Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) is pleased to announce that Ambassador Judith LaRocque is the 2012 recipient of its alumni award for distinctive contributions to the public sector.

This award is named after James (Joe) Bissett who, in 1956, became one of the first students to graduate from Carleton University with a master of arts in public administration. He went on to a long and distinguished career in public service in both Canadian and international contexts.

In granting the award, the director of SPPA, Susan Phillips, said: “Throughout her career, Judith LaRocque has taken on a wide range of challenging new assignments and roles, and has consistently delivered on each. She is a respected and powerful woman both at home and internationally, and is a fantastic role model for all Carleton University graduates.”

Ms. LaRocque has broad and varied experience in government. She started her career in 1979 with the Public Service Commission of Canada, and worked as a procedural officer at the House of Commons from 1982 to 1984. She has occupied the position of executive assistant to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and chief of staff to the Government Leader in the Senate and the Minister of State for Federal-Provincial Relations.

From 1990 to March 2000 she was named Secretary to the Governor General serving three consecutive Governors General.

Ms. LaRocque became Associate Deputy Minister of the Department of Canadian Heritage in 2000 and was appointed Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage in 2002. Canadian Heritage is the department of the Government of Canada with responsibility for policies and programs regarding the arts, cultural industries, media, communications networks, intellectual property, official languages, status of women, sports and heritage.

Ms. LaRocque is presently serving as Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation in Paris, France.

Ms. LaRocque received a Master of Arts in Public Administration and an Honours B.A. in Political Science from Carleton University.

The Clerk of the Privy Council recognized Ms. LaRocque with the 2010 Public Service Award of Excellence for her outstanding contribution and personal commitment to public service, and for the coordination of the government’s efforts for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver.