Sunquist to receive Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted: September 20, 2013 1:45 p.m.

Ken Sunquist, 2013 recipient of the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award
Ken Sunquist, 2013 recipient of the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award Photo: U of R Photography

Ken Sunquist decided he wanted a career in public service when he was just a second-year student at Regina Campus in the 1960s and he never looked back.

After graduating from the Regina campus of the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Administration degree in 1970, Sunquist worked as assistant clerk to the Executive Council of the Government of Saskatchewan and executive assistant to the premier.

He moved to the federal civil service in 1973 and has held a series of positions of increasing responsibility, both in Ottawa and overseas, culminating in his service as assistant deputy minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Asia and Africa) and chief trade commissioner for Canada.

Sunquist is the 2013 recipient of the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes an individual for a lifetime of achievement, for giving back to society on a regional, national or international basis and for being recognized as a leader in his or her field.

Sunquist began as a foreign service officer and over his career had postings in Jamaica, Yugoslavia, the United States, Korea, China and Indonesia.

During his assignment in China in the 1990s, he was called on to serve as acting ambassador, and was subsequently appointed ambassador to Indonesia from 1998 to 2001.

Sunquist became director general of the Trade Commissioner Service in 2001, and two years later was appointed an assistant deputy minister in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the chief trade commissioner for Canada. He served as assistant deputy minister for Asia and Africa, Global Operations, World Markets and International Business.

Sunquist says it has given him great satisfaction to represent Canada. The skill with which he has served has earned him a number of awards, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Award of Excellence for Policy, the Public Services of Canada Award for Excellence in Management, the Public Service of Canada Award for Excellence in Policy and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Sunquist retired from the public service in 2011 but continues to work as a business advisor and management consultant with governments, universities and businesses.

He continues to support the University of Regina by engaging international students, and through his senior level connections in business and government.

Among his current volunteer commitments Sunquist serves as a board member of CARE Canada, Canada's largest development and humanitarian relief non-governmental organization, where his knowledge of international affairs and his commitment to assisting those in poverty has been welcomed.

Sunquist will be one of five distinguished alumni recognized at the ninth Annual Alumni Crowning Achievement Awards Gala on September 20.