CHRYSTIA Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Monday announced the appointment of foreign service officer Mia Yen as Consul General in Chandigarh, India, replacing Christopher Gibbins.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau it seems avoided choosing a prominent Indo-Canadian, as many South Asians in Canada might have been expected, as a political appointment to avoid any controversy especially after all the problems he encountered during his visit to India.
Yen earned her Bachelor’s in History, French and Politics from Simon Fraser University in 1994 and her MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) from University of Western Ontario in 1999. She joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade as a foreign service officer in 2001.
At Headquarters, her assignments have included serving as departmental spokesperson, adviser to the deputy minister of international trade, deputy director in the office of the deputy minister of foreign affairs, head of a team responsible for South Asia bilateral commercial relations and senior policy adviser to Canada’s chief trade commissioner.
In 2009, Yen was seconded to the Privy Council Office, where she served as director of operations of the Afghanistan Task Force and then chief of staff to its deputy minister.
Overseas, Yen has served as legislative analyst at the embassy in Washington, D.C., and trade commissioner in Kuala Lumpur.
In 2012, Yen began serving in Myanmar, where she was tasked with setting up Canada’s new embassy in the country. She was Canada’s first-ever resident chargé d’affaires there before becoming senior trade commissioner and head of mission administration.
In 2016, she returned to Ottawa as director general responsible for Canada’s foreign service directives. Yen was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and is a recipient of the Head of the Public Service (Excellence in Service Delivery) Award.