A Career diplomat, Mr. Paul Heinbecker joined the Department of External Affairs in 1965, with postings abroad in Ankara and Stockholm, and in Paris with the Permanent Delegation of Canada to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); in Ottawa, he served, inter alia, as Director of the United States General Relations Division and as Chairman of the Policy Development Secretariat in External Affairs.
From 1985 to 1989, he was Minister in Washington. From 1989 to 1992, he served as Prime Minister Mulroney's Chief Foreign Policy Advisor and speech writer and as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Foreign and Defence Policy. In 1992, he was named Ambassador to Germany, where inter alia he promoted German investment in Canada. In 1996, he was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of Global and Security Policy, and Political Director in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Mr. Heinbecker led the interdepartmental task force on Kosovo and helped to negotiate the end of that war. He was also head of the delegation for the negotiation of the Climate Change Convention in Kyoto.
In the summer of 2000, Mr. Heinbecker was appointed Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations, where he was a leading advocate for the creation of the International Criminal Court and a proponent of compromise on Iraq.
Paul Heinbecker is the inaugural director of the Centre for Global Relations, at Wilfrid Laurier University and Senior Research Fellow at the independent research Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo.
Mr. Heinbecker received his Bachelor of Arts Degree (Honours) from Waterloo Lutheran University in 1965, and an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the same institution in 1993. He was Alumnus of the Year at WLU in 2003.
He is married to Aye Köymen; they have two daughters, Yasemin and Céline.