Bissett Alumni Award for Distinctive Contributions to the Public Sector

With decades of experience educating public servants, the School’s alumni have progressed into diverse positions in the federal, provincial and municipal governments, the private sector, consulting and beyond.

Joe Bissett - Alumni Reception 2019

Joe Bissett – Alumni Reception 2019

We celebrate our alumni through the Bissett Alumni Award, named in recognition of the contributions to public service of an alumnus of the School of Public Policy and Administration, James (Joe) Bissett. In 1956, Mr. Bissett became one of the first students to graduate from Carleton with a Master of Arts in Public Administration. Joining our earlier graduates from the Diploma in Public Administration, he became part of tradition of dedicated public service that is continued by more than 3000 alumni. James Bissett has had a long and distinguished career in public service in both the Canadian and International contexts, thereby reflecting both the Canadian and International dimensions of our program.

Mr. Bissett spent 36 years as a public servant in the Department of Citizenship and immigration and Foreign Affairs. He was appointed head of the Immigration Foreign Service in 1974 and became Assistant Under-Secretary of State for Social Affairs in 1980. In the 1970s he served at the Canadian High Commission in London England and later as Canadian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago. He returned to Canada in the 1980s where he helped to steer new immigration and refugee legislation through Parliament. In 1990 he was appointed Canadian Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania. After leaving the Foreign Service, he accepted a position in Moscow as the head of an International organization helping the Russian Federation establish a new Immigration Ministry and designing and implementing settlement programs. He returned from Moscow in 1997 and is enjoying retirement in Ottawa by continuing to be active as a writer and commentator on public affairs.

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