In Memoriam: Steven Nelson Lee

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Steven Nelson Lee who died on June 1, 2022, in Pays de la Loire, France. Born in Vancouver on June 9, 1953, he leaves his husband of many years, Ivan Buncak. Steve was predeceased by his parents George Howard Lee and Marion Iris Bombick and leaves his brother Frank, nieces Sara and Amy, and nephews Zak and Mali. He had a distinguished career that took him to many different parts of world. After completing studies at the University of British Columbia and the University of Auckland in New Zealand, he returned to Canada to work as a parliamentary assistant for the late Pauline Jewett.  He then served as foreign policy director for the New Democratic Party where he played a key role in drafting the legislation to create the Canadian Institute for International Peace Security, supported by Canada’s three major political parties. He was subsequently a fellow at the Institute before heading overseas to work for the OSCE in Bosnia. He was tapped by Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy in 1996 to serve as executive director of the Canadian Centre for Foreign Policy Development in the Department of Foreign Affairs, which had a mandate to engage citizens in foreign policy making. Steve went on to serve with the UN in Afghanistan, as senior advisor on governance for the UNDP in Tanzania, and chief advisor and leader of the European Union’s support for the parliament in Georgia. During his career he also provided strategic advice to parliaments in Fiji, Pakistan, Ghana and elsewhere.  In addition to serving on the board of the World Federalist Association, a volunteer for the United Nations Association of Canada, and parliamentary adviser to the World Refugee & Migration Council, he also taught and wrote a number of well-received articles and policy papers. He received the Comenius Medal from the President of Slovakia for his “contributions to education and democracy.” At the time of his death, Steve was trying to secure the safe passage of Afghans who had worked for the UN but remained trapped inside the country.