Speakers: Canada’s Business Opportunities with the Pacific Alliance
- Senior Trade Commissioner / Counsellor (Commercial)
Embassy of Canada to Colombia
- Canadian Ambassador to Peru and Bolivia
- Ambassador of Canada to Chile
- Canadian Ambassador to Mexico
Brenda WillsSenior Trade Commissioner / Counsellor (Commercial)
Embassy of Canada to Colombia
Brenda Wills joined Global Affairs Canada in 2003 and has since served abroad at the embassies of Canada in Washington, D.C., the Republic of Chile, and the Republic of Colombia.
In Ottawa, she has held several positions, including in the Mexico Division (2004-2005), and in the Trade Policy Branch working on initiatives with Europe, most notably on the conclusion of Canada’s free trade agreement negotiations with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries as well as on discussions with the European Union (EU) prior to the launch of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations (2005-2007). She returned in 2015 to work on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
Ms. Wills was first posted to the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C. in 2007 as part of the Trade Commissioner Service. In early 2008, she moved to the trade policy section of the Embassy where she focused mainly on the U.S. bilateral and regional trade agenda, with an emphasis on Latin America, as well as advocating for Canada’s participation in the TPP. From 2011 to 2015, Ms. Wills promoted Canada’s education and ICT sectors and was responsible for bilateral and regional trade policy initiatives/issues, including the Pacific Alliance, at the Embassy of Canada to the Republic of Chile. In August 2016, she began her most recent posting to the Republic of Colombia as Senior Trade Commissioner and Counsellor (Commercial).
Brenda Wills holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree in International Business and Marketing from the University of Manitoba. She speaks English, French and Spanish.
Gwyneth A. KutzCanadian Ambassador to Peru and Bolivia
Gwyneth Kutz is a career foreign service officer who joined the Department of
External Affairs in 1988. She has served abroad at the Permanent Missions of Canada to the United Nations in New York (1989) and to the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D. C. (1991-93), as well as at the Canadian embassies in Lima, Peru (1990-91), and Madrid, Spain (1997-99). In 1999, she opened and headed Canada’s first diplomatic presence in Tirana, Albania, before returning to Washington as Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to the OAS (2001-2004). She was appointed Canada’s first resident Ambassador to El Salvador (2004-2006), and later as
Ambassador to Argentina and Paraguay (2010-2015). At Headquarters, Ambassador Kutz has worked on issues relating to energy and the environment, personnel assignments and regional security and peacekeeping. She has also served as Human Rights Director and as Senior Advisor for Multilateral Initiatives and Advocacy.
Ambassador Kutz graduated from the University of Calgary with a degree in General Humanities (Highest Honors) in 1987. In August 2015, she was announced as Canada’s Ambassador to Peru and Bolivia.
Marcel LebleuAmbassador of Canada to Chile
Marcel Lebleu is a career foreign service officer who started with the Department of External Affairs in 1987. He joined the Trade Commissioner Service after having graduated in economics(B.Sc.) from Université de Montréal/University of Massachusetts. He is a Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) and his experience representing Canada abroad spans three continents. He has served abroad in Cameroon, Costa Rica, in Argentina as Commercial Counsellor/Senior Trade Commissioner(1999-2003), and Spain as Commercial Counsellor/Senior Trade Commissioner(2003-2007).
From 2007-2011, he was Director and Senior Trade Commissioner of the Quebec Regional office (including Nunavut) of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada (now Global Affairs Canada). In Ottawa, he held a number of senior positions at the corporate-level, including Director, Client Service and Strategic Integration(2011-2013) and Director General for Regional Trade Operations and Intergovernmental Affairs (2013-15).
Ambassador Lebleu was appointed as Canada’s Ambassador to Chile in 2015.
Pierre AlarieCanadian Ambassador to Mexico
Pierre Alarie (MA [Public Administration], College of Europe, Bruges, 1982) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1982. While in Ottawa, Mr. Alarie served as a trade desk officer with the European bureau. He served abroad as second secretary in Lagos, Nigeria and as first secretary in Santiago, Chile.
After his assignment in Chile, Mr. Alarie joined the private sector. Between 1991 and 1993, Mr. Alarie was Vice-President, Business development of Bombardier’s transportation group. In 1994 he became Vice-President, Business development, for SNC-Lavalin International in Mexico City. Subsequently, Mr. Alarie became the Managing Director, Latin America, for the real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec. In 1998, he joined the Bank of Nova Scotia as Country Representative in Mexico City, a position he held until 2004.
In 2004 and 2005, Mr. Alarie was Director, Mergers and acquisitions, with Hydro-Québec International. He then acted as Adviser for the Mergers and acquisitions team of Brookfield Renewable Energy Group and worked out of both Montréal and Santiago, Chile. From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Alarie was Vice-President of Mergers and acquisitions with National Bank Financial in Montréal. In 2009, Mr. Alarie became Vice-President, Business development and sales, with the Canadian Commercial Corporation in Ottawa.