Announcement of new diplomatic appointments - Biographical notes


François Lafrenière (BA [Economics], Laval University, 1986) was the Asia regional director for the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation. He was employed in the NGO sector from 1990 to 2005 and lived and worked in several countries, including Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia and India. He joined the Canadian International Development Agency in 2005 and has held several deputy director positions in the Asia, Africa and Canadian Partnership branches. He was director of the Afghanistan and Sri Lanka development programs from 2015 to 2016 and the Myanmar and Philippines development programs from 2016 to 2019. Overseas, he was counsellor (development) at the embassy in Beijing from 2010 to 2012. Most recently, he was ambassador to Myanmar from 2019 to 2022.

David Sproule (BA Hons [Political Science], University of Alberta, 1978; LLB, University of Alberta, 1981) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1981. Mr. Sproule has served abroad in Singapore; Bangkok (twice); Washington, D.C.; Dhaka; Kabul; Oslo; Tunis; Ulaanbaatar; and Doha. At Headquarters, he has served in the department’s divisions of Economic Law; Political Intelligence Analysis; Legal Operations, International Economic Relations and Summits; Legal Advisory; Oceans and Environmental Law; and United Nations, Human Rights and Economic Law. He has served as director general of the Legal Bureau and as Canadian senior Arctic official and director general for Arctic, Eurasian and European affairs. He has also served in the Privy Council Office. From 2004 to 2005, Mr. Sproule was high commissioner in Bangladesh; from 2005 to 2007 ambassador to Afghanistan; from 2007 to 2009 ambassador to Thailand and Laos; from 2013 to 2014 ambassador to Norway; from 2015 to 2017 ambassador to Libya; and from 2017 to 2019 ambassador to Mongolia. He was most recently Canadian senior official for Afghanistan.

Jeanette Stovel (BA Hons [East Asian Studies], McGill University, 1986; Executive MBA, Warsaw School of Economics and University of Calgary, 2001) worked for 15 years in multilateral and non-governmental organizations in Canada and Poland and throughout the former Yugoslavia before joining Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in 2006. During her time at Headquarters, she has served as deputy director of peace operations policy for the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (2008 to 2009) and deputy director for the Middle East in the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (2016 to 2019). Her positions overseas have included political counsellor in Poland, where she was concurrently the most senior Canadian diplomat accredited to Belarus; chargé d’affaires en pied in Lithuania, with responsibility for Latvia and Estonia; and, most recently, high commissioner in Brunei (2019 to 2022).

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