Michael Shenstone

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Michael Shenstone

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Michael Shenstone, CM, was a Canadian diplomat. He was born June 25th, 1928 in Toronto to parents Allen and Molly Shenstone. Raised in Princeton, New Jersey, Shenstone moved back to Canada to attend secondary school at Ashbury College in Ottawa. In 1949, he graduated from Trinity College with a degree in modern languages and history. He later received an MA from Cambridge University.

Shenstone joined the Department of External Affairs in 1952, and worked extensively in the Middle East. In 1972, he was appointed Ambassador to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. From 1974-1976, Shenstone served as the first resident Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. In the late 1970s, he was the Director-General of African and Middle Eastern Affairs, under Prime Minister Joe Clark. And Secretary of State for External Affairs Flora MacDonald. While there, Shenstone was involved in the Canadian Caper: the exfiltration of six American diplomats out of Iran during the Iranian Hostage Crisis. Shenstone kept in close contact with Ken Taylor, the Canadian Ambassador to Iran, who directly oversaw the shelter of the house guests.

In the early 1980s, Shenstone was the Assistant Deputy Minister of Political and International Security Affairs. From 1985-1990, he served as the Canadian Ambassador to Austria. He formally retired from the Department of External Affairs in 1992. In 2002, he was awarded Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his diplomatic service.

Shenstone married Susan Burgess, whom he met while studying at Trinity College, in 1951. They had three children: Thomas, Barbara, and Mary. Michael Shenstone passed away on September 9th 2019 in Toronto, and is survived by his wife and children.



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  • English



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