Over the years one of the most common requests for information about Global Affairs Canada has been to identify those who have served as heads of Canadian diplomatic missions abroad and their dates of service. Therefore, the Department's Historical Section created a ‘Heads of Posts’ list, later transformed into a database, for use as a reference guide by employees and by those in the academic community and the general public who have an interest in Canada's international relations.
- The current full name of a country has been provided whenever possible.
- Head of Mission
- The full name of the representative has been provided whenever possible.
- Career officers (C) include not only those from the current Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, but also from other federal government departments, as they existed historically. Other appointments, including political appointments, are listed as non-career (NC).
- See the list of abbreviations.
- Appointment date
- In most cases, the date of appointment refers to the date of issue of the Order-in-Council announcing the chosen representative. The Order-in-Council is issued only after the government of the country of accreditation has officially agreed to receive the nominee. If the post did not advise headquarters of the country's agrément, the date of the presentation of credentials may precede the formal date of appointment as indicated on the Order-in-Council.
- Presentation of credentials date
- This indicates when the Ambassador submitted the Letters of Credence to the official representative (normally the head of state) of the host country, or, in the case of Commonwealth Realms, when the High Commissioner submitted the Letter of Introduction to the head of government.
- Termination of mission date
- This refers to the actual date that the representative left the post. Unfortunately, these records are incomplete. In the case of chargés d'affaires, this date is when the new ambassador officially assumed their duties or when another chargé took over. This is also true for acting high commissioners and others in a temporary capacity. Generally, only those who acted in this way for six months or longer were included.
- The list does not include consuls general, consuls, and other representatives of that nature stationed outside of capital cities. Blank entries or zeroes in date fields indicate the lack of complete records. To see additional notes, please click on the book icon. An X beside the icon indicates that there is a note.