Biographical notes

Backgrounder

Graeme C. Clark (BA Hons [English and History], University of Toronto, 1982; MLitt [Modern Languages], University of Oxford, 1986) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1989. At Headquarters, he served as director of Mexico and North America, director of media relations, director general of assignments and executive management and acting assistant deputy minister of human resources. He was also legislative and departmental assistant to the minister of foreign affairs from 1995 to 1997 and legislative assistant to the prime minister from 1995 to 1997. Abroad, he served as second secretary and vice-consul in San José (with cross-accreditation to Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) from 1990 to 1992, ambassador to Peru and Bolivia from 1997 to 2001 and ambassador and permanent representative to the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., from 2006 to 2010. Most recently, he served as minister at the Canadian embassy in Paris.

Michael Elliott (BA Hons [Military and Strategic Studies], Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, 1995; MA [International Affairs], Carleton University, 1996) began his career in the Canadian Armed Forces and worked as a consultant for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade before joining the department in 1997. In Ottawa, he has held a range of senior positions in the Government of Canada, including as senior policy adviser at the Privy Council Office from 2006 to 2007 and from 2008 to 2009, as director of institutional alignment at the Department of National Defence from 2007 to 2008 and as chief of Foreign Relations at Public Safety Canada from 2015 to 2016. Abroad, he served as a political officer in Brussels at the Joint Delegation to NATO from 2000 to 2002 and in Tel Aviv from 2002 to 2005. He also served in Washington, D.C., as an exchange officer in the U.S. Department of State from 2009 to 2010 and then as a program manager in the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Section of the Canadian embassy from 2010 to 2015.

Lisa Helfand (LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School, 1985) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1989. At Headquarters, Ms. Helfand served as a desk officer with both the Economic and Trade Policy Division and the Middle East Relations Division. She also worked as a legal officer with the Economic Law Division; as an adviser with the Kosovo Task Force; as deputy director with the Southern Europe Division; and as deputy director, then director, with the Defence and Security Relations Division. Overseas, she served as second secretary (immigration) in London, first secretary and consul in Belgrade, deputy head of mission in Tel Aviv, and again in London as a political counsellor. She also served as the Canadian ambassador to Hungary, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most recently, Ms. Helfand was director general of the Consular Operations Bureau.

Ralph Jansen (BA Hons [Political Science, French], York University 1985; MSc [International Relations], London School of Economics, 1986) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1988. At Headquarters, he served in the International Economic Policy Bureau, Regional Strategy and Services Division, Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, various geographic divisions and, most recently, as director general, evaluation and results. Abroad, he served in Budapest as first secretary, at the permanent mission to the United Nations in New York City as counsellor (political and security council affairs), at the mission to the European Union in Brussels as counsellor (political, justice and home affairs), in Paris as minister-counsellor (communications and public affairs), in Rome as minister-counsellor (political and public affairs) and in Tel Aviv as deputy head of mission.

Carol McQueen (BA [History], Concordia University, 1995; M.Phil [International Relations], Oxford University, 1997; D.Phil [International Relations], Oxford University, 2002) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2005. At Headquarters, she served as policy analyst within the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force from 2005 to 2007; senior policy analyst on the protection of civilians in armed conflict from 2007 to 2008; deputy director in the Democracy and Governance Division from 2008 to 2010; and deputy director, then director, of the Gulf States Relations Division from 2013 to 2015. Overseas, she served as political counsellor in Tanzania from 2010 to 2013. Before joining the department, she worked as a political affairs officer with the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2002 to 2005. Most recently, she was Canada’s ambassador to Tunisia.

Ayesha Patricia Rekhi (BA Hons [Political Science], McGill University, 1996; MSc [Development Studies], London School of Economics and Political Science, 1997; MPA, Harvard University, 2016) joined Citizenship and Immigration Canada in 1999 and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2002. At Headquarters, she was the deputy director of the Southeast Asia and Oceania Division from 2010 to 2011 and previously served as an adviser on peacebuilding and human security issues. Overseas, she served as vice-consul for immigration in Hong Kong from 2000 to 2002, first secretary for political and economic affairs in New Delhi from 2005 to 2009, counsellor for political and public affairs in Hanoi from 2012 to 2015, and counsellor for political and economic affairs and permanent observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok from 2016 to 2019.

Stuart Savage (BA [Economics], University of Windsor, 1990; BA Hons [International Relations], University of Windsor, 1991) joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1994. At Headquarters, he served as director general for Geographic Coordination and Mission Support, director for Consular Special Case Support and Children’s Issues and director for Intergovernmental Relations. He was also responsible for such files as regional security and peacekeeping, multilateral affairs, the G8 and bilateral relations. Abroad, he was ambassador to Guatemala and served in Pakistan, Spain, Mexico and Cuba and at Canada’s permanent mission to the United Nations, in New York City.

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