diplomacy and services and executive director of assignments and rotational and mobile employee management. Most recently, she was consul general of Canada in Atlanta.

Nicholas Brousseau (BA [History], Laval University, 1997; MA [History], University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, 1999; Diploma for Archivist-Paleographer, National School of Charters, 2003; PhD [History], University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2005) joined Foreign Affairs Canada in 2004. At Headquarters, he has worked in the European Union Division and the Eastern Europe and Balkans Division. He has also served as deputy director in the Nuclear Disarmament, Arms Controls and Disarmament Policy Division and as senior departmental adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Overseas, he has served at the Permanent Mission to the United Nations, the Embassy to Russia and the Embassy to Romania, where he was the head of the political section and was also accredited to Bulgaria and Moldova.

Alexandra Bugailiskis (BA Hons, Carleton University, 1979; MA [International Affairs], Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, 1992) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1982. She has served abroad as ambassador to Syria (1997 to 2000) and high commissioner to Cyprus (1998 to 2000), ambassador to Cuba (2003 to 2007) and Poland (2013 to 2015). In Ottawa, Ms. Bugailiskis has held a number of senior positions. She was director general of the Latin America and the Caribbean Bureau (2000 to 2002), executive director of the International Policy Framework Task Force in the Privy Council Office (2002 to 2003) and assistant deputy minister and executive coordinator of the Americas Strategy Secretariat (2007 to 2008). She also served as assistant deputy minister for Latin America and the Caribbean (2008 to 2010). In 2010, she became executive coordinator of the Inter-American Development Bank Business Opportunities Task Force and served concurrently as distinguished senior fellow and public servant in residence at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. In 2011, she began serving as the chief negotiator for the Canada-European Union Strategic Political Partnership Agreement, and in 2015, she added the role of assistant deputy minister for Europe, the Middle East, the Maghreb and Circumpolar Affairs. She is the recipient of awards for distinguished service for her work on Namibian independence, the Summit of the Americas, the response to the Haitian earthquake and, most recently, the settlement of Syrian refugees.

Lilian Chatterjee (BJ Hons [Journalism], Carleton University, 1980; MA, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, 1985) joined the Canadian International Development Agency in 2003. She was director general for the Canadian Partnership Branch, Communications Branch and Strategic Policy and Performance Branch. At Global Affairs Canada, she served as director general for Social Development Partnerships, in the Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch, and, most recently, she was the director general for Strategic Integration in the Europe, Middle East and Maghreb Branch and the departmental champion for psychological health and well-being in the workplace.

René Cremonese (BA [Political Science], University of British Columbia, 1982; Certificate of French Studies, University of Strasbourg, 1983; MA [Political Studies], Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, 1985) began his career with the Department of External Affairs in 1987 as a liaison officer in the Summits Management Office. Since then, Mr. Cremonese has held a variety of positions within the department, with a particular focus on the Asian and Oceanian regions. At Headquarters, Mr. Cremonese has worked in several areas, including as departmental policy adviser in the Office of the Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific), director of the Outreach Programs and E-Communications Division, manager of the Outreach and Communications Team in the G8 and G20 Summits Policy Division, director of the Planning, Advocacy and Innovation Division and deputy chief information officer and executive director of the Client Relations and IT Governance Division. Abroad, Mr. Cremonese has served as second secretary (political) in Manila, counsellor (political) in Jakarta and deputy high commissioner in Canberra. Most recently, he served as high commissioner in Cameroon, with concurrent accreditation as ambassador to Gabon and to the Central African Republic.

Jeff David (HBA with distinction, Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, 2002) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2003. During his time at Headquarters, he was the senior adviser to the assistant deputy minister of the International Platform Branch, the director of consular case management and the senior departmental adviser in the Office of the Minister of International Trade. Overseas, he has served once in Afghanistan and twice in China. Most recently overseas, he served as the head of management and consular services in Guangzhou, China, from 2009 to 2011.

Stephen de Boer (BA [Political Science] and LL.B, Western University, 1986 and 1989; LL.M, Georgetown University, 1991) joined Foreign Affairs Canada in 2005 and has held various positions in the department, including in the Investment Trade Policy and North America Trade Policy divisions. In 2006, he was named the director of the Softwood Lumber Division. From 2008 to 2010, he served as the director of the Oceans and Environmental Law Division and as lead counsel for Canada’s international climate change negotiations. In 2010, he joined Environment Canada as the deputy chief negotiator for climate change and the director general responsible for Canada’s international climate change negotiations and partnerships. Mr. de Boer returned to the department in 2013 as the director general of the Trade Controls Bureau. In 2015, he was appointed ambassador to Poland and in 2016, ambassador to Belarus. Prior to joining the public service, he worked for the Government of Ontario.

Jess Dutton (BA Hons [Political Studies], Queen’s University, 1994; MA [Public Administration], Queen’s University, 1995) joined Foreign Affairs Canada in 2005. At Headquarters, he has served as the director of the Intergovernmental Relations Division and deputy head of the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force. Overseas, he has served in Seoul, in Kandahar as the director of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team and in Kabul as deputy head of mission. Most recently, he served in New Delhi as deputy head of mission.

André Frenette (MA [Arts, Intercultural and International Communication], Royal Roads University, 2012) joined the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 2012 as director general of communications. Subsequently, at Global Affairs Canada, he served as director general of the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau and director general of the South America and Inter-American Affairs Bureau, where he oversaw the implementation of Canada’s political, trade and development agenda in the region. He is a graduate of the Department of National Defence’s National Security Program, a one-year academic program, which he completed in 2015 at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. Prior to joining CIDA, he was director of international relations at Canadian Heritage, where he served two consecutive terms as chair of the Inter-American Committee on Culture of the Organization of American States, in Washington, D.C., and as chair of the Working Group on Cultural Diversity and Globalization of the International Network on Cultural Policy, whose work was related to UNESCO.

Shauna Hemingway (BA Hons [Economics and History], University of Toronto, 1999) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2002. At Headquarters, she has worked as a trade policy negotiator responsible for investment treaty and free trade agreement negotiations with partners in Asia. She also served as the trade commissioner responsible for Mexico. Most recently, Ms. Hemingway held the position of deputy director of the G7/G20 Summits Division. Overseas, she has served as the political secretary accredited to North and South Korea and economic counsellor at Canada’s embassy in Mexico City. Before joining the foreign service, she worked as a journalist in Canada and communications manager in the United Kingdom.

Heidi Hulan (BA Joint Hons [Philosophy and Political Science], McGill University, 1996) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1996. At Headquarters, she has held a variety of senior assignments, including as policy adviser to the foreign minister, deputy director of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, director of the Peacebuilding and Human Security Division, director of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division, director general of non-proliferation and security threat reduction and, most recently, director general of international security policy. Special assignments have included that of secretary to the Government of Canada’s 09/11 Task Force and head of the Ebola Task Force. Overseas, she has served as minister-counsellor and head of political section at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York and, subsequently, as deputy permanent representative of Canada to NATO from 2010 to 2013.

Emmanuelle Lamoureux (MA [International Affairs], Carleton University, 2000; BA [Communications], University of Quebec at Montréal, 1998) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2002. At Headquarters, Ms. Lamoureux worked in the United Nations Affairs Division and was deputy director responsible for media relations and deputy director responsible for communications in the Afghanistan Task Force. Overseas, she served in Paris and Geneva. Most recently, Ms. Lamoureux served as director of the Gulf State Relations Division.

Marcel Lebleu (BSc [Economics], University of Montréal, 1985) joined the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) in 1987. Mr. Lebleu had postings in Cameroon, Costa Rica, Argentina and Spain. In 2007, he was appointed director and senior trade commissioner at the TCS regional office for Quebec. In 2011, he was appointed director of client services of the TCS. In 2013, he was appointed director general for regional trade operations and intergovernmental relations. Most recently, Mr. Lebleu served as Canada’s ambassador to Chile.

Patricia McCullagh (BA [Commerce, French], Western University, 1983; MSc [International Political Economy], London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom, 1988) joined the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 2003 as senior economist and private sector development team leader. Ms. McCullagh was CIDA’s director of gender equality from 2005 to 2007 and director of strategic analysis and operations, Europe, Middle East, Maghreb, Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2011 to 2012. Overseas, she has served in Kenya, Vietnam, Indonesia and Tanzania and was named ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire in 2015.

David McKinnon (BA [History], University of Toronto, 1986; MBA, Queen’s University, 2002) joined the Department of External Affairs as a trade commissioner in 1987. During his time in Ottawa, he has served in a variety of positions related to the range of Canada’s overseas trade, economic and diplomatic interests, including as director for Asia-Pacific policy (2002 to 2004). From 2013 to 2017, he was executive director of strategic policy and planning and then director general of the Physical Resources Bureau. Mr. McKinnon’s assignments overseas have included Bangkok (1989 to 1992), Canberra (1994 to 1998 and 2009 to 2013, the latter as deputy head of mission) and New Delhi (2004 to 2009), where he was the minister-counsellor responsible for the delivery of Canada’s trade and investment program in India and Nepal.

Kyle Nunas (BJ High Hons, Carleton University, 1994) joined Canadian Heritage in 1994. He served in a variety of functions, including managing communications for sport, and international and intergovernmental affairs. In 2006, he joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He served as director of the Communications Services Division from 2007 to 2012, leading the marketing program of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. From 2014 to 2017, he served as director for aerospace, automotive, defence, and information and communications technology in the Trade Sectors Bureau. Overseas, he served as Canada’s first consul and senior trade commissioner in Bengaluru (Bangalore) from 2012 to 2014.

Nathalie O’Neil (BA [Political Science], McGill University, 1984; MA [Political Science], University of Montréal, 1988) joined the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 2000 as a senior adviser to the Educational Institutions Program, under the Canadian Partnerships Branch. She occupied a number of positions at CIDA, including director in the Policy, Planning and Communications Division for the Haiti and Dominican Republic Program. From 2011 to 2013, she served as manager and senior analyst in the Operations and Strategic Planning Division for West and Central Africa. Prior to coming to CIDA, she was a senior analyst in the Privy Council Office’s Intergovernmental Affairs Branch, as well as in the International Labour Affairs Division at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. In 2013, Ms. O’Neil was posted to the Embassy of Canada to Mali as deputy head of aid. Since 2015, she has been director of the aid program at the Embassy of Canada to Senegal.

Patricia Peña (BA Hons [Political Science], University of Toronto, 1996; MSc [Government], London School of Economics, United Kingdom, 1998) joined the Government of Canada in 2007. She held several positions at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) headquarters from 2007 to 2011, serving initially in the Office for Democratic Governance and then as director of democratic governance and human rights. She was director of economic growth and natural resources policy and director general of thematic and sectoral policy at Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. She was most recently director general of economic development at Global Affairs Canada, including responsibility for international financial institutions globally. Prior to joining the Government of Canada, Ms. Peña lived in London, United Kingdom, for almost 10 years, studying and working in several public sector organizations, including the United Kingdom Electoral Commission, where she was director of political financing regulation in the United Kingdom.

Laurie Peters (BA [English Literature and French], Trent University, 1985) joined Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in 2011 as counsellor and head of public affairs at the Embassy of Canada to Japan, a position she held until 2015. During this time, she also served as a senior trade commissioner overseeing the international education and culture industry portfolios. In her most recent work as executive director, public affairs, Ms. Peters has led the international dimension of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation for Global Affairs Canada. In this capacity, she established a team to advance a revitalized public diplomacy program and a strengthened global brand for Canada. Before joining the department, Ms. Peters was the director of public affairs for Aga Khan Foundation Canada. She also worked with Canadian Heritage as the director of communications and public affairs for the Canada Pavilion at the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan. She spent most of her early career in various management roles at the National Capital Commission, including as director and chief spokesperson for strategic communications.

Benoit Préfontaine (BSc [Economics], University of Montréal, 1983; MA [Economics], University of Ottawa, 1985) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1987. At Headquarters, Mr. Préfontaine worked in the Defence Programs Bureau, Overseas Division, and the Export Finance Division. He also served as deputy director of the South Asia Division, as director responsible for aerospace, automotive, defence, and information and communications technology industries and, in his most recent assignment, as deputy inspector general. He has served in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Fukuoka and Tokyo, Japan; New Delhi, India; and São Paulo, Brazil.

François Rivest (BCom Hons [Management Science], University of Ottawa, 1983; MBA [Finance], University of Manitoba, 1991) joined External Affairs and International Trade in 1991 after serving in the Canadian Armed Forces (Air) and working for the City of Winnipeg. He served twice at the Canadian embassy in Tokyo, including from 2002 to 2006 as program manager and head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Section. From 2006 to 2008, he was senior trade commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong. In 2008, he was appointed consul general of Canada in Guangzhou, China. From 2013 to 2016, he served as minister-counsellor and senior trade commissioner at the Canadian embassy in Mexico City, where he also acted for a period as deputy head of mission. At Headquarters, Mr. Rivest served in international trade finance, overseas operations and trade policy. In 2016, Mr. Rivest was appointed deputy head of mission and minister-counsellor at the Canadian embassy in Kabul.

Julie Shouldice (BA Hons [Political Science] University of Toronto, 1998; MA [Peace and Conflict Studies] University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, 2002) was most recently working abroad at the Canadian high commission in Pretoria as head of cooperation for South Africa and director of the Kenya and South Africa development programs. Prior to this, at Headquarters, Ms. Shouldice was director for education, child protection and gender equality, and acting director general for social development. She has held other positions in the Government of Canada in the areas of humanitarian assistance, public health and multilateral programming. During her time with Global Affairs Canada, she has represented Canada in numerous international forums, including during the renegotiation of the Food Aid Convention and the Global Partnership for Education. Prior to joining Global Affairs Canada, Ms. Shouldice worked for the United Nations World Food Programme in Bangladesh and Burundi, for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Croatia and for the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre and Canadian Red Cross in Ottawa.

Nicolas Simard (BA [Literary Studies], University of Quebec at Montréal, 1996; MA [Literary Studies], University of Quebec at Montréal, 2000) joined the Canadian International Development Agency in 2004 through the Policy Leaders Program. At Headquarters, he worked on the Fragile States Strategy. He was also responsible for strategic planning for bilateral and regional programs in West and Central Africa. At Canadian Heritage, from 2006 to 2008, he was responsible for the development and implementation of the International Strategic Framework for the department and its portfolio organizations. He served abroad as the deputy director for development at the Canadian high commission in Dhaka from 2011 to 2014. Most recently, he served as director of planning and evaluation and chief of staff in the Office of the Administrator of La Francophonie in Paris.

David Sproule (BA Hons, University of Alberta, 1978; LLB, University of Alberta, 1981) began his career as a foreign service officer with the Department of External Affairs in 1981. Early in his career, he served in Singapore, Bangkok and Washington, D.C. From 1999 to 2004, he served as counsel and deputy agent for Canada before the International Court of Justice in the “Case Concerning the Legality of the Use of Force (Yugoslavia v. Canada).” Mr. Sproule was appointed high commissioner in Bangladesh in 2004 and subsequently served as ambassador to Afghanistan, Thailand, Norway and, most recently, Libya. At Headquarters, Mr. Sproule’s assignments have included deputy director of the Economic Policy and Summits Division and of the Human Rights Law Section, director of the Oceans and Environmental Law Division and of the Human Rights, United Nations and Economic Law Division and director general of the Legal Affairs Bureau. Mr. Sproule has also held the position of director of the Asia Division in the Intelligence Assessments Secretariat in the Privy Council Office.

Caterina Ventura (BA [Political Science and Economics], Laurentian University, 1978; LL.B, University of Ottawa, 1981) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1999. Previously, Ms. Ventura held the roles of investigator, policy adviser and legal counsel at the Canadian Human Rights Commission. At Headquarters, Ms. Ventura worked as a legal officer and deputy director in the United Nations, Human Rights and Economic Law Division of the legal bureau and as acting director of the Oceans and Environmental Law Division. She served as political affairs counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York. In her most recent assignment, Ms. Ventura was senior adviser in the Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch.

Louis Verret (BA, Laval University, 1979; MA [Geography], Laval University, 1983) joined the Canadian International Development Agency in 1985. Prior to being the executive director of the amalgamated (political and development) Afghanistan Program, Mr. Verret worked in Bamako as the senior director of the Canadian Cooperation Program in Mali from 2013 to 2016. He has also been posted to several Canadian missions, including those in Brazil, Cameroon and India, where he gained extensive work experience in different regions of the world. Mr. Verret has also served as the director of operations of the Haiti Program, manager of the Americas Regional Program and project team leader in the Bangladesh and Niger Programs.


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