Canada strengthens its team ahead of NAFTA negotiations 

News Release

August 2, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Canada and the United States have built the most peaceful and mutually beneficial partnership in the world-one that supports millions of middle class jobs in both countries.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that the Government of Canada is strengthening its diplomatic outreach to the United States with the appointment of new consuls general in San Francisco, Seattle and Atlanta, and a new deputy ambassador in Washington, D.C.

The new appointees are:

  • Kirsten Hillman, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Canada to the United States;
  • Brandon Lee, Consul General of Canada in Seattle;
  • Nadia Theodore, Consul General of Canada in Atlanta; and
  • Rana Sarkar, Consul General of Canada in San Francisco.

Through direct engagement with the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, and Canada's Ambassador to the US, the network of consuls general will form a cohesive, integrated team. The consuls general will work with provinces, the business community, labour, Indigenous peoples and others to represent and defend Canadian goals and interests. 

These senior diplomats will join Canadian consuls general in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and New York City (together with trade offices in Houston, Palo Alto and San Diego), and will report directly to David MacNaughton, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C.

The new consuls general will play pivotal roles in promoting Canada’s interests to our American neighbours and bolstering Canada’s presence and profile in key centres across the United States as the Government of Canada continues to lead an ambitious program of Canada-United States outreach.

In advance of NAFTA negotiations, set to begin on August 16, 2017, the Minister also announced today the creation of a new NAFTA Council, which will strengthen Canada’s NAFTA team. The individuals on the Council will offer their expertise and strategic advice in support of Canada’s negotiations. 


“A constructive working relationship between Canada and the United States is essential to good, middle class jobs and economic opportunities on both sides of the border. Our focus is squarely on our shared prosperity and economic well-being. With the expansion of our consular presence in the United States, and the creation of the NAFTA Council, we are furthering Canada’s determination to promote Canadian interests and values in our bilateral relations with our main economic partner.”

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick Facts

  • America’s trade with Canada is balanced, fair and mutually beneficial.

  • An estimated 9 million good, middle-class American jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada.

  • Canada buys more from the United States than any other country, including Mexico, China and Japan, or the European Union.

  • We are the number-one customer for the majority of American states and among the top three customers of 48 states.

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