While her duties will be multifaceted, Quebec’s new delegate to the Southeast U.S. comes to Atlanta with a strong business pedigree that should come in handy in a region that already enjoys deep commercial connections with her province.
Isabelle Dessureault joined the Quebec government’s foreign ministry more than four years ago after a 25-year business career that included 15 years in executive roles at some of Quebec’s largest companies, from telecommunications giant Videotron to real estate firm Groupe Selection.
Ms. Dessureault has also served as an angel investor and startup mentor in India, roles that should serve her well in Atlanta, perhaps the best established of a constellation of growing innovation hubs around the Southeast.
She plans to make use of these networks to capitalize on momentum that has already deepened connections in target industries, she told Global Atlanta in an emailed statement.
“My thorough knowledge of our economic sectors, our priorities and our ambitions will lead me, I believe, to maximize key and promising partnerships between our respective ecosystems with Georgia and Florida as well as the other states in the Southeast, particularly in sustainable mobility, smart cities and circular economy,” she said.
Appointed in August, Ms. Dessureault took up her post officially Sept. 1, replacing David Weiner, whose early career in pharmaceuticals also prepared him for a 30-year career advancing Canada’s economic diplomacy as a senior trade commissioner for Global Affairs Canada.
Mr. Weiner moved from Canadian Consulate General in Atlanta to the city’s Quebec office in 2021. He left in August to become regional vice president of Export Development Canada in Dallas.
As one of his final acts, Mr. Weiner helped shepherd the Atlanta Regional Commission’s LINK trip to Montreal, where more than 120 civic leaders compared notes their counterparts on issues like transportation planning, sustainability and equitable growth.
Ms. Dessureault thanked Mr. Weiner for his work to advance Quebec’s interests in the region and here in Georgia, where the province has particularly strong ties.
Georgia and Quebec are interlinked through the Regional Leaders Summit, a multinational group of state-level governments that come together to discuss best practices. They were also the joint founders of the SEUS-Canadian Provinces Alliance, which held its most recent conference in Newfoundland and Labrador in July. Georgia’s trade and investment office for Canada is also based in Montreal.
On the commercial side, companies like fintech giant Nuvei and medical mask manufacturer Medicom have significant operations in Georgia, with companies like YKK, East West Manufacturing and many others from the state boasting factories in Quebec.
Montreal is an undisputed aerospace magnet, with many links to a sector that also constitutes Georgia’s largest export category.
New collaborations are being explored in electric mobility, life sciences, construction (aluminum is a huge export product for Quebec), film and video games, and beyond.
Quebec’s exports to the seven-state Southeast region (plus U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, also in the Atlanta office’s jurisdiction) total more than CA$10 billion (about $7.3 billion).
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Quebec office, which opened its doors in Atlanta in 1978.
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.