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Previous Senior Fellow | Center for North American Studies

Right Honorable Joe Clark

Distinguished Statesman-in-Residence,
School of International Service
CNAS Senior Fellow

Right Honourable Joe Clark, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Canada, is the first Distinguished Statesman-in-Residence in the School of International Service and Senior Fellow in the Center for North American Studies, for the academic year beginning on September 1, 2004. Mr. Clark will teach courses in the Spring of 2005 and will work with AU's Center for North American Studies during the full academic year to develop programs and support for future conferences, lectures and fellows.

Joe Clark was Canada's sixteenth Prime Minister. He was first elected to the House of Commons representing Alberta in 1972; in 1976 at age 36, the Alberta Member of Parliament was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. Three years later, he defeated Pierre Trudeau to become the youngest Prime Minister in Canadian history. As Prime Minister, Mr. Clark established himself as one of the first fiscal conservatives of the modem era and his government distinguished itself for its commitment to openness and democracy, passing an historic freedom of information law that opened up government information to Canadians. As Minister of External Affairs between 1984 and 1991, Joe strengthened Canada's position as an articulate advocate for human rights and a committed proponent of liberalised trade around the world. He spearheaded the efforts of Commonwealth foreign ministers to end apartheid in South Africa, and worked to secure the release of political prisoners from the Soviet Union. One of the first leaders to recognise that Canada had to be prepared for the interdependent, global economy of the future, Mr. Clark helped to initiate both the Canada-US free trade agreement and the launch of the Uruguay Round/GATT negotiations. Other achievements include opening up an historically closed policymaking process to public input, introducing a new Asia-Pacific focus to foreign policy, and presiding over Canada's entry into the Organisation of American States and La Francophonie. In 1991, after his appointment as President of the Privy Council and Minister Responsible for Constitutional Affairs, Mr. Clark led a two-year process that produced the first unanimous agreement between leaders of Canada's provincial, territorial and First Nations groups.

Since 1993, Mr. Clark has been a visiting scholar in the Department of Canadian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, and was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Cyprus. He founded Joe Clark and Associates, a successful international business consulting firm, and now serves on the boards of several companies. He is chairman of SMG Canada, which operates trade and convention centres in North America, and of CANOP International Resource Ventures Inc., an Alberta-based oil and gas company seeking resource opportunities in Africa. Mr. Clark was re-elected as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada on November 14, 2002.