The 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada


Past Recipients

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2014 Outstanding Achievement Award Program Booklet

The Outstanding Achievement
Award of the Public Service
of Canada
Rideau Hall

The Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) is distinct from other awards as it is the Prime Minister's Award and accords the highest expression of recognition for senior leaders in the Public Service of Canada. Introduced in 1966, the OAA recognizes the sustained and outstanding performance of career public servants occupying full-time positions at the executive or deputy minister level or equivalent. It is a celebration of achievement and a symbol of public service pride and excellence.

Selection Committee

The OAA Selection Committee is appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada to review nominations and provide its recommendations to him. The Committee is comprised of distinguished Canadians and a representative from the Prime Minister's Office.

  • L. Denis Desautels - Chairman
  • Howard Anglin
  • Peter MacKinnon
  • The Honourable Larry Smith
  • Kay Stanley
  • Barbara Stymiest

Recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada

Ian Burney
Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

Photo of Ian Burney Throughout his distinguished career, Ian Burney has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to advancing Canada's international interests and its economic prosperity. His leadership, negotiating skills and credibility within Canada's business community have been instrumental in shaping and advancing the most ambitious and wide-ranging trade negotiations agenda in Canadian history.

With a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from McGill University and a Master of Arts in international affairs from the University of Toronto, Mr. Burney joined the then-Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1987. Following a number of positions at headquarters, overseas diplomatic assignments and a secondment to the Privy Council Office, Mr. Burney was elevated to the executive level in 1999. He has since moved through increasingly senior positions in the fields of international trade and commerce, establishing himself as a trade policy expert and first-class negotiator and manager.

As director general of the Bilateral and Regional Trade Policy Bureau from 2004 to 2006, he set the stage for the paradigm shift in Canadian trade policy that would follow. Canada's negotiating agenda at that time was focused largely on the World Trade Organization and a handful of small bilateral partners. Recognizing the risks to Canadian interests posed by the delay in concluding multilateral negotiations while other nations pursued preferential market access deals amongst themselves, Mr. Burney set about to shift the focus of Canadian trade policy to the bilateral and regional arena. He was appointed chief negotiator (Bilateral and Regional) in 2006, and played a direct role in anchoring this new direction in Canadian trade policy in the context of the Government's 2007 Global Commerce Strategy, which in turn became an integral element of the broader Economic Action Plan.

As assistant deputy minister of the International Business Development, Investment and Innovation Branch from 2009-2011, and of the Trade Agreements and Negotiations Branch since 2011, Mr. Burney has been a driving force in the implementation of the Government's trade agenda at the helm of both major business lines in the trade portfolio.

Under Mr. Burney's leadership, Canada's trade negotiators have concluded and implemented free trade agreements with 10 countries in the past six years. Since 2011, when Mr. Burney assumed his current role, his branch has concluded more than a dozen new Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion agreements, including the agreement with China that entered into force in October 2014, as well as 30 new or expanded air transport agreements. Mr. Burney also played an important management role in supporting the negotiations for the historic Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union, and was a key player in the successful campaign to secure Canada's participation in the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

Among Mr. Burney's most significant achievements is the role he played as chief negotiator for the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement negotiations from their outset in 2005. His tireless efforts and perseverance throughout this challenging process ultimately resulted in the successful conclusion of this agreement, announced by Prime Minister Harper and President Park in March 2014. This landmark agreement—Canada's first in the Asia-Pacific region—entered into force on January 1, 2015, and is expected to increase Canada's GDP by close to $2 billion annually. As well, it has strengthened Canada's position in other ongoing negotiations including the Economic Partnership Agreement initiative with Japan, for which Mr. Burney also serves as chief negotiator.

Mr. Burney exemplifies the attributes of an outstanding leader. He is results-oriented, and has earned the trust and respect of private sector stakeholders, colleagues at all levels of government, and counterparts in foreign governments. Collectively, the numerous trade initiatives negotiated under Mr. Burney's watch will have a significant positive impact on the Canadian economy, and represent a lasting legacy of his efforts to advance Canadian interests abroad.