Statement on the passing of Allan Gotlieb, a distinguished former Canadian diplomat and Ambassador of Note

Statement on the passing of Allan Gotlieb, a distinguished former Canadian diplomat and Ambassador of Note

April 21, 2020 – Ottawa, Canada

The Retired Heads of Mission Association (RHOMA) today issued the following statement on the passing of Allan Gotlieb:

“On behalf of its nearly 400 members across Canada, the Retired Heads of Mission Association (RHOMA), which is comprised of former Canadian Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Consuls General, and their partners, extends deepest condolences to the family, loved ones and friends of Allan Gotlieb, who died in Toronto at the age of 92 on Saturday, April 18, 2020.

Mr. Gotlieb had an exceptionally distinguished career in the public service of Canada, joining the then Department of External Affairs after completing his studies in law at Harvard and teaching at Oxford University, where he had been a Rhodes scholar. Throughout his long career he remained an internationally recognized legal scholar committed to the global extension of the international rule of law.

Allan Gotlieb served as Under-Secretary of State (Deputy Minister) for External Affairs from 1977 to 1981 and as the Prime Minister’s Sherpa for the first G-7 Summit hosted by Canada at Montebello, Quebec, in 1981. Having played a key role in advising the government on Canada-USA relations, he then served an unmatched eight years as Canada’s Ambassador to Washington from 1981 to 1989, making significant contributions to the conclusion of an agreement on acid rain and to the first Canada-USA Free Trade Agreement. In carrying out his responsibilities in the United States Ambassador Gotlieb pioneered the concept of public diplomacy, reaching out to key figures at all levels of government across the United States, as well as to the media and the general public, to further Canada’s interests and enrich the bilateral relationship.

In December 2019, RHOMA named Allan Gotlieb as one of its first-ever Ambassadors of Note in honour of his extraordinary life-time achievements.”

Further information:

RHOMA website:


Lillian Thomsen
Vice-President, Communication
Retired Heads of Mission Association (RHOMA)

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