Biographical notes


Lorraine Diguer (BBA, University of Ottawa, 1989; BA [Political Science], University of Ottawa, 1990) joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1992. At Headquarters, she has worked in many areas, including audit, finance, human resources, international security and consular and crisis management; more recently, she has served as the director of the Peace Operations Policy and Deployments Division. Most recently, she was the director of the Education and Social Development Division. She supported Canada’s role in the evacuation during the war in Lebanon in 2006 and Canada’s response to the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. She has served abroad in South Africa, Haiti, the United Kingdom and, more recently, Belgium, where she was part of Canada’s mission to the European Union.

Sara Nicholls (BA Hons [Kinesiology], University of Western Ontario, 2000; MA [Health Sciences and Women’s Studies], University of Ottawa, 2008) joined the public service with Canadian Heritage’s international affairs directorate after working with civil society in Eastern and Southern Africa, managing programs focused on adolescent health. In 2009, she moved to the Canadian International Development Agency, working on the human rights and governance team. She held several management roles, including as deputy director for immunization, nutrition and newborn health, and was the Canadian representative on the Board of Directors of Gavi, the Vaccine Initiative. While at the Privy Council Office, Ms. Nicholls advised on issues related to the international assistance envelope, Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and responses to humanitarian crises, as well as bilateral relations with Sub-Saharan African countries. She was most recently the director and head of cooperation in Ghana, with responsibility for Sierra Leone and Togo, at the High Commission in Accra.

Élise Racicot (BA [Public Relations], University of Quebec in Montréal, 2001; MPA, University of Public Administration, 2018) began her career with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2002. In her first assignment, she became the first female Canadian trade commissioner in Iran. Ms. Racicot then worked on the integration of the Montréal regional office into the department’s national network; this was followed by 3 assignments in Brazil, including as head of mission for Quebec and, recently, as the senior trade commissioner for Canada’s Brazilian mission platform. She also served for several years on the global council of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. She has served in various capacities at Headquarters, including in the areas of small and medium-sized enterprise export diversification, climate change, clean development finance and intergovernmental relations. She was also involved in the development of a mentoring program, aimed at equity, for women diplomats.

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