Louise Blais left Atlanta in 2017 after an active and visible stint as Canada’s consul general in Atlanta, only to take up an even more high-profile post as ambassador to the United Nations.
But even as she finished out her time in New York as a pandemic swept the world, she kept an eye on the Southeast U.S., where she’d spent three years.
Fresh off the ambassadorial role and five months out from her next diplomatic assignment, Ms. Blais saw that the Canadian consul general posting remained open after the departure of Nadia Theodore, who left the foreign service to join the Maple Leaf Foods last summer.
Ms. Blais asked her superiors at Global Affairs Canada for a chance to come back to Atlanta this month as consul general.
“They agreed because they knew I could hit the ground running already knowing the territory so well,” she said in an email to Global Atlanta.
The global perspective afforded by her time at the United Nations is already paying dividends in her local outreach, she said.
“I must say, being back is even better than the first time around. I find that I bring in a global lens to the relationship which is extremely helpful in all my interactions with elected officials and business leaders,” she said, noting that Georgia’s national profile has also been raised after its key role in last year’s elections and Senate runoff, which handed Democrats the presidency and control of Congress.
Global Atlanta plans an interview this week with Ms. Blais to gain more detail how her time away from Atlanta is informing her agenda for what she believes will be a busy five months. In the meantime, read this story from a 2017 Global Atlanta interview centering on one of her favorite topics: the role of women in diplomacy and entrepreneurship:
Deputy Consul General Kirk Duguid has served as acting consul general since Ms. Theodore’s departure. The consul general role will be filled with a more permanent representative during the next regular rotation late this summer.
The Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia is the presenting sponsor of Global Atlanta's Diplomacy Channel. Subscribe here for monthly Diplomacy newsletters.