Lucie Edwards

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Lucie Edwards
Born 1954
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Occupation diplomat, academic
Known for her mission's humanitarian work during the civil war in Rwanda;

Lucie Edwards is a Canadian diplomat, who worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development from 1976 to 2009, as the high commissioner to India, South Africa, Kenya and permanent representative to the United Nations Environmental program. She founded the Global Issues Bureau and served as assistant deputy minister for Corporate Services in Ottawa. She received the Public Service Award of Excellence in 1995 for her humanitarian work during the Rwanda genocide and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence from the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2009. Lucie Edwards has over 20 years of experience representing Canada at the United Nations and regional development agencies. Her interests include good governance, food security, poverty alleviation, primary health care and sustainable development. Today, she can be found working at the crossroads of science, the environment, and international development as part of her doctoral dissertation in Global Governance at the University of Waterloo(2009–present). She is also the Ashley Fellow 2011 at Trent University.[1]


She was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She was a contestant on Reach for the Top and valedictorian of her graduating class at Laurentian High School in Ottawa, Ontario.

In recognition of exceptional academic and extracurricular achievement, she was a recipient of the prestigious Champlain Scholarship at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. As an ungraduate student backpacking around the Middle East, her bus was hijacked in Lebanon. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Economics and History Honours, from Trent University in 1976. She took the Foreign Affairs Officer's exam initially because she thought it would be good practice for the law school entrance exam. She accepted a job offer on the Middle East desk at the Department of External now Foreign Affairs in 1976. She earned a Masters in Public Administration from John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1984. Lucie Edwards married Thomas Roach (BA, Trent University, 1970) in 1979.


As a Canadian public servant and diplomat, Lucie Edwards has held various roles. In 1976, Lucie Edwards was one of five women who joined the Department of External Affairs (DEA), now the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Title Location Years
Foreign Affairs Officer, Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs. Throughout her career, she has specialized on African and Middle Eastern affairs. Ottawa, Ontario and various external assignments 1976–2009
Foreign Affairs Officer, Middle East division, Israel Embassy
  • she helped develop a Canadian studies program in Israel.
Tel Aviv, Israel 1977–1980
Foreign Affairs Officer Middle East division, Lebanon desk officer
  • just after Israel invaded Lebanon
Beirut, Lebanon 1982–1984
Chairperson of the Southern Africa Task Force, Department of Foreign Affairs Ottawa, Ontario 1989–1992
Director of the Middle East Relations Division, Department of Foreign Affairs Ottawa, Ontario 1992–1993
Nairobi, Kenya 1993–1995
Founding Director General of the Global Issues Bureau, Department of Foreign Affairs, which provided policy direction on human rights, peace building, environment and human development Ottawa, Ontario 1995 - 1996.
Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services, Department of Foreign Affairs - responsible for a staff of 1200, 400 million dollar budget, and 160 overseas missions. Ottawa, Ontario 1996 - 1999.
High Commissioner of Canada to South Africa, with concurrent accreditation to Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mauritius. Chairperson of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). She served as an adviser on rural development for International Agricultural Research. Pretoria, South Africa 1999 - 2003.
High Commissioner in the Republic of India, with concurrent accreditation as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Nepal and the Kingdom of Bhutan New Delhi, India 2003–2006
Internal Management Consultant, Chief Strategist and Head of the Office of Transformation, Department of Foreign Affairs with a mandate to “reinvent Canada’s foreign and trade ministry for the twenty-first century.” Ottawa, Ontario 2007–2009
Doctoral candidate in Global Governance, Balsillie School of International Affairs from University of Waterloo Kitchener, Ontario 2009–present


Ms. Edwards was awarded the 2009 Award of Excellence—Lifetime Achievement Award for her career in the Foreign Service.[2] In 1995, Lucie Edwards received the Public Service Award of Excellence, the Public Service’s highest award, for her mission's humanitarian work during the civil war in Rwanda. She received the Merit Award, 1994 for consular operations in Rwanda, Department of Foreign Affairs. She was awarded the Merit Award, 1989 for human rights work in South Africa, Department of Foreign Affairs.[3] She was the Ashley Fellow at Trent University 2011/12 where she served as a “diplomat in residence” [4] and spoke to classes in Environmental Resource Science / Studies, International Development Studies, Politics, and Economics.[5]

Select publications[edit]

  • "We are Dust: Human Security and the San People of Southern Africa" Human Security Conference University of Toronto/University of Waterloo December 2009.
  • "Canadian Foreign Policy Towards Africa", South African Yearbook of International Affairs, South African Institute of International Affairs, 2001.
  • "Day 58 of the Rwanda Crisis", Bout de Papier, Vol. 12, 1995.
  • "Freedom is Rising", Musicworks, No. 43.
  • "Resource Development in Labrador", Alternatives 1977.



  • "The youth will see the effects of climate change in their own lifetimes, and that of their children. We need their voices in the debate."[7]
  • "I hope that we will have peace everywhere in the world."[8]
  • The creation of peaceful societies encompasses a range of issues that must be addressed simultaneously. These include conflict prevention, mediation, cease-fire negotiations, the delivery of humanitarian aid, post-war reconstruction, and the establishment of strong civil societies. Such issues are difficult to address in any country, particularly "in a society that is undergoing development passage and has suffered a substantial loss of infrastructure and human capital."[9]
  • "Diplomacy is not a special language", diplomacy is "being direct, being honest, and believing in Lord Ganesha."[10]


  1. ^ Lucie Edwards
  2. ^[permanent dead link] Lucie Edwards
  3. ^ Honours
  4. ^ Lucie Edwards diplomat in residence Archived January 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Lucie Edwards Ashley Fellow Trent University
  6. ^ Publications
  7. ^ Archived from the original on October 25, 2006. Retrieved March 2, 2007.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ RECONSTRUCTING WAR-TORN SOCIETIES Archived May 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^[dead link]
  • Margaret K. Weiers Envoys extraordinary: Women of the Canadian foreign service Chapter 18 Lucie Edwards -Making a Difference Dundurn Press Toronto 1995
  • LGen Romeo A Dallaire Shake Hands with the Devil: the failure of humanity in Rwanda 2003

External links[edit]