Global Affairs Canada Podcasts – GAC Files
Let’s get the conversation started. Welcome to the GAC Files—a podcast about the people, issues and ideas driving Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
Follow our passionate hosts as they chat with a broad range of colleagues and guests about who they are, where they come from and what matters to them at Global Affairs Canada. So whether the discussion is about work-life balance, building a stronger and more inclusive workplace, or any of our leading policy files, join the conversation.
Please send us your thoughts, ideas and feedback, including on who you would like to hear from, to email@example.com.
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The GAC Files episodes
Episode 55: Portrait of a trailblazing Canadian woman in foreign policy
Kirsten Hillman was appointed as the first female Ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C., in March 2020. She served as assistant deputy minister of the Trade Agreements and Negotiations Branch at Global Affairs Canada, overseeing all of Canada’s trade policy and trade negotiations. She was also Canada’s chief negotiator for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Like Ms. Hillman, many women trailblazers have made it possible for other women to succeed.
To celebrate this year’s Women History Month theme, She Did, So Now I Can, Sandra McCardell, Assistant Deputy Minister for Europe, Arctic, Middle East and Maghreb and Champion for Women at Global Affairs Canada, will discuss how Ambassador Kirsten Hillman succeeded, so others can too.
Episode 1: The unique journey of Wilma Ty-Cañadilla
After 19 years of employment for Global Affairs Canada, Wilma Ty-Cañadilla has kindly volunteered to take over a GAC Files podcast to share the reality of being a locally engaged staff member working for the Embassy to the Philippines, in Manila. A designated migration officer, Wilma has many great stories. Her job allows her to make a difference in the lives of applicants who seek to come to Canada for better education and employment opportunities and or to be reunited with family and loved ones.
Emmanuelle Tremblay, Team Lead and contact person for locally engaged staff members at Global Affairs Canada, talks with Wilma Ty-Cañadilla in Manila, Philippines.
Episode 2: The unique journey of Maddie Morris
In this episode, a trade commissioner based in the Consulate General in Los Angeles will share with us her special story. Previously based in Seattle, Washington, managing aerospace and advanced engineering relations in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, Maddie Morris became one of the first trade commissioners to openly transition genders while serving in that role. Working for the government of an inclusive country like Canada was important and reassuring for her during this important journey. Her passion for international relations makes her a great asset to the locally engaged staff community.
Emmanuelle Tremblay, Team Lead and contact person for locally engaged staff members at Global Affairs Canada, talks with Maddie Morris in Los Angeles, United States.
Episode 3: The unique journey of Maxim Cambor
The unique reality of Maxim Cambor, a locally engaged staff member from Prague, in the Czech Republic, will be featured in this short episode. Serving Canada and Canadians in Prague for 25 years as an accountant, an office manager and now a common services officer, Maxim’s journey is similar to that of so many dedicated locally engaged staff members. He has so far worked for 8 Canadian ambassadors to the Czech Republic.
Emmanuelle Tremblay, Team Lead and contact person for locally engaged staff members at Global Affairs Canada, talks with Maxim Cambor in Prague, Czech Republic.
Episode 54: Locally Engaged Staff: Serving Canada Around The World
This episode presents the remarkable and unique reality of 3 locally engaged staff members from around the world. Each in their own way, they serve Canada and Canadians through their meaningful presence abroad. The world of locally engaged staff is diverse in terms of cultural history, and their life experiences can be very different from that of Canadian diplomats or other Canadian public servants.
Emmanuelle Tremblay, Team Lead and contact person for locally engaged staff at Global Affairs Canada, talks with Blanchine Mazanga, Bjorn Hernes and Caroline Urlacher.
Episode 53: Excellence and success in Canadian Black-owned international businesses
David Morrison, Deputy Minister of International Trade, welcomes Sara Wilshaw, Chief Trade Commissioner, as well as 2 CEOs of Black-owned businesses, Karima-Catherine Goundiam and Diemo Honore, who share their stories on what makes businesses able to expand into new markets and the support that was provided to their companies.
Episode 52: A chat with the department's GCWCC champion, co-champion and employee volunteers
Wondering how this year's Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) is being carried out during our current pandemic situation and how your contributions are helping? Then tune in to the latest GAC Files episode, hosted by John Hannaford. Listen to the Deputy Minister's chat with GAC's GCWCC champion, Mala Khanna, and co-champion, Marissa Fortune, along with GAC employees Hasnat Johnson and Jérémie Bérubé, who share their stories of the real and positive impact of making a charitable contribution.
Episode 51: A chat with Deputy Minister Daniel Quan-Watson on anti-Asian racism
Deputy Minister John Hannaford welcomes Daniel Quan-Watson, Deputy Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC), to talk about how his journey in the federal government is helping build a respectful and inclusive work environment and learn from his experiences, as well as tools and best practices he has implemented that will contribute to our internal dialogue at Global Affairs Canada.
Episode 50: A chat with Kristina Casey and Dan Danagher on New and Innovative Ways of Working
Deputy Minister John Hannaford welcomes Kristina Casey, Former Director General, Information Management and Information Technology (IM/IT), now Assistant Deputy Minister in Client Service Delivery and Management Sector at Shared Services Canada and Dan Danagher Assistant Deputy Minister of international platform, to talk about new initiatives currently underway that are expected to have a real and positive impact on employees’ lives in the next 1-2 years, taking into account 21st century realities, including digitization of our work.
Episode 49: A chat with Brent Robson on the Canadian COVID-19 repatriation operation
In this special National Public Service Week episode, Deputy ministers John Hannaford and Christopher MacLennan welcome Brent Robson, Director of Emergency Operations, and Anne-Marie Spain, who was the management consular officer in Morocco at the time of several repatriation flights in 2020, to talk about their experiences with the largest peacetime repatriation effort in Canada’s history.
Episode 48: A chat with Ambassador Bob Rae on mental health
Deputy Minister John Hannaford welcomes Bob Rae, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York, to talk about his personal struggles with mental health and the importance of openly discussing these issues—especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Episode 47: About the Anti-Racism Secretariat and work at GAC on combatting racism
Deputy Minister John Hannaford welcomes Head of the Anti-Racism Secretariat Myriam Montrat and guests to talk about equity, diversity and inclusion efforts at Global Affairs Canada. Through their personal stories and experiences with the secretariat, participants share their thoughts on departmental actions to combat systemic racism and racial discrimination in the workplace.
Episode 46: A chat with Marta Morgan and LGBTQ2+ Champion Stewart Wheeler and guests
Deputy Ministers John Hannaford and Marta Morgan welcome LGBTQ2+ Champion Stewart Wheeler and guests to talk about diversity and inclusion at Global Affairs Canada. Through their personal stories, participants share what it’s like to work at the department as a member of the LGBTQ2+ community.
Episode 45: Chat with GCWCC Champion Duane McMullen and volunteers
Deputy Minister John Hannaford welcomes Duane McMullen, Global Affairs Canada’s Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) Champion, as well as campaign volunteers who share their touching stories on the real and positive impact of the campaign.
Episode 44: Managing a new team at Global Affairs Canada during the pandemic
Deputy Minister John Hannaford welcomes Daniel Campeau, Deputy Director of the Office of Values, Ethics and Workplace Well-being, and colleagues from Headquarters, our Toronto regional office and our mission in Russia, to discuss their experiences integrating and managing new teams, for the most part virtually, during the pandemic.
Episode 43: Chat with André Frenette and HQ staff
Representatives from Global Affairs Canada’s Human Resources and 2 other departmental branches discuss with Deputy Minister John Hannaford and co-host André Frenette, Director General and Coordinator of the COVID-19 Task Force, about the programs and measures in place at headquarters buildings, as well as their experiences following their return to the office.
Episode 42: Chat with André Frenette and missions abroad
Representatives from Global Affairs Canada missions in Panama and in Ukraine share with Deputy Minister John Hannaford and co-host André Frenette, Director General and Coordinator of the COVID-19 Task Force, their unique experiences following their return to the office, as well as how they managed to remain resilient and overcome challenges in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Episode 41: Chat with Antoine Mindjimba
Antoine Mindjimba, diversity and inclusion and culture lead for EY Canada, shares compelling examples from the private sector on ways to overcome racial discrimination and provides insight into fostering an inclusive workplace, including through organizational culture change.
Episode 40: Chat with Kevin Lunianga, with guest host Deputy Minister Leslie MacLean
On this special episode of the GAC Files, watch a candid and powerful conversation between guest host Leslie MacLean, Deputy Minister of International Development, and Kevin Lunianga, Senior Operations Officer, Emergency Operations. Kevin shares his experiences as a Black Canadian and talks about what it means to be allies and to work together to #EndRacism.
Episode 39: Chat with Charlène Janvier, Bruce Murdock and Luc Raymond
On this episode of GAC Files, host John Hannaford welcomes Charlène Janvier, Bruce Murdock and Luc Raymond from Global Affairs Canada. This special edition of the podcast continues the dialogue begun at the deputy ministers’ May 22 livestreamed town hall, as John and his 3 guests discuss the top questions submitted by employees but not answered during the event.
Episode 38: Chat with Amanda Strohan
How are our missions abroad helping thousands of Canadians return home during the global COVID-19 pandemic? Tune in to the latest GAC Files episode as Amanda Strohan, Management Consular Officer at the High Commission of Canada in India (DELHI), provides a glimpse of the challenging, but vital, work she and her team are doing on the ground. #TogetherApart #StayStrong.
Episode 37: Chat with Marta Morgan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
What does being diagnosed with #COVID19 feel like? GAC Files host John Hannaford has a candid conversation with Marta Morgan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, on her personal experience and her recovery from the virus. She also shares her thoughts on how Global Affairs Canada employees have adapted and contributed to help Canadians weather the storm from near and far. #TogetherApart #StayStrong
Episode 36: Chat with Annie Lirette
Balancing the demands of a busy family and working from home is a challenge for many during the COVID-19 pandemic. Annie Lirette, from Global Affairs Canada’s Quebec regional office, shares her daily routine of how she stays healthy and focused. Find out how she and her colleagues are using social media to stay connected and positive.
Episode 35: Chat with Laurent-Gabriel Côté-Fournier
Returning to Canada in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis is a difficult decision to make. Global Affairs Canada employee Laurent-Gabriel Côté-Fournier speaks about the decision to move back home with his young family from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, living in quarantine and striving for a sense of normality.
Episode 34: Chat with Michelle Goodfellow and Nadin Nanji
The COVID-19 crisis demands flexibility both at home and at work. Global Affairs Canada employees Michelle Goodfellow and Nadin Nanji speak about the realities of home-schooling children and balancing work and family responsibilities in the social-distancing era.
Episode 33: Chat with Daniel Campeau
The COVID-19 crisis affects us all. Daniel Campeau of Global Affairs Canada’s Office of Values, Ethics and Workplace Well-being speaks about his own experience of living in quarantine after returning from travel outside Canada and the support available to employees and their families in adjusting to the new normal.
Episode 32: Chat with Chris Moran
Episode 31: Chat with the Trade Commissioner Service: Ailish Campbell and the Atlantic Canada Regional Office
We’re talking all things trade on this special podcast highlighting the 125th anniversary of the founding of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service. Explore with us and find out how Canada #TCS125 is at the cutting edge of innovation with its global network abroad, its Canadian technology accelerators around the world, and its ocean and technology superclusters.
Episode 30: Chat with Sandra McCardell and Sarah Taylor
Check out the latest #GACFiles podcast with Sandra McCardell and Sarah Taylor, Global Affairs Canada’s incoming and outgoing champion for women. They chat about their roles as champion, initiatives changing the face of GAC and gender equity progress in the department.
Episode 29: Chat with Caroline Leclerc, Myriam Pineault-Latreille and Harkiran Rajasansi
On this special episode of the GAC Files, 3 dynamic champions for the GAC Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign chat with host John Hannaford about why they’ve taken on this year’s campaign challenge. Don’t miss a minute of the podcast as Caroline Leclerc, Myriam Pineault-Latreille and Harkiran Rajasansi share personal stories, encourage us to lift up our communities and remind us how each donation, small or large, has a positive impact on the lives of people in need.
Episode 28: Chat with Deputy Minister Marta Morgan
Join the latest #GACFiles conversation with host John Hannaford, Deputy Minister of International Trade, and special guest Marta Morgan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Get to know Marta as she shares some of her hobbies, talks about her go-to podcasts and provides insight into how she built her career by pursuing interesting challenges. Hear what she thinks about leading the department in a complex world environment, the expertise of GAC employees and the unique role senior leaders play in shifting the culture for a greater understanding of mental health and workplace well-being.
Episode 27: Chat with Deputy Minister John Hannaford, with guest hosts Cassandra Morin and Brandon Cove
This week on the #GACFiles, the tables are turned as representatives of the Young Professionals Network (YPN), Cassandra Morin and Brandon Cove ask host John Hannaford to talk about his illustrious career in the public service and how he maintains a healthy work-life balance. John highlights the importance of mentorship and encourages young professionals not to limit their career opportunities.
Episode 26: Chat with Manon Dumas
On the latest #GACFiles, host John Hannaford engages with Manon Dumas from Special Projects about Global Affairs Canada’s Dialogue Series on Uncomfortable Topics. They chat about the importance of working together as a community to address questions of workplace harassment and other sources of tension. They also talk about how to strengthen our processes, tools and culture so that we can make GAC a better place to work.
Episode 25: Chat with Heather DiPenta and Louise Blais
Check out GAC Files latest episode as our new host John Hannaford, Deputy Minister of International Trade, has a candid discussion on mental health with special guests Heather DiPenta, Director of Values and Ethics and Workplace Well-Being, and Louise Blais, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN in New York. Find out more about Louise’s personal journey and challenges with mental illness, the importance of destigmatizing, reaching out, supporting each other and speaking up about what mental health really is.
Episode 24: Chat with Antoine Pouliot
On the latest GAC Files podcast, Antoine Pouliot, Strategist, Advocacy and Cultural Diplomacy, talks about how his previous work in the private and non-profit sectors led him to his current role promoting Canadian art and culture through our missions abroad.
Episode 23: Chat with Canada Beyond 150 participants Aleena Esmail, Andreia Santos, Poya Saffari and Roxanne Hamel
On this episode of the GAC Files, Aleena Esmail, Andreia Santos, Poya Saffari and Roxanne Hamel, young Global Affairs Canada public servants, discuss Canada Beyond 150: Policy for a Diverse and Inclusive Future, which is an incredible opportunity to contribute to complex issues using foresight, design thinking and co-creation. Find out more about their contributions—providing unique ideas and diverse solutions, working cross-functionally and collaborating to tackle issues and create policies that serve Canadians.
Episode 22: Chat with Jean-Dominique Ieraci
Join the latest conversation, with guest Jean-Dominique Ieraci, Deputy Head of Mission and Minister Counsellor (Trade), as he chats about trade diplomacy, the Trade Commissioner Service and its evolution, as well as the importance of having the right manager and mentor to guide you with frank conversations throughout your career.
Episode 21: Chat with Alison LeClaire
Host David Morrison talks with Alison LeClaire, Senior Arctic Officer and Director General for Arctic, Eurasian and European Affairs, about her experiences during her postings in South Africa and Latin America, her perspective as a woman working in foreign service while raising a family and her new challenge in one of the department’s most interesting bureaus.
Episode 20: Chat with Giuseppe Basile
On the latest episode of the GAC Files, host David Morrison has a fascinating exchange with guest Giuseppe Basile about Global Affairs Canada’s consular affairs, the Hague Convention, the heart-wrenching difficulties of helping Canadian children and families in crisis abroad and finding a healthy work/life balance.
Episode 19: Chat with Marcy Grossman
Episode 17: Chat with Deborah Chatsis
This week in the GAC Files, host David Morrison talks with guest Deborah Chatsis, who shares her experiences as an Indigenous woman in her postings abroad, her fascinating career and her work advocating for a foreign service that is reflective of Canada and its demographics.
Episode 16: Chat with Peter Boehm
This week on the GAC Files, host David Morrison exchanges views with former deputy minister Peter Boehm, in front of a live Global Affairs Canada audience, as he reflects on a 37-year career with the department. Find out more about Peter’s legacy of leadership and inspiration to the Global Affairs Canada family, destigmatizing mental health and offering his impressions of the evolution of our department.
Episode 15: Chat with Rasha Al-Katta
Follow the exchange between David Morrison and his latest GAC Files guest, Rasha Al-Katta, as they discuss being a millennial Global Affairs Canada person and her vision of life, including inclusiveness, focusing on youth and the positive, working with refugees and being a volunteer guru.
Episode 14: Chat with Myriam Pineault-Latreille and Deena Allam
Host David Morrison chats with Myriam Pineault-Latreille and Deena Allam about a variety of topics, including being young professionals at Global Affairs Canada, the Next Gen Youth network and their outlook on the department, including their views on the importance of diversity.
Episode 13: Chat with Shauna Hemingway
Episode 10: Chat with Sacha Levasseur-Rivard
Host David Morrison interviews Sacha Levasseur-Rivard about his career path from journalist to foreign service officer in Canada’s diplomatic corps. Sacha speaks about the importance of mentorship, giving young people a voice and the value of humility.
Episode 9: Chat with Sebastien Beaulieu
Host David Morrison talks with Canada’s Executive Coordinator for Syria Sebastien Beaulieu about the challenges of raising children in a household where both parents are career diplomats, balancing teaching with diplomacy and promoting diversity and inclusion in the Middle East.
Episode 8: Chat with Jennifer Kleniewski
Host David Morrison talks with Jennifer Kleniewski, a self-described foreign service brat, about growing up abroad and then finding her own career path with the department’s Critical Incidents Task Force. It’s the team that coordinates Canada’s whole of government response to critical incidents, such as hostage takings and kidnappings.
Episode 7: Chat with Heather DiPenta
Host David Morrison interviews Heather DiPenta about how her start in the public service as an ergonomist led to her current position as Global Affairs Canada’s lead on values and ethics, her thoughts on mental health and why addressing harassment in the workplace is so important.
Episode 6: Chat with Craig Kowalik
Host David Morrison gets together with Craig Kowalik, Team Leader of the Missions of the Future Project, to chat about his time in Venezuela and being a diplomat there, serving the Prince of Wales and his interest in using international development to promote democracy.
Episode 5: Chat with Patricia Peña
Host David Morrison chats with Patricia Penã, Canada’s Ambassador to Chile, about being raised by immigrant parents in Toronto, her years with the United Kingdom Electoral Commission and her interest in democratic governance and human rights issues. You may notice a small issue with the audio on the podcast (due to a technical difficulty). But rest assured the conversation is as lively as always.
Episode 2: Chat with Peter M. Boehm
Host David Morrison gets together with Peter M. Boehm, Deputy Minister for the G7 Summit and Personal Representative of the Prime Minister, to chat about how he got started in the foreign service, balancing a career while raising a special needs child and the challenges of being Canada’s G7 sherpa.
Episode 1: Chat with Stefanie Beck
Host David Morrison chats with Stefanie Beck, Assistant Deputy Minister of Europe, Arctic, Middle East and Maghreb Branch, Global Affairs Canada, about becoming a head of mission at the age of 34, balancing work and life as a single mother, her decision to leave Global Affairs Canada and then come back.
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