The Honourable Stéphane Dion
Ambassador to Germany and Special Envoy to the European Union and Europe
Prior to his appointment as ambassador, Stéphane Dion was Canada’s minister of Foreign Affairs from November 2015 until January 2017, where he championed Canadian leadership in the world on crucial global interests including promotion of universal human rights, peace and stability efforts, the global climate challenge, and Canada’s commitment to multilateralism.
He was previously minister of the Environment from 2004 to 2005, and, in 2005, chaired the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP11/MOP1) where he reconciled the diverging interests of member countries so that decisions could be taken to effectively implement the Kyoto Protocol.
As the minister responsible for Official Languages (2001-2003), he crafted and launched the Action Plan for Official Languages, still used as a reference today.
Serving as minister of Intergovernmental Affairs between 1996 and 2003—longer than any other Canadian since Confederation—he played a primary role promoting Canadian unity.
In 2006, Mr. Dion was elected as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and became leader of the Official Opposition in the Canadian House of Commons, a position he retained until 2008. Mr. Dion served as a member of Parliament first in 1996, and was re-elected seven consecutive times.
Before entering politics, Stéphane Dion taught political science at Université de Moncton in 1984, then at Université de Montréal from 1984 to 1995. He has authored many scientific articles and books on public administration, organizational studies, political institutions, and environmental policies. He also sat on the External Advisory Board of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute from 2011 until November 2015.
Born in the City of Québec, in Canada, he studied at Université Laval before obtaining a doctorate in sociology from the Institut d’études politiques in Paris, France. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the Carlos III University of Madrid.
Secretary to the Governor General
On February 1, 2021, Ian McCowan was appointed secretary to the governor general. Mr. McCowan joined the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (OSGG) following his tenure as deputy secretary to the Cabinet (Governance) at the Privy Council Office (PCO). In this role, he provided advice to the Prime Minister and the clerk of the Privy Council on a broad range of machinery of government and parliamentary issues. During this period, Mr. McCowan also served as deputy minister to both the leader of the Government in the House of Commons and the president of the Queen’s Privy Council. Mr. McCowan also served at PCO as the assistant secretary to the Cabinet, (Communications) and as the policy assistant deputy minister for the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). He began his career as a civil litigator with the Department of Justice. He also held management positions in the same department, serving as the director of legal services for both the CSC and the Parks Canada Agency.
Mr. McCowan holds a Master of Law degree from Cambridge, and bachelor’s degrees in laws and commerce from Queen’s University.
Chief of Protocol
Stewart Wheeler was appointed chief of Protocol of Canada in January 2019. He also serves as director general of the Summits Management Office and the departmental champion for the LGBTQ2+ community.
Mr. Wheeler has served in Canada’s foreign service for over 27 years, with postings in Washington, London, Bogota and Kabul, and as ambassador of Canada to Iceland from 2012 to 2016. Mr. Wheeler gained experience outside the foreign ministry as press secretary to former governor general Adrienne Clarkson from 1999 to 2004, and as assistant deputy minister of International Relations and chief of Protocol in the Ontario Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs from 2016 to 2018.
In his overseas assignments, he has covered such policy areas as U.S. congressional relations, trade promotion, the Arctic, energy, human rights, peace processes, transitional justice and post-conflict reconstruction. His Global Affairs headquarters assignments in Ottawa have covered Mexico relations, parliamentary and Cabinet affairs, media relations and corporate communications.
Mr. Wheeler speaks English, French, Spanish and Norwegian, as well as basic Icelandic and German. He studied international relations at Trent University and Universidad de Granada in Spain. He received the Minister of Foreign Affairs Award for Foreign Policy Excellence and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, and earned the Operational Service Medal–South-West Asia Ribbon for his civilian service in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011.
Robert R. A. Fry
Director General, European Affairs
Robert Fry was appointed as director general of European Affairs (EUD) at Global Affairs Canada in September 2018, after serving as the ambassador of Canada to Argentina and Paraguay, in Buenos Aires, from February 2015 to August 2018. Prior to this, he was director general and corporate secretary for the then-named Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) from 2011 to 2014, overseeing corporate governance, Cabinet business and parliamentary affairs. Mr. Fry was posted to the Canadian High Commission in London, U.K., as the minister counsellor for Political Affairs and Public Diplomacy from 2007 to 2011.
He began his studies in electrical engineering (1986) and went on to earn degrees in common law (1992) and civil law (1993) from the University of Ottawa. He articled for the law firm of Osler Hoskin & Harcourt and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1995, as a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
He began his career in government in the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (1995). He served as senior advisor to two leaders of the Government in the Senate and as a senior policy advisor responsible for cultural industries, for the Minister of Canadian Heritage. In 2000, he was appointed chief of staff to the Deputy Prime Minister. Following this, he was appointed director of policy for the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2002, where he was responsible for several files, including the Middle East and such multilateral institutions as the United Nations, the G7 and the Commonwealth. In June 2004, he was appointed chief of staff to the Minister of Health, where he worked on national health care reform and the establishment of the Public Health Agency of Canada. He returned to the then-named Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) in 2006, as the senior departmental coordinator for emergency preparedness and international health policy.
He is married to Jennifer Reynolds, an international trade lawyer, and they have three children.
Louise Bernice Halfe - Sky Dancer
Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer was raised on Saddle Lake Reserve and attended Blue Quills Residential School. Dr. Halfe is married, has two adult children and three grandsons.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina. She also completed two years of addictions counselor training at St. Albert’s Nechi Institute where she also facilitated the program. She served as Saskatchewan’s poet laureate for two years and has travelled extensively for her poetics and has presented at numerous conferences. Her books include Bear Bones and Feathers, Blue Marrow, The Crooked Good, Burning In This Midnight Dream, Sohkeyihta, and awâsis – kinky and dishevelled. She has received numerous accolades and awards including honorary doctorates from Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Saskatchewan, and Mount Royal University. She currently serves as Canada’s parliamentary poet laureate.
Louise also serves as an Elder or knowledge keeper at the University of Saskatchewan and for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. She actively participates in cultural and ceremonial activities relevant to her Plains Cree culture.
Lisa Koperqualuk is an Inuk from Puvirnituq, Nunavik (Quebec).
In July 2018, she was elected vice-president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Canada, International. ICC unites the Inuit voice in four countries in the circumpolar region, protecting the Arctic environment and safeguarding Inuit culture and well-being. As such, her work deals with climate change, the Arctic marine region and the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge in research and decision-making processes in these areas. She also works as deputy negotiator for Makivik Corporation, representing Inuit in their self-determination process, and advocating for political and economic autonomy.
Lisa is the curator/mediator of the Inuit art collection at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, a role that allows Inuit artists a voice in the light of reconciliation.
She is part of a Nunavik theatre project that is based on a historical event and will be performed by Inuit youth in 2022. She produced a short film, Ataatatsiaq (2020), in homage to her father/grandfather and to all grandparents who raise their grandchildren. Her book, Traditions Relating to Inuit Customary Law was published by Avataq Cultural Institute (2014), and is based on interviews with Inuit Elders.
In spring 2020, Lisa was invited to serve as the Indigenous knowledge holder for McGill University’s Indigenous Studies Minor Program, a speaker series in which her presentations focused on self-determination, Inuit law and kinship, storytelling and Indigenous knowledge.
She is also the co-founder and former president of Saturviit Inuit Women’s Association of Nunavik, and has been a member of the Kativik Environmental Quality Commission since 2010, a decision-making body responsible for evaluating and reviewing development projects in Nunavik.
Previously, she was a researcher with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Concordia University in Montréal, and a master’s degree in anthropology from Laval University, in Québec.
Lisa is fluent in Inuktitut, English and French.
Nik Nanos is the chair of Atlantik Bruecke Canada, a non-profit and non-partisan organization, partnered with Atlantik Bruecke e.V., which is dedicated to the development of positive relations between Germany and Canada. He is the chief data scientist of the Nanos Research Corporation, a global fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington D.C., and chair of the University of Ottawa’s Positive Energy Advisory Board, which focuses on strengthening public confidence in energy decision making. He also serves on the board of directors of Char Technology, a publicly traded (TSXV: YES.V) cleantech company focused on decarbonizing solutions for a circular economy.
HCaptain(N) Nanos is one of 24 honorary captains in the Royal Canadian Navy, and is the past chair of the board of governors of Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada. In 2008, he was appointed a research associate professor at the State University of New York (Buffalo). Author of the book Age of Voter Rage (Eyewear Publishing, U.K., 2018) he is a recognized expert in democracy and populist politics.
He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Queen’s University, in Canada, and his training includes Ph.D.-level studies at the University of Nottingham.
Kim Thúy was born in Vietnam in 1968. At the age of 10, she left Vietnam along with a wave of refugees commonly referred to in the media as “the boat people” and settled with her family in Quebec, Canada. A graduate in translation and law, she has worked as a seamstress, interpreter, lawyer and restaurant owner. She lives in Montréal and devotes her life to writing.
Kim Thúy has received many awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Award in 2010, and was one of the top 4 finalists of the Alternative Nobel Prize in 2018. Her books have sold more than 765 000 copies around the world, and have been translated into 29 languages and distributed across 40 countries and territories.