Diplomatic Appointments

September 14, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced the following diplomatic appointments:

Georges Boissé becomes Ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

Alexandra Bugailiskis becomes Ambassador to the Republic of Poland.

André Dubois becomes Ambassador to the State of Qatar.

Heather A. Grant becomes High Commissioner in the Republic of Singapore.

Louise LaRocque becomes Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Kosovo.

Sandra McCardell becomes Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco.

Robert Ready becomes High Commissioner in Jamaica, with concurrent accreditation as Consul General in the British Overseas Territories of the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

David Usher becomes Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Djibouti, and Permanent Observer of Canada to the African Union.

Stewart Wheeler becomes Ambassador to the Republic of Iceland.

Shelley Whiting becomes High Commissioner in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, with concurrent accreditation in the Republic of Maldives.

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Biographical notes on the appointees follow.

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Biographical Notes

Georges Boissé (BA [Social Work], Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 1988) was a social worker for 10 years before joining the Department of Employment and Immigration in 1990. He has spent his career abroad in a range of positions related to immigration, from officer to director of operations, and has represented Canada in various missions, including San José, Manila, Warsaw, Tunis, Paris and New York. Most recently, since 2009, he was responsible for the visa section at the Embassy of Canada to Mexico. Mr. Boissé succeeds Todd Kuiack.

Alexandra Bugailiskis (BA Honours, Carleton University, 1979; MA [International Affairs], Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, 1992) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1982. Starting her career in the Economic Relations Division, she held increasingly senior positions, becoming director of the Central America and Caribbean Division from 1994 to 1997. Abroad, she served as ambassador to Syria (1997 to 2000), high commissioner to Cyprus (1998 to 2000) and ambassador to Cuba (2003 to 2007). In Ottawa, Ms. Bugailiskis was director general of the Latin America and the Caribbean Bureau (2000 to 2002), executive director of the International Policy Framework Task Force at the Privy Council Office (2002 to 2003), and assistant deputy minister and executive coordinator of the Americas Strategy Secretariat (2007 to 2008). From 2008 to 2010, she was assistant deputy minister, Latin America and Caribbean. In 2010, she became executive coordinator for the Inter-American Development Bank Business Opportunities Task Force. That same year, she accepted a role as distinguished senior fellow and public servant in residence at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. Most recently, since 2011, Ms. Bugailiskis was chief negotiator for the Canada-European Union political framework agreement. She is married to Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Fieglar, and they have two children. Ms. Bugailiskis succeeds Daniel Costello.

André Dubois (BSocSci, [Political Science], University of Ottawa, 1980) joined the public service in 1988 to work as a cultural affairs officer and manager with the Department of Communications in Toronto. In 1989, he transferred to the Montréal office to work as a senior officer. In 1994, he became director of cultural development and heritage with the Department of Canadian Heritage. Between 2000 and 2002, he was director and executive regional director of the Québec region. In 2002, Mr. Dubois represented the Department of Canadian Heritage in Paris as counsellor and cultural industries trade commissioner. In 2006, he joined Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and continued to work in Paris as a senior trade commissioner. Most recently, since 2008, he served as senior trade commissioner in Algiers, where he had also served as chargé d’affaires for an extended period of time. Mr. Dubois succeeds Gary Luton.

Heather A. Grant (BA Honours [History and German], Queen’s University, 1989; LLB, Dalhousie University, 1992; LLM, Osgoode Hall Law School, 1998) served as legal counsel at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1998. As deputy director in the Trade Policy Planning Division (1999 to 2002) and director of the Regional Trade Policy Division (2002 to 2004), she was involved in a number of free trade negotiations, including those for the free trade area of the Americas. In 2004, she became director of the Tariffs and Market Access Division before being posted to the Permanent Mission of Canada to the World Trade Organization as minister and deputy permanent representative. Upon her return to Canada in 2009, she was appointed director general, North America Commercial Affairs. Most recently, she served as director general of the North America Policy Bureau. Ms. Grant succeeds David Sevigny.

Louise LaRocque (BA and L Litt, Laval University) began working in the federal government as a French teacher, first in Ottawa and then at the Canadian high commission in the United Kingdom. She next became a visa and consular officer in the Consular Section of the Canadian embassy in Saudi Arabia. Upon her return to Canada, she became the professional training coordinator for the City of Ottawa. Her subsequent overseas experiences brought her to Kuwait, where she taught at a private school, preparing young Palestinian and Kuwaiti women for employment with foreign companies. Once back in Ottawa, she joined the Centre for Management and Professional Development at the Canadian Foreign Service Institute, External Affairs and International Trade Canada, where she served as deputy director and, subsequently, as director for seven years. She later became executive director of the International Trade Corporate Secretariat. Most recently, she served as deputy inspector general and director of inspections. She succeeds Edwin Loughlin.

Sandra McCardell (BA, University of Alberta, 1991) joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1992. Following an assignment in Egypt (1994), she was posted to the Embassy of Canada to Israel (1994 to 1996). From 1998 to 2000, Ms. McCardell was adviser to the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she worked to implement the Dayton Peace Accords at the state level. She was subsequently political counsellor at the Embassy of Canada to Lebanon (2002 to 2003). Most recently, Ms. McCardell was ambassador to Libya (2009 to 2011), representing Canada both before and after the Libyan revolution. In Ottawa, Ms. McCardell has been Deputy Director of the East Adriatic Division, Director of the Executive Assignments Unit and Director of the Partnership Division of the Invest in Canada Bureau. Ms. McCardell is married with three children. Ms. McCardell succeeds Christopher Wilkie.

Robert Ready (BA Honours [History], Queen’s University, 1978; MA [Public Administration], Queen’s University, 1981) joined the public service in 1979. He has worked with the House of Commons, the Government of Saskatchewan, the Department of Western Economic Diversification and Investment Canada. From 1996 to 2003, he was director of international investment and services policy at Industry Canada. He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2004 as director of the Services Trade Policy Division and, from 2007 to 2008, was director of the Investment Trade Policy Division. Most recently, since 2009, Mr. Ready served as chief air negotiator and director general, intellectual property and trade services. He is married to Joanne, and they have three children. Mr. Ready succeeds Steve Hallihan.

David Usher (BA Honours [History], Carleton University, 1979; BEd, University of Ottawa, 1980; MEd, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 1986) worked in the field of development in Nigeria, Malawi, Haiti and the Philippines in the non-governmental sector. In 1991, he joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada. From 1994 to 1997, he served as second secretary in the Canadian embassy to Turkey. In 2001, he became counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the World Trade Organization in Geneva. From 2004 to 2005, he was director of the Trade Controls Policy Division and, later, director of the Softwood Lumber Controls Division. From 2008 to 2009, he was senior departmental adviser in the Office of the Minister of International Trade. Most recently, since 2009, he served as minister-counsellor and deputy permanent representative at Canada’s Permanent Mission to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. Mr. Usher succeeds Michèle Lévesque.

Stewart Wheeler (BA Honours [International Studies], Trent University, 1992) began his career in the public service in 1993, working in the Public Information Office at the House of Commons. In 1994, he joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada. He has served abroad in Washington, D.C., as second secretary, covering congressional relations and energy trade policy; Bogotá, as political counsellor; London, as head of the public affairs team at Canada House; and Kabul, as political program manager at the Canadian embassy in Afghanistan (2010 to 2011). Mr. Wheeler has also had a variety of assignments at headquarters, serving as parliamentary relations officer, departmental spokesperson in the Press Office, deputy director of Mexico Relations, deputy director of corporate and internal communications, and, most recently, director of Cabinet relations. He earned the Minister’s Award for Foreign Policy Excellence as a member of the Kosovo Task Force in 1999. From 1999 to 2004, Mr. Wheeler served as press secretary to the governor general. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. Mr. Wheeler succeeds Alan Bones.

Shelley Whiting (BSc, University of Alberta, 1981; LLB, University of British Columbia, 1987) began her career in the legal field, working with a Vancouver law firm. She joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1989 and was assigned to Canada’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. Other foreign assignments include Belgrade and Bangkok (as second secretary and vice-consul). Ms. Whiting also served as ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina from 2003 to 2006. In Ottawa, Ms. Whiting has worked in various divisions at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, including Open Skies, International Economic Relations and Summits, Regional Security and Peacekeeping, and Oceans, Environmental and Economic Law. Ms. Whiting also served as deputy director for human rights and humanitarian law, Canadian political adviser to NORAD, director of defence and security relations and as the deputy representative of Canada at Kandahar Air Field. Most recently, since 2011, she served as deputy head of mission in Kabul. Ms. Whiting succeeds Bruce Levy.