Canada and the Czech Republic have a longstanding and close relationship. My country has been built and shaped, historically, by immigration from Europe. Many of those immigrants were from former Czechoslovakia and today there are more than 100,000 Canadians of full or partial Czech descent. We continue to strengthen the enduring bond of values and principles – democracy, freedom and respect for the rights of every citizen – that our countries share. But Canada and the Czech Republic have more than a diplomatic bilateral and trade relationship. We are friends and partners in a vision of the future of our countries and also in a vision for the future of our global community. Perhaps, in today’s world, we need to remember this more than ever and ensure that we remain committed to building this common vision – together.
I am privileged to live in the city of Prague with its rich history reflected in the stunning architecture and beautiful surroundings. I am also privileged to represent Canada to the people and government of the Czech Republic and look forward to our work together.
Barbara C. Richardson (B.A. University of Alberta) has extensive travel and work experience outside Canada. Following graduation she spent two years working and touring the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand and then overland travel from Singapore to Nepal to London. On return to Canada she worked at the University of Calgary and then began her career in public service with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in Alberta and North West Territories. She joined the Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1988 and moved to Citizenship and Immigration Canada in 1992. While there she was head of Planning and Analysis for the newly created International Service Group and she also served at the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines and as the Director of the Access to Information and Privacy Division which processed the largest volume of requests in the federal government at that time. She re-joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1999. Since then she has served as the Political Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission in Kenya (accredited to Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia and Eritrea). She was also Canada’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and to the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UN-HABITAT). She was Canada’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh 2005-2008 and then Ambassador to Zimbabwe and Angola and High Commissioner to Botswana. Since return to Canada in 2011, she has been the Director General for Consular Operations, Director General for Mission Operations and Client Relations and Inspector General for Global Affairs. She was appointed Ambassador to the Czech Republic in October 2016.