Canada and the World, Ep. 16: How Canadians can ‘go global’

A new podcast series from OpenCanada.org and the Balsillie School of International Affairs

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November 23, 2018

In this episode, recorded recently in Montreal, host Bessma Momani chats with former diplomats and international development experts on the impact Canadians can and are already having in the world, as well as the value of international experience for Canadians and Canada. What exactly do Canada’s embassies do, in addition to protecting Canadians abroad? What does a recent report tell us about why global experience — including work, study and travel — is so needed for the next generation of Canadians? What value do Canadian aid and research bring to various countries abroad, and how are those destinations chosen? This episode looks at the opportunities — and the barriers — that exist for better global engagement.

Our host

Bessma Momani is professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and University of Waterloo and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. She’s also a non-resident senior fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. and a Fulbright Scholar. She has been non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and a 2015 Fellow at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. She’s a frequent analyst and expert on international affairs in Canadian and global media. 

This week’s guests

Deborah Lyons has held a number of key positions with Global Affairs Canada, including director, international finance; director-general, North America commercial affairs; and assistant deputy minister for strategic policy and planning and chief strategist. In 2010, she was appointed deputy ambassador at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C. In 2013, she became ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Canada to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and, in 2016, she was appointed ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Canada to Israel.

Margaret Biggs was president of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) from 2008-2013. In this role, she was accountable for policy advice, partnerships, programming and performance management related to Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance, including Canadian initiatives on maternal and child health, sustainable economic growth, and fragile and conflict-affected states. Previously, Ms. Biggs served as deputy secretary to the Cabinet and assistant secretary, priorities and planning, in the Privy Council Office.

Guillermo Rishchynski is the executive director for Canada at the Inter-American Development Bank. He has had a long career of diplomatic service, including as Canada’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations from August 2011 to December 2015 and an earlier career in the private sector in marketing and project management in Africa and Latin America.

Arjan de Haan is the director of IDRC’s inclusive economies program. He leads a multidisciplinary team that strengthens policy research capacity in developing countries on issues of economic policy, governance, and health systems. He has previously led IDRC programing on poverty reduction, employment, and growth. Before joining IDRC, Arjan was the Social Development Advisor at the UK’s Department for International Development for 10 years in the Policy Division in China and India, leading work on poverty analysis and social protection. He also taught international development at the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands, Guelph University in Canada, and University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.

Canada and The World is produced and edited by Matthew Markudis. Each episode can be found on iTunes and other podcast applications.