Lillian Thomsen
Lillian Thomsen
Senior Fellow

FSS 6074
613-562-5800 ext. 4056


Lillian Thomsen retired from Canada’s public service in 2016 as Director General and Dean of the Canadian Foreign Service Institute. She served abroad in Warsaw (Poland), in Moscow and as Consul General of Canada in Saint Petersburg (Russia), at the Canadian delegation to the United Nations, and at the Canadian High Commission in London. In Ottawa, at Global Affairs Canada, she held a number of positions, including Director of Media Relations, Corporate Secretary and Director General of Executive Services. Lillian has been actively engaged in the community with a focus on education and health, including mental health issues, serving on various boards and as an active volunteer. She completed a maximum nine years on the Board of Governors of The Ottawa Hospital in 2019, including two terms as Vice-Chair. She is the Editor-in-Chief of “bout de papier”, the Canadian Foreign Service’s magazine. She provides consulting and coaching services in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Lillian graduated from the University of Toronto with a double honours B.A. in History and Economics. She was also a performance student in piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music.


  • Policy development
  • Public management
  • Communications
  • Strategic planning
  • Advanced adult education
  • Russia and the former Soviet Union