Diplomatic Appointments

(No. 278 - September 30, 2011 - 2 p.m. ET) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced the following diplomatic appointments:

Heather Cruden becomes High Commissioner to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

Chantal de Varennes becomes Ambassador to the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.

David Drake becomes Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Weldon Epp becomes Consul General in Guangzhou (People’s Republic of China).

Jean-Carol Pelletier becomes Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Lisa Stadelbauer becomes Ambassador to the Republic of Zimbabwe, with concurrent accreditation as High Commissioner to the Republic of Botswana.

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Biographical notes on the appointees follow.

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Biographical Notes

Heather Cruden (BA Honours [English Literature], Queen’s University, 1985; MA [Museum Studies], University of Toronto, 1987; MA [Public Administration], Queen’s University, 1988) joined the public service in 1992 after working in both the public and private sectors. She first joined the Canadian International Development Agency in 1996 as a project officer with the Egypt Program and subsequently served as a senior program manager with the Americas Branch. Between 2001 and 2008, she served as head of aid in Ghana, in Iraq, in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. She returned to Ottawa to work as director general of Regional Operations and Emergency Management at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Other government organizations she has worked for include Transport Canada, the Treasury Board Secretariat, Solicitor General Canada and the Privy Council Office. Since 2009, Ms. Cruden has been head of aid in Afghanistan. Over the course of her career, she has received several awards for her contribution to the public service. She has a son, Alexander. Ms. Cruden succeeds Robert McDougall.

Chantal de Varennes (BA [Political Science and Economics], Laval University, 1982; Certificat [International Administration], École nationale d’administration publique, 1994) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1982 as a foreign service officer. Between 1983 and 1992, she served abroad at the United Nations in Geneva, then in Paris, Caracas and Lima. She returned to Ottawa and worked in human rights, becoming chief of DFAIT’s Threat Assessment Unit in 1993. From 1995 to 1999, she was first secretary and consul in Dakar and then returned to Ottawa to work in human resources. From 2001 to 2003, she became counsellor and consul in Algiers and then returned to Ottawa in 2003 to become deputy director in the Francophonie Affairs division. Since 2007, Ms. de Varennes has been counsellor responsible for La Francophonie in Paris. She has a daughter, Anne. Ms. de Varennes succeeds Marie-Isabelle Massip.

David Drake (BA Honours [History], Carleton University, 1977; MSc [Foreign Service], Georgetown University, 1979) began his career in the Canadian Coast Guard. In 1981, he joined the United Nations Development Programme and was posted to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. From 1983 to 1992, he worked for the Canadian International Development Agency in Indonesia, managing development assistance projects and programs, and at headquarters on global food and food aid issues. Mr. Drake then spent a considerable period representing Canada in global environmental negotiations. From 1992 to 1998, he served as director of International Affairs in the Canadian Forest Service at Natural Resources Canada, where he was chief negotiator for Canada for global forest negotiations. From 1998 to 2003, he served as director of Climate Change and Energy at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, where he was co-head of Canada’s delegations to international climate change negotiations. Mr. Drake served as minister-counsellor (Political and Economic) at the Embassy of Canada in Japan from 2003 to 2008. He is currently director of operations in the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat of the Privy Council Office. Mr. Drake is married to Victoria Berry. He succeeds Ferry de Kerckhove.

Weldon Epp (BTh, Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1991; BA Honours [History], University of Manitoba, 1995) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1996 as a foreign service officer, following a year on scholarship at the Mandarin Training Centre, National Taiwan Normal University. In Ottawa, he served in the China and Mongolia Division, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Division, and Assignments Division. Abroad he served in Beijing as second secretary and vice-consul, in Taipei as director of general relations, in Jakarta as political counsellor, and on short assignments in Geneva, Islamabad and Phnom Penh. He is currently the director of the Policy Research Division at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and is completing an executive MPA at Queen’s University. Mr. Epp is married to Kristi Dyck, and has a daughter and two sons. He succeeds François Rivest.

Jean-Carol Pelletier first joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1990 as counsellor in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). In 1997, Mr. Pelletier again served as counsellor in the Democratic Republic of Congo and, in 2004, in Burkina Faso, for the summit of La Francophonie. In Ottawa, he has held a number of positions in the Africa Division’s trade section and Passport Canada. He has had a number of senior-level appointments in both the private and public sector as a manager and adviser. He and his spouse have one son. Mr. Pelletier has been Canada’s high commissioner to Cameroon since 2009. He succeeds Sigrid Anna Johnson.

Lisa Stadelbauer (BA [Administrative and Commercial Studies], University of Western Ontario, 1988) joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1990. Her first assignment abroad was in 1992 to Tel Aviv, and she later served in Hanoi as counsellor, then in Oslo as counsellor and consul. In Ottawa, she worked with the India, Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal and Bhutan Desk, the Middle East Peace Process Coordination Group and the United Nations and Commonwealth Affairs Division. She is currently director of the Eastern and Southern Africa Division and deputy to Canada’s Africa Personal Representative to the G-8. Ms. Stadelbauer is married to Brad Adams and they have two daughters, Olivia and Samantha. She succeeds Barbara Richardson.