Mr. Alan Kessel

Assistant Deputy Minister Legal Affairs and Legal Adviser

Alan Kessel is currently the Assistant Deputy Minister Legal Affairs and the Legal Adviser to the Department of Global Affairs and the Government of Canada. Between September 2013 and August 2017 he was the Deputy High Commissioner of Canada to the United Kingdom at the Canadian High Commission in London. Prior to this appointment Mr. Kessel served as the Legal Adviser at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development from 2005-2013 following a year as the Deputy Legal Adviser and Director General of the Bureau of Legal Affairs from September 2004 to November 2005.

Mr. Kessel has held numerous positions in the Legal Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development including that of the United Nations, Criminal and Treaty Law Division. He has spent a large part of his career negotiating bilateral and multilateral instruments ranging from extradition treaties to the establishment of international criminal justice systems to prosecute perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. As Head of Delegation, Mr. Kessel has promoted Canadian interests before United Nations bodies and has represented government views at Parliamentary and Senate Committees.

His postings abroad have included the Canadian Embassy in Sweden (1985-1987), the Canadian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland (1990-1994) and the Canadian High Commission in London (2000-2004) and (2013-2017).

Mr. Kessel received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo in 1976 and his law degree in 1979 from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1981. After several years in private practice in corporate and commercial law in Toronto, he joined the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1983.