Canada's top diplomatic post in Kandahar filled

A career diplomat was installed as the new representative of Canada in Kandahar during a ceremony Wednesday in Afghanistan.

Ben Rowswell was installed as the new representative of Canada in Kandahar at a ceremony Wednesday. ((CBC))

A career diplomat was installed as the new representative of Canada in Kandahar during a ceremony Wednesday in Afghanistan.

Ben Rowswell succeeds Ken Lewis, who had held the position since January 2009.

"Mr. Rowswell is assuming a very important role for Canada's engagement in Afghanistan, as Kandahar activities remain an area of priority for our mission in Afghanistan," Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said.

"His predecessor, Mr. Lewis, played an integral part in helping promote Canada's civilian-military integration in the province of Kandahar and in facilitating the dialogue between Afghans and Canadians in the field."  

Reporting to Canada's ambassador to Afghanistan, the representative in Kandahar serves as the principal negotiator with officials, international institutions, NGOs and military partners in the province. The representative provides strategic guidance to Canada's team of diplomats and development officers, as well as to police and corrections officials working in partnership with the Canadian Forces.

With 16 years of experience in the foreign service, Rowswell was most recently the deputy head of mission for Canadian Embassy in Kabul. Before that he was posted to Iraq and Somalia.

Rowswell is also a published author on issues of post-conflict reconstruction. In 2007, he co-edited the book Iraq: Preventing a New Generation of Conflict while he was a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.