Alward was premier from 2010 to 2014 before his Progressive Conservative party was defeated by the Liberals.
He was first elected to the legislature in 1999 for the riding of Woodstock and served as the minister of agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture in a previous Conservative government.
Before entering politics, he worked with the federal government from 1982 until 1996 with the Canada Revenue Agency and later with Human Resource Development Canada.
Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson announced the appointment Friday.
Alward replaces Pat Binns, who is a former premier of Prince Edward Island.
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