The Canadian Olympic Committee has firmed up its political connection, taking the former mouthpiece of Prime Minister Stephen Harper as the COC spokesman.
Dimitri Soudas, who has been Harper's director of communications and key advisor on Quebec issues, has been named the COC's executive director of communications, the Olympic franchise holder said.
Soudas will be based in the COC's Toronto office. As chief of COC communications and COC spokeman at the Olympic Games, Soudas wiill report to chief marketing officer, Derek Kent. The move will strengthen any future Olympic Games bid – a potential Toronto bid for a Summer Olympics if the 2015 Pan American Games is a success, and a potential Quebec City Winter Olympic bid.
"Dimitri's background in government and understanding of global affairs, makes him an outstanding addition to our executive leadership team," said Chris Overholt, COC chief executive officer. Soudas has been in communications, marketing, advertising, public opinion research and media relations for a decade.
A fluently bilingual Montrealer, Soudas can bridge governmental, sports and corporate spheres. Soudas's headquarters will be COC Toronto office, but he will also work from the Montreal and Ottawa offices to ensure national connections.
"I am extremely proud to join this great Canadian organization at such an exciting time in the lead-up to the London Olympic Games in 2012," said Soudas.
Soudas, who moved to Ottawa in 2002, joined Harper's government in 2006, initially as press secretary. He was promoted to director of communications in spring 2010. He speaks English, French, Greek and Spanish.