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Immediately prior to joining Balsillie School of International Affairs in January 2019, Roy was Chief of Protocol of Canada at Global Affairs Canada.  In that role, he was responsible for coordinating the Governor General’s, the Prime Minister’s, and GAC Ministers’ interactions with their counterparts, in Canada or abroad.  GAC Protocol manages Canada’s obligations under the Vienna Conventions; accordingly, the 8,000+ foreign diplomats and their families accredited to Canada were among Roy’s major ‘clients’.

From 2010 to 2016, successively, Roy was Consul General of Canada based in Detroit then in Chicago.  Public diplomacy/advocacy & trade promotion were his principal responsibilities. The US mid-western states to which he was accredited (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky in the first instance, then Illinois, Wisconsin & Missouri) are Canada’s principal two-way trading partners in the world. In Michigan, he led the campaign to secure approval for what will be known as the Gordie Howe International Bridge. In both posts he advocated extensively on Great Lakes water quality/quantity issues, cross-border energy infrastructure issues, and against US trade protectionism.

From 2006-10 Roy served as Minister at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. with responsibility for managing Canada’s relations with the US Congress, as well as media, academic & cultural relations. 

From 2000-2006, Roy served in the Ontario Government as Assistant Deputy Minister (International Relations) & Chief of Protocol, and earlier as Assistant Deputy Minister (Export Development) & President/CEO of Ontario Exports Inc.

While a student in the late 1990s, Roy consulted to the federal government & to several private sector entities.

Roy’s first posting to Washington, DC was from 1990-94, when he served in the Economic Section of the Embassy as a member of Canada’s negotiating team for the Intellectual Property and Investment Chapters of NAFTA. He was also responsible for reporting on developments in US aid policy and on evolving US economic relations with former Soviet-bloc countries in eastern & central Europe.

From 1984-89, Roy was Senior Policy Advisor to Canada’s Foreign Minister. From the vantage point of Joe Clark’s political office, Roy managed the development & implementation of Canada’s role in the anti-Apartheid campaign (in South Africa), Canada’s engagement in the Central American Peace Process, Canada’s aid policy, and the successive Parliamentary Reviews of Canada’s foreign- and aid- policies.

After graduating initially (with an MA in Canadian History from Carleton University), Roy worked for 8 years in the House of Commons and the Senate. In volunteer capacities, he was heavily involved at the time in organizational efforts on behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.  Since the beginning of his public service career he has refrained from any partisan activity.

Roy’s studies, since the Carleton degrees, have been ‘mid-career’. In 1990 he graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with a Masters’ degree in Public Administration (concentrating on U.S. policy development). While posted to Washington, D.C., on a part-time basis he completed a Master of International Public Policy degree (in international economics) from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.  In 1999, he graduated, again from SAIS, with a Ph.D. in International Relations (his dissertation focused on diaspora community influences on Canadian foreign policy).


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by Mike Hughlett (feat. Kevin Birn), Star Tribune, October 17, 2021

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