Top Canadian diplomat joins UBC to advance teaching, research of Asian-Canada relations

One of Canada’s top diplomats will join the University of British Columbia’s Institute of Asian Research (IAR) as Honorary Research Associate, effective July 2, 2010.

An expert in Canadian diplomacy, Canada-Asia relations and international economic affairs, Joseph Caron joins UBC after a distinguished 40-year career in public service.

Caron is the only diplomat to hold Canada’s three most important ambassadorships in Asia: Ambassador to China, Ambassador to Japan, and most recently, High Commissioner to the Republic of India. He has also previously been responsible for coordinating Canada’s activities at major international summits, such as the G8.

At UBC, Caron will play active roles in teaching and research, including lecturing and mentoring students in IAR’s Master’s program.

“Caron is widely regarded as the leading diplomat of his generation,” says Prof. Paul Evans, Director of UBC’s Institute of Asian Research. “Through his extensive experience managing sensitive bilateral political relationships and interpreting regional dynamics, he will make major contributions to the Institute, the University and the country.”

Learn more about the Institute of Asian Research, a leader in research and teaching that combines interdisciplinary perspectives with deep knowledge of Asia to contribute to policy issues and public understanding, at

Editors: Prof. Paul Evans is available for comment by appointment. Joseph Caron is unavailable for comment until mid-July.


Born in 1947 and raised in Pain Court in South-western Ontario, Joseph Caron is bilingual in French and English, fluent in Japanese and has learned some Chinese and Hindi.

Caron joined the Trade Commissioner Service in 1972, and served in Saigon and Ankara. In 1975, he began Japanese language studies, and subsequently served three times at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, including as Minister and Head of Chancery. During the 1980s, he undertook private-sector assignments involving China, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan.

In Ottawa, he has held several positions related to Asian and international economic affairs, including G8 summitry. In 1998, he became Assistant Deputy Minister for Asia Pacific and Africa, and served as Canada’s Senior Official for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Until 2005, Caron served as Canada’s Ambassador to China, with concurrent accreditation to North Korea and Mongolia. From 2005 to 2008, he was Canada’s Ambassador to Japan. In 2008, Caron was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Meiji Gakuin University.


In August 2008, Caron became High Commissioner to the Republic of India, with concurrent accreditation as Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and the Kingdom of Bhutan.

He is married to Kumru Caron and they have three children.


Prof. Paul Evans
Tel: 604.822.4686

Basil Waugh
UBC Public Affairs
Tel: 604.822.2048