Canada Appoints Next Ambassador to Afghanistan

(No. 162 - June 15, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced the appointment of William Crosbie as Canada’s next ambassador to Afghanistan.

“Mr. Crosbie’s strong track record with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada will ensure a continued focus on our priorities and signature projects in Afghanistan,” said Minister Cannon. “His leadership skills and grasp of foreign policy challenges make him a natural choice for Canada’s top international security priority.”

Mr. Crosbie will succeed Ron Hoffmann to become Canada’s fifth head of mission in Kabul since Canada re-established diplomatic relations with Afghanistan in 2002. Ambassador Hoffmann will remain in the post until the transition takes place with the arrival of Mr. Crosbie later this summer.

Ambassador Hoffmann’s leadership in Afghanistan has resulted in a number of key initiatives and has helped guide Canada’s civilian engagement. Mr. Hoffmann has also contributed to the transformation of the mission to one of an integrated military-civilian partnership. Ambassador Hoffmann has been in Afghanistan for the past two years and occupied the role of deputy head of mission in Kabul before becoming the Canadian ambassador.

Mr. Crosbie has held a number of senior management positions within government. Most recently, he was assistant deputy minister for the Consular Services and Emergency Management Branch at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

Along with more than 50 other nations and international organizations, Canada is in Afghanistan at the request of that country’s democratically elected government. Canada is part of the UN-sanctioned, NATO-led mission to help build a stable, democratic and self-sufficient society in Afghanistan.

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A biographical note follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Biographical Note

William Crosbie (BA [Political Science and History], Memorial University, 1978; LLB, Dalhousie University, 1982) served sequentially between 1987 and 1993 in the capacities of policy adviser, executive assistant and chief of staff to ministers with the portfolios of, respectively, Transport, International Trade, and finally Fisheries and Oceans and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. In 1993, he joined the Department of External Affairs and International Trade and served in a management capacity in various divisions responsible for the formulation and advocacy of Canadian trade policy, the negotiation of new trade agreements and the defence of Canadian policies before international tribunals. From 2000 to 2004, he served as minister-counsellor of economic and trade policy at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C., and from September 2004 until October 2007 he continued work on North American issues as director general, North America. In the fall of 2007, he was appointed assistant deputy minister for the new Consular Services and Emergency Management Branch.