Distinguished Fellows

Our Distinguished Fellows…


Former Ambassador Jon Allen

Born in Winnipeg in 1950, Jon Allen (LL.B., University of Western Ontario, 1976; LL.M., International Law, University of London School of Economics, 1977) joined the then Department of External Affairs in 1981.  In addition to postings abroad in Mexico City (1983-85), New Delhi (1989-92) and Washington (1997-2001), Mr. Allen spent his early career in the Legal Bureau where he represented Canada in disputes under the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement and worked in the areas of human rights, humanitarian and environmental law.  Mr. Allen held the positions of Director General, North America Bureau (2001-2004), Minister (Political Affairs) at the Embassy of Canada in Washington (2004-2006) and Assistant Deputy Minister, Americas (2010-2012). From 2006 to 2010, he was Ambassador of Canada to Israel. From 2012 to 2016 he was Ambassador to Spain and Andorra. From December 2012 to July 2014, he was Chargé d’affaires a.i. to the Holy See.  Mr. Allen is currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Canadian International Council, a Diplomat in Residence at Fulbright Canada and a Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. At Munk, he is engaged in research and writing on tax havens, Spanish and Israeli-Palestinian issues and populism. At Fulbright, Mr. Allen is advancing a proposal to establish in Canada a Canada-US institute.

Former Ambassador Chris Alexander

Chris Alexander was born in Toronto in 1968 in Toronto. He attended Oriole Park Public School and the University of Toronto Schools (UTS) before earning a BA from McGill (history and political science) and an MA at Balliol College, Oxford (PPE). For eighteen years he served as a Canadian diplomat, serving in the Canadian embassy in Moscow under Yeltsin and Putin. From 2003 until 2009, he was the first resident Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan. In 2011, he published The Long Way Back: Afghanistan’s Quest for Peace, winner of the Huguenot Society of Canada Award. He was MP for Ajax-Pickering from 2011 to 2015, serving as Parliamentary Secretary for National Defence and Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. In the latter capacity, he was responsible for introducing Express Entry, reforming and re-launching most economic, international mobility and temporary foreign worker programmes, updating the Citizenship Act for the first time in a generation, making the first commitment by any country to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees, expanding the number of international students coming to Canada and sustaining the then highest levels of immigration in Canadian history. In 2016-17, he ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada to promote a ‘New Canada’ driven by entrepreneurship, innovation, inclusion, investment, a larger international footprint and increased trade with markets in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. He now provides international macro political insights to corporate clients and is a member of a number of company boards. Chris Alexander is married to social entrepreneur Hedvig Alexander, a Dane by birth, with whom he has two daughters and a son. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and one of Canada’s Best Forty Under Forty. He has contributed recently to Maclean’s, The Globe & Mail and The Literary Review of Canada. He was also awarded the Birchall Leadership Award by the Royal Military Colleges Foundation and is a Grand Officer (1st Class) of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity.

Former Ambassador and High Commissioner Jeremy Kinsman

Jeremy Kinsman left the Canadian Foreign Service in 2006, following 40 years of service. He had served as a Canadian Ambassador for 15 years, in Moscow (1992-96), in Rome (1996-2000) as High Commissioner in London (2000-2002), and as Ambassador to the EU in Brussels (2002-2006). Earlier postings were in Brussels and in Algeria before going to New York in 1975 where he became Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN. He was then Chairman of Policy Planning in Ottawa before becoming Minister for Political Affairs in Washington (1981-85). From 1985-99, he was on loan as Assistant Deputy Minister of Communications responsible for the cultural affairs portfolio of the federal government and for broadcasting. Recalled to Foreign Affairs in 1989 as the Assistant Deputy Minister for International Security Affairs and Political Director, he notably served as chair and interdepartmental coordinator for Canada’s political engagement in the Gulf War 1990-91. After leaving government service, Jeremy Kinsman transferred his energies to civil society, heading from 2007 an international project for the Community of Democracies which has recently produced the Third Edition of A Diplomat’s Handbook on Democracy Development Support. He leads the project’s workshops which train professional personnel from participating countries and civil society representatives in democracy and human rights support. A frequent speaker and lecturer in Europe and North America, in 2007-2008 he was Diplomat in Residence at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, Princeton, N.J. Kinsman was then appointed 2009-10 Regents’ Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley and joined Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies as Resident International Scholar.

Former Ambassador Mokhtar Lamani

Mr Mokhtar Lamani is a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa. He was the Head of the Office of the UN-League of Arab States Joint Special Representative for Syria in Damascus from September 2012 to May 2014. Before his appointment in OJSRS-D, Mr. Lamani was the Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Canada. Previously, he served as Ambassador Special Representative of the Arab League in Iraq, appointed by the Arab Summit in 2006. On behalf of the Arab League, he worked to reconcile fractious parties and sectarian groups in Iraq while building peaceful relations between Iraq and neighboring countries. Prior to his position as Special Representative, Mr. Lamani served as Ambassador of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation to the United Nations in New York from 1998 to 2004. His distinguished career in international diplomacy includes a number of positions with the General Secretariat of the Arab League, including Deputy Permanent Observer to the UN, Officer in Charge of the Iraq-Kuwait dispute, Coordinator of Secretariat Reform, and Coordinator of the Euro-Arab Dialogue and Afro-Arab Cooperation, Responsible of European relations.