Sanjeev Chowdhury



Consul General of Canada to Rio de Janeiro, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) Canada
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Mr. Chowdhury is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He went to Saint Mary’s University where he was student union president and graduated in 1989 (B. Comm, Magna Cum Laude). In 1991, Mr. Chowdhury graduated from the American Graduate School of International Management (MBA, With Distinction) where he was named top graduate.

In 1995, Mr. Chowdhury joined the Canadian Foreign Service. He served abroad in Mumbai, India as Vice-Consul and Assistant Trade Commissioner (1997-2000) and in Ottawa held a number of positions including Press Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director of Operations to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

In 2003, Mr. Chowdhury was named Consul General of Canada to Ho Chi Minh City for a three year term.

During his time in Vietnam, Mr. Chowdhury was sent on a temporary assignment for three months as Canada’s Acting High Commissioner to Sri Lanka (with concurrent accreditation to the Maldives) from November 2005 to February 2006 and also returned to Mumbai as Acting Consul General for a month in January, 2005 to oversee the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister to that city.

In recognition of his work while Consul General, Mr. Chowdhury became the first foreign diplomat in Vietnam to be awarded three prestigious medals in one year by Vietnamese authorities (UNESCO Medal–Oct 2005, Ho Chi Minh City Insignia Medal-Apr 2006, and the Peace and Friendship Medal Between Nations-June 2006). He also raised thousands of dollars for charity (Agent Orange affected children) and, in recognition of his fund-raising capability, a new physiotherapy wing in Ho Chi Minh City for children suffering from deformities as a result of Agent Orange was named the “Sanjeev Chowdhury Physiotherapy Centre” by Vietnamese officials prior to his departure from that country in July, 2006.

Mr. Chowdhury’s efforts did not go unrecognised back home, either. In June, 2006, Mr. Chowdhury was chosen to receive Canada’s “2006 Foreign Service Officer Award” by the Canadian Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO). The Awards were instituted in 1990 by PAFSO as a means of providing peer recognition of exceptional achievement by career Foreign Service Officers.
Mr. Chowdhury received the award at a gala dinner at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on June 15, 2006 as a result of his outstanding efforts in representing and promoting Canada in Vietnam as Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City.

Mr. Chowdhury was also appointed to the National Honourary Board of Directors of Theatre Halifax and was named an “Outstanding Nova Scotian” by the same group in 2005.

In August, 2006, upon completion of his term as Canada’s Consul General in Vietnam, Mr. Chowdhury was appointed Deputy Chief of Protocol and Director, Diplomatic Corps Services at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, a post he held for 7 months before being transferred to the DFAIT Afghanistan Task Force where he served as Director of Bilateral Relations and Inter-Departmental Co-ordination for another 7 months.

On October 19, 2007, the Prime Minister appointed 5 eminent Canadians (Hon. John Manley, Hon. Pamela Wallin, Hon. Jake Epp, Hon. Paul Tellier, and Mr. Derek Burney) to serve on the “Independent Panel on Canada’s Future Role in Afghanistan” and report to him by January, 2008. Mr. Chowdhury was appointed Director of Operations to this Panel. In January, 2008 when the report was delivered to the Prime Minister, Mr. Chowdhury was appointed Director, Operations, to the newly formed Privy Council Office Afghanistan Task Force, an entity arising from the recommendations of the Manley Panel.

In May, 2009, after completing his assignment with the Afghanistan Task Force at the Privy Council Office, Mr. Chowdhury returned to DFAIT as Director General, Summits Management Office. In this role, Mr. Chowdhury was responsible for organising the June, 2010 G8 and G20 Summits in Ontario.

On August 15, 2011, Mr. Chowdhury was appointed Consul General of Canada to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Upon his arrival in Rio, Mr. Chowdhury initiated many new events for Canadians and Friends of Canada generating such activity that he was named one of the Rio Times’ newspapers “Top 10 Foreigners to make an impact in Rio in 2011”.