During his 38 year Public Service career, Bob Fowler was the Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Ministers Trudeau, Turner and Mulroney, Deputy Minister of National Defence, Canada’s longest serving Ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador to Italy and the 3 Rome-Based UN Food Agencies, Sherpa for the Kananaskis G8 Summit (chairing the creation of the Africa Action Plan, which laid a new foundation for the G8’s relationship with Africa) and was the Personal Representative for Africa of Prime Ministers Chrétien, Martin and Harper. In 2005 he chaired Prime Minister Martin’s Special Advisory Team on Sudan. Mr. Fowler retired in the fall of 2006, and is a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
In July 2008, the UN Secretary General appointed Mr. Fowler to be his Special Envoy to Niger. In December 2008, Mr. Fowler and his colleague Louis Guay were kidnapped by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. In November 2011 HarperCollins (Canada) published his account of that experience entitled, “A Season in Hell: My 130 days in the Sahara with Al Qaeda.”
Mr. Fowler was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Ottawa in 2010 and from Queen’s in 2011. In November 2011, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.
He is married to Mary, and they have four daughters and six grandchildren.