Chris Alexander, the former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan, was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper today as Canada’s new Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. He is taking over from Jason Kenney, who has held the position since 2008.

Mr. Alexander is a career diplomat, with over 18 years of service. He is one of eight new cabinet members appointed by the Prime Minister today, July 15. Mr. Kenney will continue serving the administration as the newly appointed Minister of Employment and Social Development.

The cabinet changes were announced through Twitter, a popular social networking site. This is a first for the Canadian government, which previously made announcements by passing out portfolios before an official swearing-in ceremony.

Mr. Alexander takes his position at a time of transition for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Recent changes have seen a reworking of the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the country’s most popular permanent residency program. It has also recently seen the creation of a new Super Visa program for parent and grandparents as well as a first-of-its-kind Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa.