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Award honours Karen Bongard’s work in Kabul

Karen Bongard

Karen Bongard

At Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, council will review a Civic Recognition Nomination honouring the career of the County’s Karen Bongard, a Foreign Service Officer with the Government of Canada.

Bongard, was the recipient of a 2016 Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) Award in recognition of exceptional achievement over the course of her posting in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2014 to 2016 as the Mission Security Sector Specialist.

“For more than half a quarter century, the Canadian Foreign Service Officer Awards have celebrated the work of Canada’s trade, immigration and foreign affairs officers and helped to build awareness about the challenges and rewards of the profession,” said Timothy Hodges, PAFSO president.

The award, was presented in June, in Bongard's absence, to her mother, Berna Anderson, shown here at the ceremony with Stephane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The award, was presented in June, in Bongard’s absence, to her mother, Berna Anderson, shown here at the ceremony with Stephane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Bongard, working in a male dominated sector, earned the admiration of her colleagues, peers and local and international partners for exemplary work during Canada’s term as co-chair of the influential Afghanistan Oversight and Coordination Board. This involved keeping five Afghan Ministries, four multilateral bodies and dozens of donor countries informed; co-ordinating the drafting of complex technical documents and negotiating to achieve consensus.

At the awards ceremony it was noted a US General described her performance as “nothing short of phenomenal” while an Afghan General praised her diplomatic skill and advocacy for women in the security sector.

Bongard was nominated for the County’s Civic Recognition Award by her sister, Anne VanVlack. Upon approval, the award would be presented at a later date.

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  1. Steve Staniek says:

    As Canada returns to ethical governance under Trudeau, our official narrative will change. Instead of listening to US generals who invaded innocent Afghanistan, we really should be listening to the common people in Afghanistan who survived and endure the US takeover.
    We need to hear from the victims of US wars in order to understand what really took place there, and the impact that Canada made on long suffering Afghanistan. No western media has found the courage to interview the real people in Afghanistan outside the green zone, to learn what they really think about what we’ve done there for decades.
    I believe the new liberal government is free to take the ethical path because it was not radicalized by Washington’s war agenda, and it’s re-examining our role in US wars which ignited and continue to feed the insane global violence we see today.

  2. Hildagard says:

    It shouldn’t take anymore than a few seconds to approve this award for a local woman who has achieved so much!

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