Robert Fowler


A foreign policy advisor to prime ministers Trudeau, Turner and Mulroney, Fowler was Canada’s longest-serving ambassador to the United Nations.

During his 38-year career in Canada's public service, Bob Fowler was the foreign policy advisor to prime ministers Trudeau, Turner, and Mulroney; the deputy minister of national defence; Canada’s longest serving ambassador to the United Nations; the ambassador to Italy and the three Rome-based UN food agencies; sherpa for the Kananaskis G8 Summit; and the personal representative for Africa of prime ministers Chrétien, Martin, and Harper. An Officer of the Order of Canada, Mr. Fowler retired from the federal public service in the fall of 2006 and is now a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

In July 2008, the secretary general of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, appointed Mr. Fowler to be his special envoy for Niger, a country whose fragile development prospects continue to be threatened by an on-going insurrection in the northern Agadez region. While acquitting his UN mission, Mr. Fowler and his colleague, Louis Guay, were captured by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) on 14 December 2008. The two were held hostage in the Sahara Desert for 130 days.


  • December 7, 2012
    “A Season in Hell”, written by Robert R. Fowler, 2008 Trudeau mentor, is nominated for two awards. The author is one of the four finalists named for the BC National Awards for Canadian Non-Fiction and is part of the long list of 15 finalists for the 12th Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.
  • October 10, 2012
    2008 Trudeau mentor Robert Fowler will give a lecture entitled "Sleeping with Al-Qaeda" on 11 October 2012 at 7 p.m. at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. Mr. Fowler is a former foreign policy advisor and Canadian ambassador to the United Nations. He has also been a special envoy of the secretary general of the United Nations. While acquitting his UN mission, Mr.
  • January 4, 2012
    On December 30, the Governor General of Canada announced his new appointments to the Order of Canada. The Trudeau Mentors James Bartleman (2009) and Robert Fowler (2008) were appointed Officers of the Order of Canada and Trudeau Mentor Margaret Bloodworth (2011) and Trudeau Foundation Board Member Sean E. Riley were appointed Members of the Order of Canada.