Summary: Robert Fowler, LL.D
In the course of 38 years of public service, Robert (Bob) Fowler spent a dozen years in
the Department of External Affairs, serving in Paris, at the United Nations, and at
Headquarters in Ottawa, before being transferred to the Privy Council Office where he
was the Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Ministers Trudeau, Turner, and Mulroney from
1980 to 1986.
Mr. Fowler was Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy) at the Department of National
Defence from 1986 to 1989, during which time he produced three White Papers on
Canadian Defence Policy, and served as Deputy Minister of National Defence from 1989
to 1995. In this capacity he was responsible for 35,000 civilian employees, the
administrative, materiel, and support needs of 90,000 members of the Canadian Forces,
a budget of $13 billion (CDN), and for the elaboration of defence policy.
In January of 1995, Mr. Fowler became Canada's longest serving Ambassador to the
United Nations (1995 - 2000), where he represented Canada on the Security Council in
1999 and 2000. As Chair of the Angolan Sanctions Committee, he issued two ground-
breaking reports which, by putting an end to the impunity of sanctions busters and
severely limiting the rebels' access to diamond markets and the arms bazaar, led to the
end of the civil war that had ravaged Angola for 25 years.
From 2000 to 2006, Mr. Fowler was Canadian Ambassador to Italy, Albania, San
Marino, the three Rome-based UN Food Agencies, and High Commissioner to Malta.