Leonard J. Edwards retired in 2010 after 41 years in Canada's Public Service. He was the prime minister's G-8 and G-20 sherpa (2008-2010), deputy minister of foreign affairs (2007-2010), deputy minister of agriculture and agri-food canada (2004-2007), and deputy minister of international trade (2001-2004). As a foreign service officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, he served as Canada's ambassador to Japan (1998-2001) and to Korea (1991-94) and was an assistant deputy minister for trade and economic policy and for the Asia Pacific. He organized the 1988 and 1995 economic summits and the 1987 Commonwealth heads of government meeting. He was Canada's senior official for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) from 1994-98, overseeing the preparations for the Vancouver APEC Summit in 1995. He has worked in the former Saigon, in Hanoi, and in Ankara, at Brussels/NATO, and in Geneva with Canada's mission to the United Nations.
Mr. Edwards is currently a strategic adviser at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, and a distinguished fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. He sits on the boards of directors of Accreditation Canada International and VIDO/Intervac at the University of Saskatchewan. In May 2013, he was appointed a distinguished fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), where he is leading research on enhancing security cooperation between Australia and Canada in the Asia-Pacific.
Mr. Edwards is from Melfort, Saskatchewan. He holds an MA in history from the University of Saskatchewan and is married to Margaret MacDonald from Kirkland Lake, Ontario. They have two children.