Karen Matthias has been officially recognized by the Government of Canada upon her appointment as Honorary Consul of Canada in Alaska.
Acting Consul General Edith St-Hilaire, Canada’s top diplomat in the Pacific Northwest, presented Ms. Matthias with her accreditation and expressed her appreciation for Karen’s continuing service to Canada.
“I am honored to be Canada’s senior diplomatic representative to Alaska, and I have the great fortune to be assisted by an incredibly capable partner, Karen Matthias,” says Consul General St-Hilaire.
Originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Karen Matthias is an Anchorage-based consultant who provides advocacy and advice to clients in resource development and transportation.
A Canadian diplomat for sixteen years, Ms. Matthias came to Anchorage in 2004 to open Canada’s first consulate in Alaska. During her five years as the Canadian Consul, she worked with Alaskans to strengthen Canada-U.S. relations, specifically on Arctic issues, NORAD, border security, and responsible resource development. She traveled extensively in the state, connecting with government and elected officials, Alaskan Native leaders, businesspeople, academics, and journalists.
Ms. Matthias is active in a number of business and civic organizations, serving as a board member of the Alaska Resource Development Council, the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, and the Institute of the North, and as a member of the University of Alaska Anchorage Tower Endowment for Canadian Studies Committee. She is active in Anchorage Rotary and chaired the Steering Committee of the Anchorage Imagination Library from 2011-2013. The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Journal of Commerce named Ms. Matthias one of Alaska’s Top 40 Under Forty in 2009.
Ms. Matthias will serve as Honorary Consul for a three-year term. Ms. Matthias’ appointment is an “Order in Council,” made by Canada’s Governor General, David Johnston, as the Canadian representative of Queen Elizabeth II.
Canada has over one hundred Honorary Consuls throughout the world; we currently have 15 Honorary Consul positions in the United States. In most countries, the principal role of the Honorary Consul is consular. The Honorary Consul program in the United States, however, does not have a consular mandate, nor does the program provide for visa and immigration support, but is focused on enhancing the Government of Canada’s advocacy and business development efforts across the U.S.. Honorary Consuls also provide an important local and regional perspective on issues of interest to Canada.
Located in Seattle WA, Canada’s Consulate General works to promote trade and investment links, to engage citizens and decision-makers on matters of shared interest, and to assist Canadians living and traveling in the Pacific Northwest. The Consulate’s territory includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska, where 15,800 Alaska jobs depend on trade with Canada and 2,000 Alaskans are employed by Canadian-owned businesses. In 2012 the total Canada–Alaska goods trade was $1.1 billion.
Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service