Foreign Affairs Expert and Leader in Public Policy to be 2011/12 Ashley Fellow at Trent University


Distinguished Alumna Lucie Edwards to engage with students and the community

Wednesday, April 6, 2011, Peterborough

Trent University today announced that Trent alumna Lucie Edwards, a highly-respected former Canadian public servant in Foreign Affairs and current Balsillie Fellow in Global Governance at the University of Waterloo, will be the Ashley Fellow for 2011/12.

"I am thrilled to return to Trent as an Ashley fellow,” said Ms. Edwards. “I was an undergraduate at Trent when the Ashley Fellowship was launched, and I vividly remember how much I enjoyed meeting the very first Ashley fellow, Canadian poet Dennis Lee, in an informal college setting. It was very exciting to meet a real-live-poet. Working with Trent's beloved writer-in-residence, Margaret Laurence, he organized some memorable poetry slams on campus. I hope to follow in his footsteps, in engaging with campus student life, as well as with the academic community engaged in environmental studies and international development at Trent."

As Ashley fellow, Ms. Edwards will participate in a series of events and free public lectures that will benefit Trent students and the Greater Peterborough community in fall, 2011. Ms. Edwards will serve as a “diplomat in residence” supporting the Trent Global Living Community in Champlain College, which will be her primary student community while she is in residence. She plans to speak to several classes in Environmental Resource Science Studies, International Development Studies, Politics, and Economics.

Ms. Edwards will deliver the annual Ashley Lecture on “The Role of Science in Contemporary Public Policy-Making.” Other lecture topics being considered include “The Role of Science and Technology in Development,” and “Managing Global Change: The Transformation of the Profession of Diplomacy,” as it is practised in Canada and elsewhere.

One of Trent’s most distinguished alumni, Ms. Edwards led an outstanding career as a public servant for the Department of Foreign Affairs from the time she graduated from Trent University in 1976 to her retirement in 2009. Over the course of thirty-three years, she held several significant posts abroad, including high commissioner to India, high commissioner to South Africa, high commissioner to Kenya and permanent representative to the United Nations Environment Program. Ms. Edwards founded and led the Global Issues Bureau and served as assistant deputy minister for Corporate Services at Headquarters in Ottawa. Her last assignment was as chief strategist and head of the Office of Transformation, steering an ambitious program of organizational renewal and innovation in service delivery within Foreign Affairs.

Ms. Edwards received the Public Service Award of Excellence in 1995 for her humanitarian work during the genocide in Rwanda. She was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence from the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2009. Ms. Edwards has served as a consultant and adviser on rural development for a number of international organizations. She served as chair of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) from 1999 to 2003. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the African Centre for Insect Science (icipe). 

Ms. Edwards is currently conducting her Ph.D. research at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo. Her dissertation involves cutting-edge interdisciplinary research on the role of science and scientists in public policy-making, focusing on climate change, biodiversity and food security.

Ms. Edwards originally came to Trent on a prestigious Champlain Scholarship in 1973 and graduated in 1976 with an Honours B.A. in Economics and History.

“As an alumna, it feels great to be able to give back to Trent for all it has given me by spending some time as a scholar in residence at Champlain College," she said. During her three years at Trent Ms. Edwards was active in extra-curricular activities and spearheaded efforts that led to the creation of the Trent International Students Association (TISA) and the interdisciplinary B.A. in comparative development studies. She later earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. 

The Ashley Fellowship is funded by a bequest from the late Professor C.A. Ashley, long-time friend of Trent University and an enthusiastic proponent of the role that informal contacts of college life can play in the academic pursuits of the University. The Ashley fellows, therefore, are visiting scholars who reside at one of Trent's residential colleges for part of the year, delivering lectures and meeting with faculty and students.


For more information and to arrange an interview with Ms. Edwards or her nominator Professor David Morrison, please contact: Marilyn Burns, director, Marketing & Communications, 705-748-1011, ext. 6184,