Biographical notes - Rachael Bedlington and Christopher Cooter
Rachael Bedlington (BA Joint Honours [East Asian Studies and Political Science], McGill University, 1990, Nanjing Normal University, 1992) joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1992. Ms. Bedlington most recently served as minister (commercial) at the embassy in Beijing, her fourth assignment with the Government of Canada in China. From 2015 to 2019, she was the consul general in Guangzhou, and she completed previous China assignments at the embassy from 1995 to 1998 and 2006 to 2011. She has also served as political counsellor in Kuala Lumpur and as chargé d’affaires in Colombo. At Headquarters, she has worked on a diverse range of issues, including in divisions responsible for negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, for bilateral relations with India and Southeast Asia, and, in the Human Resources Branch, for diplomatic assignments. In 2011, she became head of Canada’s Sudan and South Sudan Task Force, representing Canada at the Darfur Peace Agreement Implementation Follow-Up Commission and serving as chair of the International Contact Group on Sudan and South Sudan. From 2013 to 2015, she served as executive director for human rights and Indigenous affairs policy.
Christopher Cooter (BA Honours [Political Science], University of Toronto, 1981; MA [Political Science], Columbia University, 1982; BCL, LLB [Common/Civil Law], McGill University, 1986) was called to the British Columbia bar in 1986 and practised law at Campney & Murphy before joining the federal government in 1989 as acting manager of lands for the British Columbia region of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. In 1990, he joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada, serving in Ottawa as an officer in the legal, Europe and policy planning bureaus and then as director of the Southeast Europe Division, director of the Policy Planning Division, director general for executive management and assignments and director general for the amalgamation of the Canadian International Development Agency with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. In the Privy Council Office, he worked in the Inter-Governmental Affairs Bureau. In the 1990s, he served abroad as political officer at Canada’s missions in Kenya and India, as chargé d’affaires in Cambodia and as deputy permanent representative to NATO (2006 to 2010), high commissioner in Nigeria and permanent observer to the Economic Community of West African States (2010 to 2013), ambassador to Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan (2016 to 2019) and as chargé d’affaires to the European Union (2019 to 2020). He has most recently served as chargé d’affaires at the High Commission of Canada to South Africa.
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