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Courtesy of Marie-Lucie Morin

Marie-Lucie Morin


“Formidable and always perceptive”

former Canadian minister and diplomat Roy MacLaren, co-chair of the Canada Europe Roundtable for Business


“With World Bank President Jim Yong Kim”. Courtesy of Marie-Lucie Morin

Marie-Lucie Morin’s pioneering career is an inspiration to aspiring female diplomats and public servants everywhere. Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, in 1957, Morin attended the Université de Sherbrooke and was admitted to the Quebec Bar before joining the Department of External Affairs in 1980. Back then, the department employed few women officers; even fewer worked in Morin’s chosen field: trade. Undaunted, she spent the 1980s honing her craft on postings to San Francisco, Jakarta, and London. Returning to Ottawa in 1990, her work ethic, pragmatism, and managerial talents were quickly recognized in her promotion to director of the department’s Financial and Business Services Division. Following three years as Minister Counsellor (Commercial) at the Canadian embassy in Moscow in the mid-1990s, Morin was appointed Canadian ambassador to Norway in 1997. Recalled to Ottawa in 2001, over the next decade she would become one of the Canadian government’s most influential advisors. After serving as the department’s assistant deputy minister for international business and chief trade commissioner, Morin was named deputy minister for international trade in 2006, becoming only the second woman to hold the position since the legendary Sylvia Ostry two decades before. As deputy minister, Morin spearheaded the Harper government’s Global Commerce Strategy. She then served as the prime minister’s national security advisor from 2008 and 2010, playing a key role in keeping her fellow citizens safe. In 2010 Morin was elected to the World Bank as executive director representing Canada, Ireland, and the Caribbean, a prestigious position from which she retired in 2013. Since then, she has served on corporate and not-for-profit boards and as a member of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency. In recognition of her remarkable career, Morin was named Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur by the French government, received the Governor General’s 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada medal, and made a member of the Order of Canada.

Further reading:

  • Margaret K. Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1995), 251-261.
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