Al­berta names new U.S. rep­re­sen­ta­tive

The McLeod River Post - - Viewpoint - Spe­cial to the Post

Gi­tane De Silva, a pro­fes­sional diplo­mat, has been named Al­berta’s se­nior rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the United States of Amer­ica.

She will head up the prov­ince’s of­fice in Wash­ing­ton, DC, which is charged with pro­mot­ing Al­berta’s eco­nomic and pol­icy in­ter­ests in key ar­eas, in­clud­ing en­ergy, en­vi­ron­ment and agri­cul­ture.

“Ms. De Silva has the skill set to rep­re­sent Al­berta’s in­ter­ests in the United States. Her deep knowl­edge of our prov­ince and her many years of ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in the United States as a pro­fes­sional diplo­mat will serve Al­berta well.”

Rachel Not­ley, Pre­mier

De Silva has served as Al­berta’s Deputy Min­is­ter of In­ter­na­tional and In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Re­la­tions since 2013. She pre­vi­ously worked in Canada’s For­eign Ser­vice for more than a decade, spe­cial­iz­ing in Canada-U.S. re­la­tions.

She has held var­i­ous posts in the U.S. in­clud­ing serv­ing as Con­sul Gen­eral of Canada in Chicago and head of the En­vi­ron­ment and Fish­eries sec­tion at the Cana­dian Em­bassy in Wash­ing­ton. She has also served as di­rec­tor of Canada-U.S. Ad­vo­cacy and Mis­sion Li­ai­son and di­rec­tor of U.S. Trans­bound­ary Af­fairs at For­eign Af­fairs, Trade and De­vel­op­ment

Canada in Ot­tawa.

“I look for­ward to work­ing with her on key files, in­clud­ing re­duc­ing bar­ri­ers to trade, such as Coun­try of Ori­gin La­bel­ing, pro­mot­ing Al­berta as an in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion and demon­strat­ing Al­berta’s com­mit­ment to ad­dress­ing and tak­ing mean­ing­ful ac­tion on cli­mate change.”

Deron Bilous, Min­is­ter of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Trade

De Silva re­places Rob Mer­ri­field, whose term ex­pired in Septem­ber. Her ap­point­ment is ef­fec­tive Jan­uary 1, 2016.

Bi­og­ra­phy:

Gi­tane De Silva was ap­pointed Deputy Min­is­ter of Al­berta In­ter­na­tional and In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Re­la­tions on July 22, 2013.

Be­fore mov­ing home to Al­berta, Ms. De Silva served for 12 years in Canada’s For­eign Ser­vice, where she spe­cial­ized in Canada-U.S. is­sues. She held sev­eral roles at For­eign Af­fairs, Trade and De­vel­op­ment Canada (DFATD), in­clud­ing Di­rec­tor, Canada-U.S. Ad­vo­cacy and Mis­sion Li­ai­son, and di­rec­tor, U.S. Trans­bound­ary Af­fairs. She also served as Coun­sel­lor (En­vi­ron­ment & Fish­eries) at the Cana­dian Em­bassy in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. and in the Canada-U.S. Sec­re­tar­iat at

the Privy Coun­cil Of­fice.

Ms. De Silva was most re­cently Con­sul Gen­eral of Canada in Chicago. As Canada’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Illi­nois, Wis­con­sin and Mis­souri, she worked to ad­vance Canada’s po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic in­ter­ests, in­clud­ing trade and in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion.

Ms. De Silva also served as Deputy Head of Agency at Sta­tus of Women Canada and Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, APEC Women and the Econ­omy Sum­mit at DFATD, where she worked on women’s eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment and women in lead­er­ship. She holds a B.A. (In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions) from the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia.

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