2006 PAFSO Award Recipients

OTTAWA – June 16, 2006
The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2006 PAFSO Canadian Foreign Service Officer Awards presented on June 15, 2006 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

l.to r. Bruce Grundison, Stewart Hendersoon, The Hon. Monte Solberg, Sanjeev Chowdhury and Manon Dumas

Sanjeev Chowdhury has been chosen for a PAFSO Award as a result of his outstanding efforts in representing and promoting Canada in Vietnam as Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City. Sanjeev has earned the respect and admiration of Canadian companies in Ho Chi Minh City for his inclusiveness, promotion and generous outreach. He has shown a keen interest in promoting Canadian and Vietnamese culture through support for artists and singers. He has organized live on-line sessions on Canada, and has reached out to the youth of Vietnam through a nation-wide “Consul General for a Day”programme with the winner experiencing a day in the life of Canada’s Consul General. Sanjeev established ten Maple Leaf Scholarships for deserving first and second year university students and raised more than $30,000 over three years for agent Orange/Dioxin victims. He has carried out his work with immense energy and organizational skill, balancing professionalism and determination, all seasoned by a sense of humour. Sanjeev has worked with a wide network of individuals and organizations, both Canadian and Vietnamese, in his efforts to promote and represent Canada.

Manon Dumas, currently Deputy Director in the Federal-Provincial Relations Division in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), has been selected this year by PAFSO for her work across numerous files in the highly sensitive space where federal/provincial relations interplays with international issues. The issues she has handled range from negotiations with Quebec over its participation in UNESCO to the federal/provincial aspects, with Quebec, of the Vietnam Adoption file. Other files, such as work on the International Policy Review, the enhancing of the Forum of Federations and the interdepartmental Anti-trafficking process, have been part of her work package. Manon brings to her work the very best of qualities of a foreign service officer. Adjectives applied to her work by colleagues include creative, intelligent, articulate, cultivated, rigorous, spirited, resourceful, and humane. She stood out by handling the pressures of high priority and sensitive files with tact, creativity and finesse. She brings together disparate partners in common cause, providing quiet and effective leadership to groundbreaking work which requires cooperation, consultation and quick decision making.

Bruce Grundison has been selected as a PAFSO Award winner in recognition of his exceptional contribution to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) programmes and his constant work to promote Canada’s foreign policy objectives. Over three postings to Kingston, Beijing and Ankara since joining CIC in 1992, Bruce has closely examined processes to obtain faster and better results, including modifying the electronic immigration computer system so what previously took over a year to accomplish could be done in six months. As a programme manager on his last posting he showed exemplary ability to work with host governments, international organizations and individual Canadians, demonstrating organizational skills and talent for managing change. Bruce has a confirmed reputation among colleagues for technical innovation and training. He is highly respected, not only by those who know him, but also by both Locally Engaged Staff and Canada Based Officers who have yet to meet him. He is now tackling the challenging topic of biometrics, which is critical to our current and future security tools, as Director, Biometrics Planning Project in the Risk Assurance Branch, at CIC.

Stewart Henderson, Canada’s Chargé d’affaires in Baghdad since October 2005, has been honoured this year as a PAFSO Award winner for successfully taking on one of the most difficult assignments in the Canadian Foreign Service. In doing so he has demonstrated a deep commitment to serving Canadians and fulfilling Canada’s mandate while using his keen analytical skills, his networking ability and sang-froid in exceptionally difficult times. Stewart lives and works in conditions where “Casual Friday” means not wearing body armour, where there are daily mortar and rocket attacks, and where he has even been the inadvertent target in a friendly fire incident when bullets were fired by a soldier into an Embassy vehicle Stewart was driving. Despite these distractions, Stewart has reported on a never-ending range of complex political issues, provided leadership to consular staff and provided excellent advice to the Embassy in Amman and to Ottawa while expanding Canada’s relations in Iraq. The kidnapping of two Canadians in Iraq just the month after his arrival resulted in Stewart coordinating resources and communications while managing the efforts of a 10-person multi-agency task force. Stewart provided outstanding leadership to the team and oversaw a most difficult and potentially dangerous hostage release plan. He made an immense contribution as an effective team leader which was critical to the safe release of the two hostages. A 26-year veteran of the Foreign Service and five previous postings, Stewart has maintained high standards and provided sound leadership to the Canadian presence in Iraq.

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