Biographical notes

Backgrounder

Behzad Babakhani (BSc, McGill University, 1992; LLB, University of Manitoba, 1996) practised family and criminal law before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1999. He has served at Headquarters in various positions, including as law officer (sanctions), economic policy officer (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) and director of Consular Affairs, responsible for complex and children’s cases. He has also served as an executive in the Privy Council Office (Afghanistan Task Force), where he received the clerk’s Excellence Award in 2011. Abroad, he has had assignments in South Korea (second secretary), Malaysia (counsellor), Mexico (deputy head of mission and minister-counsellor) and Monterrey (consul general). Most recently, Mr. Babakhani was director for Northeast Asia and Oceania and chair of the department’s Visible Minorities Network.

Louis Dumas (BA [Translation], Laval University, 1986; MSc [Management], Boston University, 1999) started his career in government in 1990 in Moscow and then held positions in Cairo and Tel Aviv. Upon returning to Canada, Mr. Dumas occupied the position of program and policy adviser to the assistant deputy minister of operations at Citizenship and Immigration Canada. He also worked in key positions at the Canada Border Services Agency. He returned overseas in 2007 as immigration program manager in Singapore and then became the immigration program manager in Beijing. In 2013, he returned to Canada, where he was asked to initiate a major centralization project of visa processing. Mr. Dumas then served as director general of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC’s) Domestic Network. Most recently, he served as director general of transformation at IRCC.

Michael Gort (BA Combined Hons [Economics and Political Science], Western University, 1987; MA [International Affairs], Carleton University, 1990) joined the Canadian International Development Agency in 2003, after more than 10 years working for Canadian non-governmental organizations in Canada and Central America, as well as on assignments with the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. During his time at Global Affairs Canada Headquarters, he has served as director general of international organizations (2017 to 2020) and as director of the UN, Commonwealth and Francophonie Division (2010 to 2013). Positions overseas included San José (2015 to 2017), where he served as ambassador to Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua; Rome (2013 to 2015), where he served as deputy permanent representative to the food and agriculture agencies of the UN; and Accra (2008 to 2010), as director of development and head of aid.

Annick Goulet (BA Hons [Political Science] and Second Program, Modern Languages [Japanese and Russian], McGill University, 1992; DES [Journalism], École supérieure de journalisme de Paris [graduate school of journalism in Paris], 1994) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1999, after having worked as a journalist in Canada, Europe and Asia (1992 to 1998). During her time at Headquarters, she was deputy director for Japan (2008 to 2009) and for nuclear policy (2009 to 2010), director for non-proliferation and disarmament (2010 to 2011) and for commercial affairs with EU and European Free Trade Association countries (2014 to 2015). While in Ottawa, she also had an assignment in the Privy Council Office’s Foreign Policy and Defence Secretariat (2006 to 2007). Positions abroad include a secondment to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (2002 to 2003) and a posting at Canada’s embassy in Tokyo (2003 to 2006). She served as counsellor and senior trade commissioner at the embassy in Beijing (2012 to 2014) and, most recently, as minister-counsellor (economic and trade) at the embassy in Moscow (2016 to 2020), where she also served as chargé d’affaires for Armenia and Uzbekistan (2018 to 2019).

Christine Laberge (BA [Political Science], University of Montréal, 1998; MA [Management], University of Montréal, 2000) joined Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in 2000. At Headquarters, she was director of the Centre of Learning for International Affairs and Global Leadership (2018 to 2020). She has held various positions abroad, including at the consulate in Barcelona (2011 to 2015), the consulate general in Rio de Janeiro (2001 to 2004) and the embassy in The Hague (2007).

Denis Robert (BA [Political Science], Laval University, 1983; MSc [Political Science], University of Montréal, 1987) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1989 after working as a research associate at the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at Queen’s University. He served as second secretary (commercial-NAFTA) in Mexico City (1989 to 1993). In 1996, he was seconded to the École nationale d’administration [national school of administration] in Paris. In 1998, he participated in the diplomatic exchange program between the French and Canadian ministries of foreign affairs. He served as counsellor (commercial) in Paris (1998 to 2001), as head of the political section at the Mission to the European Union in Brussels (2004 to 2007) and as head of the political section at the embassy in Port-au-Prince (2007 to 2008). He was ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg (2012 to 2016). At Headquarters, he has served in the European Union Division (1993 to 1996), as deputy director of the Western Europe Division and as director of the Haiti Task Force (2008 to 2012). Most recently, he served as director of foreign policy research.

Emina Tudakovic (BA [Political Science], University of British Columbia, 1995; MA [Political Science], University of British Columbia, 1998) joined Citizenship and Immigration Canada in 2000. Following a first posting in New Delhi, she worked on international migration policy in bilateral and multilateral contexts. She served in the Humanitarian Affairs section of Canada’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva (2006 to 2010), during which time she served 2 terms on the United Nations Refugee Agency’s Executive Bureau as rapporteur. On her return to Canada in 2010, Ms. Tudakovic held a number of director-level positions at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and was responsible for the overseas operational planning and implementation of Operation Syrian Refugee. In 2016, she took a position at the embassy in Ankara as area director for migration programs for the Middle East.

David Verbiwski (BSc [Physics], Bishop’s University, 1996) worked in the private sector in Indonesia and in the natural resources sector in Canada before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2001. During his time at Headquarters, he served in the Latin America and Caribbean Division (2001 to 2002), as deputy director in the Strategic Trade Planning and Performance Measurement Division (2009 to 2010) and as deputy director responsible for nuclear compliance and cooperation in the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division (2018 to 2020). He has held various positions abroad, including trade commissioner in Jakarta (2002 to 2005), trade program manager in São Paulo (2005 to 2009), regional senior trade commissioner for eastern Africa in Nairobi (2010 to 2013) and commercial counsellor in Havana (2014 to 2018).

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