July 31, 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced the following diplomatic appointments:
Steve Côté becomes Ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
Dennis Horak becomes Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Brandon A. Lee becomes Consul General in San Francisco, United States of America.
Sabine Nolke becomes Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Biographical notes on the appointees follow.
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Steve Côté (BAA [Finance], Université Laval, 1995) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1996 as a management and consular officer. He was posted overseas to the Canadian embassy in Uruguay from 1997 to 2000, the Canadian embassy in Mexico from 2000 to 2002 and the Canadian embassy in Spain from 2002 to 2006. In Canada, Mr. Côté worked between 2006 and 2012 at the department’s Missions Services Bureau as senior adviser (International Platforms Branch), the Invest in Canada Bureau as director of the Coordinating Group for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and for the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs) as ministerial liaison officer. During that period, Mr. Côté also worked in the Privy Council Office as senior operations adviser to the Afghanistan working group. Mr. Côté has served at the Canadian embassy in Colombia since 2012 as head of the management and consular programs. He has received a number of recognitions, including the Deputy Ministers’ Award of Excellence in Policy and Program Development at the 2010 Olympics in June 2010. He is married to Karine Pleau and the father of two children, Mikaela and Lukas. Steve Côté replaces Georges Boissé.
Dennis Horak (BA Honours [Political Science] York University, 1983; MSc Economics [International Relations], London School of Economics, London U.K., 1984) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1987. After assignments in Stockholm (1989-90) and Warsaw (1990-93), he returned to Ottawa to work in the UN Division and the Peacebuilding and Democratic Development Division. From 1996 to 1999, he served in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as political-economic program manager (with cross accreditation to Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates). He returned to Ottawa in 1999 as deputy director of the Middle East Division, responsible for Iraq, Iran and Egypt. In London, he served as Counsellor at the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom from 2002 to 2006, after which he returned to Ottawa as director of the Gulf and Maghreb Division. He served as head of mission/chargé d’affaires in Iran from 2009 to 2012. He returned to Ottawa in 2012 to take up an assignment as the director of the Middle East Relations Division. Dennis Horak is married to Sally Horak, and they have two children. Dennis Horak replaces Tom MacDonald.
Brandon A. Lee (BA Honours [Commerce and Economics], McMaster University, 1999) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) in 2004. His background is in change management and innovation, and he has held several executive and management positions within the department. From 2007 to 2011, he oversaw reform activities to strengthen Canada’s international presence and became DFAIT’s first Director of Innovation. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Lee held senior positions at the World Trade Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross (both in Geneva), spearheading major organizational and international reform initiatives. Previously, Mr. Lee worked in the private sector as a pioneer of online banking in North America and with large-scale telecommunications and IT management consulting firms. Mr. Lee lives with his partner Giovanna Mingarelli. Brandon A. Lee replaces Catherine (Cassie) Doyle.
Sabine Nolke (BA, University of Western Ontario, 1978; MA [English Literature], University of Western Ontario, 1980; LLB, University of Western Ontario, 1985; LLM [Public International Law], London School of Economics and Political Science, 1996) began her career with External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1992 as junior counsel in the Economic and Trade Law Division. Starting in 1993, in Ottawa, Ms. Nolke served as counsel in the Legal Operations Division, as deputy director of the United Nations, Criminal and Treaty Law Division and as director of the United Nations, Human Rights and Economic Law Division. She served abroad, at the Canadian High Commission, in London and with the Canadian delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Vienna. From 1999 to 2004, Ms. Nolke was co-counsel in Legality of Use of Force (Serbia and Montenegro v. Canada) before the International Court of Justice. Ms. Nolke, the recipient of a Minister of Foreign Affairs Award for Foreign Policy Excellence, is currently director general of the Non-Proliferation and Security Threat Reduction Bureau. Ms. Nolke is married to Christopher D. Ram and has one daughter, Eilidh. Sabine Nolke replaces James Lambert.