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Derek leads the Microsoft’s team serving Canadian Defence and Public Safety clients in the Federal Government. Derek has spent 30 years in the industry both in uniform and as a consultant. He served in the British and Canadian Armies for 23 years in a variety of operational and strategic roles. He has led multinational and interagency teams that conducted counter terrorism, public order, framework policing and high impact arrest operations in several countries. He has led the whole of government response to multiple emergencies and disasters at the national level and was the Commander of Her Majesty the Queen’s Royal Guard in the UK. Derek has spent 6 years as a consultant focused on transformation execution supporting defence, policing, intelligence and border service agencies on their digital journeys.
Mr. Dufour is Director General, Innovation Branch at the Department of Natural Resources Canada. He is responsible to advance a departmental strategy to support innovation in the natural resource sectors and provide policy guidance on development and deployment of clean technologies. He leads the Clean Growth Hub – a whole-of-government focal point, composed of 17 departments and agencies, focused on providing front-line support to clean technology companies to navigate federal programming and clean tech regulations. Mr. Dufour is also responsible to develop international partnerships and in advancing international collaboration in clean technology R&D and innovation. He leads the management of the department’s intellectual property portfolio and services. Finally, he is the Head of the NRCan Digital Accelerator, looking at the application of innovative digital technologies to enhance the Department’s ability to conduct research and analysis, and provide evidence-based policy advice supported by advanced analytical techniques.
Prior to joining NRCan, Mr. Dufour was Director General for the Science Policy Branch at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) where he was responsible for the implementation of the government’s science and innovation agenda, and of managing the department’s engagement in multilateral and bilateral science, technology and innovation-related fora.
Mr. Dufour has also held a variety of positions Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and Statistics Canada. Prior to joining the Public Service, he worked as an Engineer in the private sector.
Mr. Dufour holds an MBA from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor degree in forest engineering from Laval University and the University of British Columbia.
Together with NRCan’s Chief Information Officer and Chief Science Advisor, Daniel works with data leaders across the department and the Government of Canada to help everyone continuously improve the use of data as a strategic asset for the achievement of Departmental priorities, including through the development and implementation of the Departmental data strategy.
Capt(N) Guillaume Lafrance was born in Quebec City. He embarked upon his Naval Officer career in 1989.
Following initial naval training on the West Coast, he was transferred to Nova Scotia where he obtained his bridge watchkeeping certificate in HMCS SKEENA. He then served onboard HALIFAX-class ships as an Anti-Submarine Warfare director and Combat officer when he deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation APOLLO. He then joined the Joint Support Ship Project in Ottawa in 2004.
Following the completion of the Joint Command and Staff Programme in Toronto, Capt(N) Lafrance rejoined the Atlantic fleet in 2009 as HMCS VILLE DE QUÉBEC’s Executive Officer. He returned to Ottawa in 2011 as an analyst with the Chief of Force Development, leaving NDHQ in 2014 to assume command of HMCS VILLE DE QUEBEC. He was promoted to his current rank in 2017 and assumed the position as Director of Naval Force Readiness until his appointment in early 2018 as Chief of Staff to the Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic/Joint Task Force Atlantic in Halifax. He joined the Assistant Deputy Minister (Data, Innovation and Analytics) team following graduation from the Rotman Business School Executive MBA program in November 2021.
Elise was appointed Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Chief Data Officer in the summer of 2021. She leads a small, passionate team of policy and IT professionals dedicated to both harnessing and unleashing the power of data to improve service delivery and support the sector’s sustainable growth.
Elise joined the Canadian Public Service in 2003 as a second career, after working in strategic marketing in the private sector for nearly 12 years. She has been with AAFC since 2003 where she started as a Commerce Officer in the BC Regional Office. She has since held positions in several branches, including Strategic Policy, Corporate Management and Programs. She is passionate about the role of government and the impact it has in improving everyone’s quality of life.
Ms. Legendre holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC) and a Bachelor degree in Arts, major in Political Sciences from Laval University (Sainte Foy, QC). She is also the proud mother of two teenagers, an avid hiker and volunteers with the 1st Aylmer Scouts group.
Ms. Loignon was appointed Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) in August 2016. As CIO, Ms. Loignon leads the Digital Strategy implementation and the Information Management (IM) and Information Technology (IT) initiatives and operations that enable the delivery of ECCC programs and services. Among her strategic objectives, Ms. Loignon is responsible for the delivery of modern IM/IT solutions and practices, for the implementation of the ECCC project management center of excellence and to position the IM/IT team to embrace challenges of the future. As ECCC’s designated official for cyber security, Ms. Loignon is responsible in providing leadership, coordination and oversight for departmental cybersecurity management activities.
Ms. Loignon honed her expertise in strategic and business planning development and transformation, implementation of modern management practices in the area of client service, project management and oversight, strategic and tactical planning, human resources, procurement, finance, particularly in the area of information management and information technology.
Originally from Sherbrooke, Québec, Ms. Loignon graduated from the Université Laval with a Master in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Université du Québec in Trois-Rivières, Québec.
Jason Reid joined Natural Resources Canada on July 27, 2020. He has more than 25 years professional experience working within the Government of Canada (GC), the majority of which has been in fields of Information Management and Information Technology. He has held positions of increasing responsibility including being the Executive lead of two GC transformation projects. Jason was named to the EX cadre in 2007, he was awarded the Queens Golden Jubilee medal in 2002 and is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Development Program and the Career Assignment Program. He holds bachelor degree in Social Science with a concentration in Economics from University of Ottawa.
André Loranger is currently the Assistant Chief Statistician for Strategic Data Management, Methods and Analysis. He is also Statistics Canada’s Chief Data Officer responsible for the overall stewardship of the organization’s information data holdings.
André, an economist with an M.A. (Economics) degree from the University of Ottawa, began his career in the public service at Statistics Canada in 1997 where he spent most of his career compiling estimates of GDP. Prior to his current position, André was the Director of Producer Prices Division from 2008 to 2012 and the Director General of the Macroeconomic Statistics Branch from 2012 to June 2013. More recently, he was the Assistant Chief Statistician for Economic Statistics responsible for the key economic indicators (CPI, GDP, etc.) produced by Statistics Canada.
In recent years, André has been involved in international projects related to economic statistics. He was a member of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting, the United Nations Expert Group on International Trade and Economic Globalization Statistics, the United Nations Expert Group on the Future of Economic Statistics and a number of international statistical working groups. André is currently a member of the United Nations Global Working Group on Big Data.
Joann Shields is an innovative leader with over 25 years in Information Management / Information Technology (IMIT) and Organizational Change across both the public and private sectors.
A big believer in digital government and the power of data, Joann focuses on driving digital mindsets, behaviours and tools to influence culture and leadership.
Currently, Joann is the Director General of IMIT, Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Security Officer (CSO) at Infrastructure Canada – the department responsible for providing long-term predictable support to help Canadians benefit from world-class, modern public infrastructure. Before taking on this position in June 2019, Joann worked in digital adoption at Innovation Science and Economic Development, in transformation at Shared Services Canada (SSC), in strategic change functions at two Crown Corporations and in an extensive range of IMIT related roles within the Chief Information Officer Branch of Treasury Board Secretariat. Joann earned her Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees from Carleton University, both specialized in Information Systems and Organizational Behaviour with a thesis focused on Transformational Change in the Public Sector.
Mélanie Robert is the Executive Director of Open Government at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS). She leads the Government of Canada’s efforts to open data and information and to increase accountability and citizen participation, and manages Canada’s Open Government and Open Data Portal (open.canada.ca) as well as the Online Access to Information Request Service.
With over 20 years of experience in the federal public service, Mélanie has lead business analysis, regulation and enforcement work and communications and consultations for a variety of technology and innovation files.
You can follow Mélanie on Twitter @MelRobrt
Raj Thuppal is Transport Canada’s Chief Digital Officer. He provides executive leadership and management direction for TC’s transformation and service modernization. In this key role, Raj leads the way we transform and redesign programs and services that we deliver to Canadians. He is also Chief Information Officer and Chief Data Officer for the Department.
Wesley Yung is the Director of the International Cooperation and Methodology Innovation Center at Statistics Canada. Previous to this position, he was the Director of the Economic Statistics Methods Division. With a background in statistics and survey methods, Wesley has over 30 years of experience working with data and managing people providing methodological support to statistical programs at Statistics Canada. Although trained as a ‘traditional’ statistician, he is very interested in how data and modern methods, including Data Science techniques, can be leveraged to the benefit of all Canadians.
Elizabeth is the Senior Director of Research and Experimentation in the Office of Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board Secretariat, Government of Canada, where she is responsible for leading advancements in innovation to improve outcomes for people management initiatives across the Government of Canada. Before starting this role in March 2020, she was Senior Lead, Behavioural Science, at the Impact and Innovation Unit at the Privy Council Office, where she oversaw the application of behavioural science to public policy challenges. Prior to joining the Government of Canada, Elizabeth held several senior leadership positions, including leading the Behavioural Insights Unit in the Government of Ontario, where she was instrumental in creating and building Canada’s first behavioural science team in government. To date, Elizabeth has successfully completed trials dealing with public health, financial decision-making, regulatory compliance, digital adoption and modernization, and service delivery. She provides advice and guidance on the application of behavioural science to public policy, recently supporting the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a member of the External Advisory Committee for Capacity Development.
Kara Beckles is Director General of Data Integration at the Privy Council Office, a position she took on during the summer of 2020. Kara previously held several positions across the Government of Canada, most recently at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as Director General of the Economic Research and Analysis Directorate and Departmental Data Lead. Kara holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in economics and business from the University of Winnipeg and a Master of Arts from Dalhousie University.
Vidya ShankarNarayan is the CIO and Assistant Deputy Minister, Information Systems Branch at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Over the past 25 years, Vidya has held multiple positions in both the private and public sectors, leading high-profile initiatives related to service delivery and digital technologies. Previously, Vidya worked at Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), where she passionately focused on improving and innovating digital policy and service delivery with a vision of designing and implementing simpler and efficient digital government services. She has also held executive positions at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Global Affairs Canada and Passport Canada. She holds a Masters degree in Architecture, specializing in Design and Technology from Carleton University.
Vidya is an active community member, participating on various boards including the World Economic Forum, Global Blockchain Congress and Algonquin College. In her spare time, Vidya practices yoga and meditation and is a champion for diversity and inclusion.
James Van Loon is Health Canada’s Chief Data Officer and also serves as the department’s Chief Scientific Data Officer. He has a passion for innovating programs and delivery from the ground up in cooperation with partners across government, nationally, and internationally. Most recently, James led efforts of Health Canada, the Public Health Agency, Public Services and Procurement Canada, Statistics Canada and other partners to create a dynamic model of pan-Canadian supply and demand on Personal Protective Equipment. As a Director General on the COVID-19 Task Force, James was instrumental in leading the development of analytic tools for the Critical Drug Reserve, as well as the Testing and Vaccine Secretariats. With over 20 years of experience in developing and managing federal regulatory programs, James is recognized as an action-oriented leader who has advanced key files at Health Canada and Environment Canada.
Christopher Allison (Chris) is the Director General of Data Management, Innovation and Analysis and Chief Data Officer at the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Chris has worked in government for 20 years across operations, policing, immigration, national security, policy, major projects, air travel, open source, data, development and leadership.
He is a self-driven continuous learner who is passionate about people, network analytics and systems – seeing the connections between our people, our environments, our systems and our organizations.
Frank Des Rosiers was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy and Innovation in 2019. Prior to this, Frank was ADM, Innovation and Energy Technology at NRCan. He also served as General Director, Tax Policy at Finance Canada and as Assistant Secretary, Priorities and Planning at the Treasury Board Secretariat. Frank worked as Director General, Strategic Policy Branch at NRCan from 2003-07 and at the Privy Council Office (Intergovernmental Affairs at) as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Minister and Director, Economic and Fiscal Analysis.
Frank holds a BA in Economics from Université Laval, an MA in Economics from Université de Montréal and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University (Fulbright Scholar).
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) specializes in the sustainable development of Canada’s natural resources including, energy, mining, forestry and clean technologies. Strategic Policy and Innovation is providing strategic advice on the overall management of the department’s agenda and leads on horizontal functions (Cabinet, International Affairs, Federal/provincial, planning, innovation, economic analysis, Earth observation, data and national security).
Catherine Luelo is a Deputy Minister at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the Chief Information Officer of Canada.
Prior to her appointment as CIO in July 2021, Catherine was the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Air Canada, where she was responsible for the Information Technology systems that support and enable Air Canada’s global business. In this role, she additionally led innovation in the artificial intelligence space while managing the security and reliability of Air Canada’s worldwide systems in an operational landscape that substantially shifted during the global pandemic.
From 2001-2017, Catherine held senior management and executive roles at major Canadian companies, including Enbridge Inc., WestJet Airlines Ltd., and TELUS Communications.
Catherine holds an MBA from Athabasca University in Alberta and a BSc from the University of Alberta.
From 2018-2021, she served on the Board of Directors for scale ai, the Montreal-based Artificial Intelligence (AI) supercluster that aspires to increase competitive advantage for Canada globally in AI . She has also served as a Board Member for Creative Destruction Labs, as well as serving as Chair for Health Canada’s Industry Advisory Roundtable on COVID-19 Testing, Screening, Tracing and Data Management.
Catherine is a proud mother of two children and is a fierce advocate for mental health. In March 2020, she was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation and participates regularly as a panelist and speaker on Mental Health in the workplace.
Anil Arora was appointed Chief Statistician of Canada in September 2016.
Mr. Arora has led significant transformational initiatives throughout his career, with experience and partnerships spanning all three levels of government, the private sector and international organizations, including the UN and the OECD. He has led projects on high-profile policy issues, legislative and regulatory reform, and overseen large national programs.
In 1988, Mr. Arora joined Statistics Canada where he served in several positions, including regional operations, corporate services and the redesign of the dissemination function. In 2000, he became Director of Census Management Office and subsequently the Director General responsible for all aspects of the 2006 Census. In this role, Mr. Arora led the most comprehensive redesign of the Program, including the introduction of an online questionnaire. Following the successful delivery of the 2006 Census he became the Assistant Chief Statistician of Social, Health and Labour Statistics from 2008 to 2010.
In 2009, Mr. Arora received the prestigious APEX Leadership Award in recognition of his exceptional leadership skills and management excellence.
In 2010, Mr. Arora joined Natural Resources Canada as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Minerals and Metals Sector, and in 2013 was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of Science and Policy Integration. He moved to Health Canada in 2014, becoming Assistant Deputy Minister of Health Products and Food Branch and leading a complex organization overseeing regulation of food, drug and health products for Canada. He also served as chair of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities.
Mr. Arora attended the University of Alberta, where he earned a Bachelor of Science, followed by further education in computing science and management, including a graduate certificate in Advanced Public Sector Management at the University of Ottawa, and the Advanced Leadership Program at the Canada School of Public Service.
Taki Sarantakis has been President of the Canada School of Public Service since July 2018, having previously served as Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Mr. Sarantakis spent most of his career at Infrastructure Canada, including as Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy and Communications.
In 2011 Mr. Sarantakis was awarded Canada’s Public Service Award of Excellence in Public Policy, and in 2013 he was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Prior to joining the federal government, Mr. Sarantakis was a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. from York University in Toronto, as well as an Executive Certificate in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a graduate of the Rotman School of Management’s Institute of Corporate Directors Education Program, holding the ICD.D designation.
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