2009 PAFSO Award Recipients

Frank Ruddock, Jason LaTorre, Soyoung Park and Léonard Beaulne

Léonard Beaulne, Deputy Director, Inter-American Affairs in DFAIT’s South America and Inter-American Relations Division is being honoured this year as a winner of the PAFSO Award for his exceptional achievement and his enormous contributions to inter-American affairs. Leonard is fluently trilingual, in French, English and Spanish, a major asset in negotiations in the inter-American context where the ability to identify the acceptable word or phrase can change the momentum and ultimately the success of the negotiation session. He has tremendous knowledge of the Americas and provides colleagues with the historical and political context and background of many inter-American issues. Leonard possesses the important ability to understand the motivations underlying the positions and actions of other delegations, allowing him to shape a strategy that can gain the support of others by addressing their needs and concerns. He is regarded as one of DFAIT’s foremost experts on the Americas, combining the experience of the full range of bilateral relations and extraordinary insight into the broader inter-American system – two valued abilities as Canada has worked to develop the multilateral arm of its Americas Strategy.

Jason LaTorre, Senior Trade Commissioner, Canadian Consulate General, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, has been selected as a winner of the PAFSO Award for his work as Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He is being recognized for his initiative, creativity, his inter-cultural effectiveness and his dedicated service to Canadians. One of his prime areas of work was in the education sector. He recognized the opportunities to promote Canadian competitiveness in education and worked with key local contacts, Canadian institutions and other members of the mission, including the immigration section. These efforts resulted in student numbers effectively doubling during his first year on the education file. Jason is a model of good work-life balance for his staff and others, focussing on priorities in a way that inspires them. A number of Jason=s clients joined in the process of nominating him, praising different aspects of his work. His nomination was fully supported by the members of his section who recognize and appreciate his leadership style, his care of Vietnamese culture in both business and life, and the enthusiasm he has brought to his assignment.

Soyoung Park, currently Project Business Director, GCMS, Client Service Modernisation in CIC, is being honoured this year as a winner of the PAFSO Award for excelling in bringing action management, vision, partnership and solid values to her work in the Foreign Service. Soyoung has had three postings, New Delhi, Beijing and Damascus. In each, she has tackled difficult problems and implemented efficient managerial practices, improving the service provided to clients. At headquarters, she took on responsibility as Project Business Director for the Global Case Management System (GCMS) which, when implemented, will be the new platform bringing the business of citizenship and immigration into the 21st century. Although the project had a troubled history, Soyoung was able within a few months to fully assess the challenges and to start putting in place a plan of action to create one strong team where business and product/technical groups shared the same goal and purpose. She is a practical and courageous innovator. She is able to inspire and motivate officers and support staff.

Frank Ruddock, Coordinator for Pan-African Affairs, in the Africa Bureau of DFAIT, is being honoured this year as a winner of the PAFSO Award for his outstanding policy and corporate advice and service he has provided to the Africa Bureau as well as to all of DFAIT, its missions abroad and the entire inter-departmental community dealing with issues touching on Africa. He has an in-depth knowledge of the Canada/Africa dynamic, providing consistent and sound policy advice. He possesses the skills of a model foreign service officer. He delivers lucid tightly focussed analyses. He has a long-standing dedication and commitment to serve Canada. He is effective in interacting with the bureaucratic culture of DFAIT, the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Privy Council. Senior management in the Africa Bureau recognize him as the pillar of that Bureau and the glue that holds it together. He provides continuity and strategic guidance on African issues. His dedication and professionalism set the standard of excellence he inspires as a colleague and mentor to younger foreign service officers.

Judges for this year’s Awards were: Mr. Michael Kergin (Chairman of the Judges’ Panel); the Hon. James Bartleman, Mr. Brian Davis, Mr. John de Chastelain, Mr. Don Newman, and Mrs. Louise Terrillon-Mackay.

In addition to the four PAFSO Awards, one other prize was presented at the PAFSO Dinner on June 11, 2009. Mr. Nicholas Coghlan was the winner of the Retired Heads of Mission Association (RHOMA) sponsored prize for best article in bout de papier magazine. His article, “Pastoral Pursuits in Pakistan’s Punjab” appeared in Volume 23, No. 4. He received a framed Award and cheque. Honourable Mention went to Ms Liza Linkater for her review “Portrait in Light and Shadow: the Life of Yousuf Karsh” Vol. 23 No. 4.

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