Speaker Date Topic
Richard Bruneau May 10, 2021 7:00 PM
Life in the Diplomatic Service
Life in the Diplomatic Service

Diplomat, development worker, farmer, entrepreneur

Richard Bruneau's desire to make a difference has taken him around the world and brought him home again. His efforts to make the world a better place have evolved as a result of his commitment to lifelong learning.

Richard grew up in Camrose, so Augustana was the logical choice when it came time to pursue post-secondary studies. In his fourth year, Richard participated in the Rural Development Exchange Program in Mexico, and it changed the course of his life. He learned about the complexities of development work and issues of social justice, and these fostered his desire to improve people's lives.

Richard added a minor in rural and community development to his degree and, after graduation, he worked with Canada World Youth in Bolivia, Uruguay, Guatemala, and Western Canada. Richard soon realized that although his work might impact individual people and local communities, addressing poverty and oppression required action at a macro level- changes in global systems and government policies. So Richard undertook a master's degree in international affairs at Carleton University. During his program, he did internships and research projects in community-based natural resource management, space weapons security, criminal intelligence, and arms control.

Afterwards, Richard joined the Canadian Foreign Service as a diplomat with the Afghanistan Task Force in Ottawa and Kabul. His second placement was with the Arms Control Division in Ottawa, which included some work at the UN in New York and Vienna.

After two years of Arabic training, his last assignment, as Counsellor for Canadian-Palestinian political relations in the West Bank and Gaza, saw Richard living in Jerusalem and dealing with everything from the peace process to human rights and trade.

In 2014, Richard was ready for a break from bureaucracy, and his wife was eager to pursue a long-held dream: to take over her family farm. While learning the ropes of a cow-calf operation, he has dabbled in teaching sociology and political science at Augustana, and decided in 2018 to open a bookstore and boardgame café with his brother-in-law in Camrose, called Fox & Fable, which he hopes will become an inclusive hub for the Camrose community.

Photo: Richard with President Abbas

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