Appointment to Board of Directors of Rights & Democracy

(No. 21 - January 23, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced the appointment of Donica Pottie to the Board of Directors of the Montreal-based International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights & Democracy).

"Rights & Democracy contributes to Canada's objectives of promoting democracy and human rights abroad," said Minister Cannon. "Ms. Pottie has extensive experience in the field of human rights and democracy support. She will be an asset to this important Canadian organization."

Rights & Democracy is a non-partisan organization with an international mandate. It was created by Parliament in 1988 to encourage and support the universal values of human rights and to promote democratic institutions and practices around the world.

Consult Rights & Democracy for more information.

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A biographical note on the appointee follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874

Biographical Note

Donica Pottie (BA, Saint Mary's University, 1985) is director of the Democracy and War Economies Division at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. She joined the department in 1991.

A career diplomat, Ms. Pottie served in Canadian embassies in Beijing (1993-96) and Amman (1999-2002), before being named Canada's ambassador to Cambodia in 2004, a post she held until 2007.

In Jordan, she secured support for international human rights law training for judges, prosecutors and police, and worked closely with women's non-governmental organizations fighting honour killings.

In Cambodia, she worked to free jailed human rights defenders; advocated to the Cambodian government the cessation of both illegal, forcible relocations of the poor, and of land expropriation; participated in election observation; and, in collaboration with other embassies, monitored the progress of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in bringing former Khmer Rouge leaders to justice.

In Ottawa, Ms. Pottie was assigned to the Policy Planning Staff Division (1996-98); was executive assistant to the assistant deputy minister of Global and Security Policy (1998-99); and was deputy director of the Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament Division (2003-04).

Ms. Pottie is married with one child.