Tom MacDonald

Member of the Niagara College Board of Governors


Tom MacDonald

With a BA from Queen’s University and an MA from the University of Calgary, Tom joined the Canadian Government in 1974 and has served in a variety of positions, both in Ottawa and as a diplomat abroad. His foreign postings included Mexico City, Brussels, London, Buenos Aires, Sydney, and most recently Riyadh, as Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen.

His career has spanned several departments (Global Affairs Canada, the Department of Industry, and the Ministry of State for Economic and Regional Development). He served as director for GATT Affairs, deputy head of Canada’s Mission to the European Union in Brussels, director general for U.S. Trade and Economic Policy, Minister (commercial/economic) at  Canada’s High Commission to the UK in London, Canada’s alternate director to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and director general for Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. He has represented Canada in numerous bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations, including as Canada’s chief textile negotiator, a NAFTA negotiator, and lead negotiator for the 1996 Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement. From 2001 to 2004, he served as Ambassador to Argentina and Paraguay, and from 2007 to 2011, as Consul General in Sydney, Australia. Prior to his tenure as Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, he headed up the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Libya Task Force and also served briefly as chargé d’affaires in both Tripoli and Brunei.

Mr. MacDonald retired from the Canadian government in 2016 and resides in Ottawa. He is married to Susan and they have one son, Alexander.