Diplomatic Appointments

(No. 203 - July 20, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced the following diplomatic appointments:

André Bachand becomes Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, in Paris.

James A. Fox becomes Ambassador to the Italian Republic, High Commissioner to the Republic of Malta and Permanent Representative to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, all in Rome.

François Lafond becomes Consul General in Monterrey (United Mexican States).

Sandra McCardell becomes Ambassador to the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

Stephen Millar becomes Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Andrew Shisko becomes Ambassador to the Republic of Ecuador.

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Biographical notes on the appointees follow.

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 Notes

André Bachand was elected mayor of Asbestos in 1986 and reeve of the Or Blanc (Asbestos) Regional County Municipality in 1987. He was re-elected to both positions in 1990 and 1994. In 1997, he was elected member of Parliament for the federal riding of Richmond-Arthabaska, one of five MPs from Quebec elected for the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. He was re-elected in 2000, becoming the only Progressive Conservative MP representing Quebec. In August 2004, the Government of Quebec appointed him to head its office in Ottawa. In September 2008, Mr. Bachand left that position to run as the Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the riding of Sherbrooke. Mr. Bachand is the father of a 13-year-old son, Gabriel. He succeeds Gilbert Laurin.

James A. Fox (BA [Economics], University of Toronto, 1976) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1976 and has served abroad in Madrid, Havana, Harare and, from 1993 to 1996, as ambassador to Guatemala and El Salvador. At Headquarters, Mr. Fox has served in various positions, including executive assistant to the under-secretary of external affairs, director of the APEC and Japan divisions, director general of the South and Southeast Asia Bureau and assistant deputy minister for bilateral relations. In August 2008, he was appointed assistant deputy minister for Europe, the Middle East and Maghreb and chief political-economic officer. He is married to Nurys Estrella-Fox and has two children. Mr. Fox succeeds Alexander Himelfarb.

François Lafond (BA [Philosophy], Université Laval, 1984; MA [Political Philosophy], Université Laval, 1990) joined the Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1991 after serving for more than 11 years as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. He has been posted to Caracas, to the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C., and to Brasilia. In Ottawa, he has worked in a number of functional divisions, including five years in the Economic Relations with Developing Countries Division. He has been the head of the Economic and Trade Policy Program at the Embassy of Canada in Brasilia since 2004. He has one daughter. Mr. Lafond succeeds Bertrand Desjardins.

Sandra McCardell (BA, University of Alberta, 1991) joined the Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1992. She undertook a year of Arabic language studies in Egypt and was subsequently posted to the Canadian Embassy in Israel. In her next position overseas, Ms. McCardell worked as political advisor at the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her most recent assignment was as political counsellor at the Canadian Embassy in Lebanon. In Ottawa, Ms. McCardell has held a number of positions, including director of the Executive Assignments Unit and, most recently, director of the Partnerships Division of the Invest in Canada Bureau. Ms. McCardell is married to Edis Zagorac and has three children. She succeeds Haig Sarafian.

Stephen Millar (BA Honours [Soviet and East European Studies], Carleton University, 1978; MA [Soviet and East European Studies], Carleton University, 1982) joined the Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1982 and served as an analyst of Soviet bloc economies in the Economic Intelligence Division until 1991, travelling often to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Millar was the assistant to Canada’s director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London. From 1991 to 1996 and from 1998 until 2007, he held a number of positions in the International Branch of the Department of Finance Canada, including, from 2004 to 2007, that of chief of the Department’s International Institutions Section, where he was responsible for managing Canada’s relations with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the EBRD. Mr. Millar is currently senior trade commissioner at the Embassy of Canada to Russia, with concurrent accreditation to Uzbekistan and Armenia. He and his spouse, Dr. Mary Eleanor Yack, have two children. Mr. Millar succeeds Margaret Skok.

Andrew Shisko (BASc [Mechanical Engineering], Queen’s University, 1979) worked as a drilling engineer in the oil industry prior to joining the Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1987. He was posted abroad to Riyadh during the first Gulf War, to Paris as Canada’s permanent delegate to the European Space Agency and to Tehran as trade program manager and chargé d’affaires. Seconded to the Canadian International Development Agency, he served as program officer in the Pan-African Division. He has also served as deputy director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Vancouver Regional Office. He is currently minister-counsellor (economic and commercial policy) at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C. He and his spouse, Margaret, have two daughters. Mr. Shisko succeeds Christian Lapointe.