2018 PAFSO Award Recipients

Left to right: Jérôme Pischella, Robin Wettlaufer, Lisa Catana and Sébastien Roy

The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 PAFSO Awards presented on June 14 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa.

Lisa Catana has a reputation for ground-breaking improvements to IRCC’s complex Global Case Management System (GCMS), which processes all immigration applications.

She developed a tool called ROSIE for senior managers that converts raw data into useful information and a help page called JIM, to assist colleagues navigating the system. Her Dashboard Supreme facilitates GCMS caseload management across all immigration categories. When the Canadian High Commission in London began processing electronic visa applications from Nigeria, Lisa created NOMA, a tool to allow pre-assessment of this complex caseload. Most innovations in government rely on lengthy reviews and a top down implementation; Lisa’s innovative tools go viral, spreading by word of mouth to colleagues and managers. For innovations that have enabled faster, more efficient processing of applications and work-sharing among offices, better management of visa operations and improved client service, Lisa Catana receives the 2018 PAFSO Award.

Jérôme Pischella, a Trade Commissioner at the Denver Consulate General, “finds clients where others don’t, closes deals that others can’t and finds solutions when most give up.”

He has enhanced Canada’s relationship with Moroccan grain buyers to the point where Morocco became the 2nd largest purchaser of Canadian duram. Jérôme convinced Denver IT accelerator Techstars of opportunities for funding Canadian IT start-ups. Techstars opened offices in Toronto and Montreal offering Canadian AI start-ups access to funding and partnerships around the world. His efforts facilitated collaboration between Toronto’s MaRS and the only American federal laboratory dedicated to clean technology and renewable energy, providing 200 Canadian clean tech companies with opportunities
in the US.

With encouragement from Jérôme’s team, a Colorado‐based dairy products firm will invest $200–225 million in Alberta, creating a potential 150–200 jobs. For leadership, innovation, team building and determination in advancing Canada’s interests abroad, Jérôme Pischella receives the 2018 PAFSO Award.

Sébastien Roy, a seasoned MCO, is a true innovator constantly devising new tools and apps to improve the efficiency of GAC’s mission management and consular programs. Foremost among his contributions is an online consular appointment booking system now being rolled out to consular sections worldwide. During the crisis in Bangkok in 2014, he devised an electronic city map that helped the Emergency Response Team identify hot spots and provide sound safety advice to Canadians in Bangkok. Other innovations Sébastien developed include 3D floor plans of the mission’s Staff Quarters, an electricity consumption monitoring system and a mission “wiki,” that brings together the information and forms staff routinely need in an elegant “placemat” format. A skilled manager, Sébastien listens carefully to challenges facing his staff, assesses potential solutions and provides clear guidance. As an innovator combining creative thinking with technical expertise and as a manager and a leader Sébastien Roy receives the 2018 PAFSO Award.

According to a senior British diplomat, Robin Wettlaufer, Canada’s Istanbul-based Special Representative to the Syrian Opposition since 2014, “symbolises Canadian grit, determination and sheer flair for peace-making.” With her in-depth understanding of the Syrian situation and an ability to operate in high-level international diplomacy, Robin is at the leading edge of Canada’s peace, stabilization and humanitarian efforts. Equally at ease with her counterparts and with Syrian opposition figures, Robin is well-respected and liked by both.  She has amplified Canada’s contributions and enhanced the positive reputation Canada enjoys on the Syria file. When the Syrian Negotiating Committee re-organized, Robin – and her Swedish counterpart – skillfully managed to increase the number of female representatives on the Committee, achieving concrete results in a male dominated context. A talented woman in a high-level position, Robin is the embodiment of Canada’s feminist foreign policy. For outstanding accomplishments as Canada’s Special Representative for Syria, Robin Wettlaufer receives the 2018 PAFSO Award.


The members of the 2018 Panel of Judges were: Mr. Serge April (Chair),
Ms Anne Arnott, Mr. Yves Brodeur, Dr. Linda Duxbury, Mr. Tom MacDonald and Dr. Roland Paris.

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