Alexandra Bugailiskis, currently assistant deputy minister for Latin America and the Caribbean, will join the renowned Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University.

The appointment, which is for one year beginning in September, is part of the Public Servant-in-Residence Program (PSIR) that places high-performing public servants in Canadian universities to conduct research and/or to teach in areas linked to departmental objectives.

“We are looking forward to the extensive knowledge and experience that Ms. Bugailiskis will bring to our students and the university as a whole,” says Fen Hampson, director of NPSIA. “She joins a diverse team of prominent experts on global affairs.”

Ms. Bugailiskis, a Carleton alumna and former NPSIA fellow, will be continuing her work on Americas-related issues through related research projects and outreach activities at NPSIA in an effort to expand and deepen academic and private sector linkages with the region. In October, she will participate in the Latin America Studies Association meeting in Toronto and the first Conference of the Americas on International Education that will take place in Calgary. She will also develop the business program for the Inter-American Development Bank meeting, which will take place in Calgary in March 2011. “My hope is to use NPSIA’s extensive network and its reputation for excellence as an effective base for my efforts to promote greater knowledge and engagement in the Americas through research, outreach and people to people linkages,” says Ms. Bugailiskis.

During her 28 years at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ms. Bugailiskis held numerous senior postings and assignments. She was one of the key strategists behind Canada’s successful Security Council Campaign of 1988-89. She was a joint recipient of the first Foreign Service Officer of the Year Award in 1990, in recognition of her outstanding work in support of the United Nations-sponsored Namibian independence process. In the early ‘90s, she oversaw Canada’s engagement in the peace process in El Salvador, which ended a 12-year civil war. She was appointed as Canada’s ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic in 1997 and high commissioner to Cyprus in 1998, where she witnessed the historic transition of government following the death of President Hafez Assad. As director general for Latin America and the Caribbean, she received a special merit award for her contribution to the organization of the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City. In 2002, she was asked to lead a special task force at the Privy Council on the International Policy Framework. From 2003-07, she served as the Canadian ambassador to Cuba, a period which saw Canadian trade and tourism levels more than double and Fidel Castro cede the presidency to his brother. 

In 2007, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that his government would make the Americas a key foreign policy priority, Ms. Bugailiskis was appointed the assistant deputy minister and executive director responsible for the Americas engagement strategy. She served as sherpa for the April 2009 Summit of the Americas which took place in Trinidad and Tobago where Canada announced a $4 billion increase in callable capital for the Inter-American Development Bank. Highlights of Canada’s engagement with the region during the past three years have included the conclusion of Free Trade agreements with Panama, Peru and Colombia and  the relaunch of negotiations with Central America and the Caribbean; science and technology agreements with Brazil and Chile; several new scholarship programs and student mobility agreements that will bring thousands of students to and from the region; the establishment of a new $15-million Anti-Crime Capacity Building fund to assist countries to combat increasing crime and drugs in the region and Canada’s leadership role in response to the Haiti earthquake.

The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs offers the oldest Master of Arts degree program in International Affairs in Canada. The school was founded in 1965 through a donation from the late Senator Norman Paterson. It now boasts more than 2,000 alumni around the world, many of whom are distinguished diplomats, international public servants, aid workers, lobbyists, bankers, corporate public affairs officers, academics, journalists and consultants. The school publishes Canada’s premier publication on foreign affairs, Canada Among Nations. Earlier this year, NPSIA and its Centre for Trade Policy and Law received international attention when they released From Correct to Inspired: A Blueprint for Canada-US Engagement, a plan focused on bilateral and global prosperity and security issues.

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For more information:
Lin Moody
Media Relations
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 8705

Monday, September 13, 2010 in
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