2005 PAFSO Award Recipients

 Nicolas Drouin (left) received his Award from Robert Blackburn, Senior Vice President, Government and Development Institutions, SNC-Lavalin International

Nicolas Drouin, currently Second Secretary (Immigration) in Moscow, has been chosen for a PAFSO Award as a result of his outstanding work in the past twelve months in the resettlement of refugees from Central Asia and Russia to Canada. In this short time, he has greatly expanded the Moscow refugee program to accommodate increased numbers of refugees being referred for resettlement by UNHCR offices in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan: from 357 in 2003 up to roughly 1600 in 2005. The challenges of planning travel, logistics and selection procedures were daunting, but Nicolas achieved outstanding results: the final selection of over 1000 refugees for resettlement, a figure far exceeding the norm. A combination of excellent judgment, regional knowledge and incisive examination of the more than 2400 cases in question characterize Nicolas’ performance. He has been highly praised, not only by his managers and colleagues, but by a broad range of other individuals working in international organizations on refugee relief, for his positive approach and readiness to reconcile the protection of refugees with the national security interests of Canada.

Karen Foss received her Award from Graham Lyon, Vice President of Petro-Canada, London

Karen Foss,  has been selected for a PAFSO Award for 2005 based on her contribution to the Government of Canada’s response to the December 26 earthquake and tsunami in Aceh and Northern Sumatra. In January 2005, Karen was sent to Banda Aceh to open Canada House. She continues to represent Canada from the one-person outpost in the most heavily affected area. From Canada House, Karen has conducted post-tsunami liaison and coordination with the Government of Indonesia, UN agencies, Canadian, Indonesian and international NGOs, the Indonesian police, the media and many other players. Her support for Canadian humanitarian workers has assisted in their work and enhanced their security. She has successfully managed a range of Canadian assessment missions with a view to assessing needs and determining reconstruction strategies. She has also been highly effective in briefing the Canadian media on Canada’s contribution to the reconstruction and relief effort. Her dedication, poise and professionalism, her resourcefulness in seeking to meet the needs of Canadians in the area, and her compassion in her daily interactions with local communities has been key to representing Canada in this most challenging of circumstances.

 Jean Jacques Gauthier (right) received his Award from V. Peter Harder, Deputy Minister, Foreign Affairs Canada 

Jean Jacques Gauthier, has been selected to receive a PAFSO Award this year in recognition of the dedication and commitment that have characterized his long career in the foreign service, during his numerous postings in Africa and the Middle East and at headquarters. In his twenty-eight years in the foreign service, Jean has found himself in the thick of many a crisis, from assisting in the evacuation of Canadians and Americans from Baghdad in 1990 to negotiating with rebels in eastern Zaire in the mid-1990s. In his current posting, Jean has distinguished himself through his work with the International Conference for the Great Lakes of Africa, supporting the role of the Ambassador and acting as Executive Secretary of the Friends of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. Jean is known for his tenacity and unstinting devotion to the furtherance of Canadian initiatives not only in Africa but in all of his postings. He is also known for his initiative and creativity, in the face of innumerable obstacles and difficult circumstances. He is a tireless worker and traveller, deeply involved in and affected by the cultures he knows so well. He is a true representative of Canada’s foreign service.

Patricia Cronin accepted the Award on behalf of Andrew Smith. The Award was presented by Ken Sunquist, Assistant Deputy Minister, World Markets Branch, International Trade. Andrew was able to hear his presentation live by conference call from Beijing.

Andrew Smith, Senior Trade Commissioner and Counsellor at our Embassy in Beijing, is being honoured this year in recognition of his outstanding performance in a variety of challenging portfolios. Most recently, in November 2004, Andrew was assigned the task of managing the Beijing organizing team of roughly 25 people to plan for the Prime Minister’s major trade visit to China in January 2005. Andrew mobilized and motivated the trade team to deliver a highly successful business program for over 360 participants. Under his superior direction, his staff worked together to deliver a successful high-calibre mission under extraordinary pressures of time and expectation. Andrew’s exemplary performance in Beijing this past winter was but a high-profile example of the excellence of his performance since joining the foreign service, beginning with his posting to Japan and continuing throughout his service as Deputy Director in the China and Mongolia Division from 2001-2004. Andrew has been repeatedly commended for the positive influence he has on his staff and for his ability to motivate them to produce beyond what they might have thought possible, qualities which have led to his being selected for this Award.

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