Canada dispatches digital diplomacy devotee to Caracas

by Peter Mazereeuw, Embassy, 03/05/2014

Ottawa’s top digital diplomat is going to represent Canada in Venezuela.

Ben Rowswell was officially appointed ambassador to Venezuela on Feb. 28, just less than two months after massive protests began across the country and a few weeks after reports of protesters killed by Venezuelan authorities began to mount.

Mr. Rowswell is one of Canada’s leading practitioners of digital diplomacy: he oversaw a pilot project last year on direct diplomacy for the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development where he helped to establish a communications platform for Iranians and Iranian emigrants to communicate with each other, and occasionally the Canadian government, beyond the reach of that country’s censors.