Our first annual New Professionals seminar is happening virtually on:
Our focus is to foster an environment for continued learning to engage and grow future leaders of public service.
This will be a two-day event for New Professionals across Canada. Our target audience is entry – level new public servants from across all levels of government (municipal, provincial, and federal), the broader public sector, the not-for-profit sector, and private organizations. Our largest audience will be current students and alumni from Canada’s schools of public policy and administration programs.
However, we will also be targeting individuals who have made a change in their career; transitioning from one industry to the public service. We are connecting with tomorrow’s public service!
Our event program will address key policy topics, such as:
The outcome of the federal election.
The importance of leveraging new technologies.
Advancing innovation in the workplace.
GROUP RATE (5+)
Looking for information you can share about this conference in your organization?
See our Business Template for Aspiring Participants to help explain the conference and support your registration!
Our event program guarantees several networking sessions for audience, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors to exchange ideas and contact information. The event program is a mixture of both panel discussions and workshops.
Opening Remarks from MC
Health Break - Networking
Health Break - Fire Chat with ADM
Networking Opener | Clare Isman
The Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) is Canada’s leading professional organization dedicated to excellence in public service. IPAC aims to enhance the development of good public administration and management practices and policies in Canada. The IPAC community includes public servants from all levels of government as well as subject matter experts, academics, and students of public administration. IPAC is also active internationally and exports around the world.
IPAC New Professionals aims to create a space of learning and engagement opportunities for new professionals from all levels of government, schools of public policy, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. IPAC New Professionals is committed to providing professional development opportunities to all levels and functional areas within the public policy profession and foster a culture of career champions.
1075 Bay Street
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Tony Dean was appointed to the Senate of Canada as an Independent Senator in November 2016.
He was formerly a professor at the graduate School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto – now the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Dean continues his association with the School as a Distinguished Fellow.
Dean has advised governments in Canada, and internationally, on public administration and public service reform and has chaired several expert panels at the federal and provincial levels.
From 2002-2008, he was Secretary of Cabinet and Head of the Ontario Public Service where he was responsible for a workforce of 63,000 public servants.
Dean has written on public sector reform and leadership in the public sector. His book, Building Better Public Services was published in 2015. He is a member of the Order of Ontario.
Lucy has worked extensively as a trainer in government, private and not-for-profit sectors. She has helped set the standard in the Ontario government for writing briefing notes and teaching public servants to communicate with the public, stakeholders and client groups. Courses she has developed, designed, delivered and customized, include: Stakeholder and Public Engagement, Writing Effective Briefing Materials, Issues Management, Speechwriting and more.
She worked in the Ontario Public Service for 12 years in a variety of positions culminating in her role as Assistant Director of Communications for the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation (former) where she managed 30 staff in five departments: Editorial and Speechwriting, Media Relations, Production and Creative, Administration and French Language. She was an Advisor to Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Parliamentary Assistants, senior management, program management and 12 Agencies, Boards and Commissions.
Since leaving government Lucy became a serial entrepreneur. She is currently a Coach and Chair for The Executive Committee where she works with CEOs to help them develop as high-integrity leaders and grow ethical businesses.
Laurence has designed, developed, customized and facilitated communications courses extensively for the OPS. He delivers courses on Writing Effective Briefing Materials, Clear Writing and Report and Business Case Writing. Dr. Mussio has also provided strategic advice for senior executives in the public and private sectors on speeches, reputation management and persuasion.
Dr. Mussio currently serves as a Special Advisor to the Office of the Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group. Dr. Mussio works extensively with senior executives and program staff as a subject matter expert on communication technology, regulation, productivity, civil service reform, economic security, leadership, women in business, e-learning, employment issues, and work/life balance. He is an acclaimed author of a number of works of scholarship, including several published by the McGill-Queen’s University Press, Canada’s leading university publisher. Dr. Mussio has also authored works such as “The Leadership-Communications Connection” for the Canadian Society for Association Executives (CSAE). He is a published expert on communications, reputation management and executive reputation and has worked with some of Canada’s most senior executives in the telecom and financial services sectors.
Hillary Hartley is Ontario’s Chief Digital and Data Officer and Deputy Minister. As the head of the Ontario Digital Service, within the Ministry of Finance, Hillary is responsible for leading the government’s digital transformation efforts and the administration of the Simpler, Faster, Better Services Act to deliver simpler, more easily accessible services for the people, communities and businesses of Ontario.
Hillary joined the provincial government in April 2017 as Deputy Minister Responsible for Digital Government. She also served as Deputy Minister of Consumer Services, where she led the government’s retail services operation (ServiceOntario), and programs focused on consumer protection.
Previously, Hillary was the Deputy Executive Director of 18F, a digital services agency in the U.S. federal government, and was a Presidential Innovation Fellow in 2013. She has worked with governments, across jurisdictions, for more than twenty years, serving as a director at NIC Inc., an organization that helps governments deliver programs and services online.
Born in 1944 in Montreal, Canada, Roy Cullen earned his B.A. in Business Administra-tion, and a Master of Public Administration. He qualified as a Canadian Chartered Accountant in 1972. Initially elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa in a by-election in 1996, he was re-elected in the 1997, 2000, 2004, and the 2006 general elections. He retired from the Canadian House of Commons in 2008.
As a member of the Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s government, and later under Prime Minister Paul Martin, Mr. Cullen served as chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, as parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance, as parliamentary secretary to the deputy prime minister and the minister for public safety and emergency preparedness; and as chair of the Ontario Liberal caucus. In 2006 he was sworn-in as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. He also served as Official Opposition critic for natural resources.
In March 2004, Mr. Cullen orchestrated the passage of a complex private members’ Bill C-212, An act respecting user fees, by engaging members of parliament and senators. The Bill was passed and resulted in significant changes to government user fees, making the system more transparent, performance-based, and accountable.
During his tenure as parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance, Mr. Cullen was actively involved in designing and implementing Canada’s anti-money-laundering regime. Since 2002, Mr. Cullen has been very active with the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) in the international fight against corruption and money laundering.
In 2008 Mr. Cullen completed a book The Poverty of Corrupt Nations in which he examines the relationship between corrupt leaders and poverty; and how, as a result of the misappropriation of public assets by elected and senior officials, millions of citizens around the world are being deprived of the basic human right of the chance to move out of the ranks of the poor. He offers a Twenty Point Plan as a way of attacking these vexing problems.
In his second book, Beyond Question Period, or What really goes on in Ottawa, which was published in 2011, he chronicles the life of an MP In Ottawa beyond the rhetoric of the cut and thrust of Question Period.
D. Brian Marson is an International Expert in Public Management, a Faculty Member of the Development Academy of the Philippines, and is Co-Founder and Fellow of the Institute for Citizen Centred Service.
Based in Victoria, Canada. He is co-author of The New Public Organization, The Well Performing Government Organization, Good Practices in Citizen Centred Service, Public Financial Management, and From Research to Results: A Decade of Results Based Service Improvement in Canada. He co-founder and is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Citizen Centred Service in Toronto (https://citizenfirst.ca/) and has served as an International Advisor to the OECD in Paris, to the Asian Productivity Organization in Tokyo, and an advisor on public sector reform to numerous governments in the US, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.,
During his MPA and PhD studies at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, he was appointed a Littauer Fellow, as well as a Research Fellow at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. He later served as Vice Chair of the Harvard Graduate School Alumni Association and a Board Member of the Kennedy School of Government Alumni Association. During his academic career, Professor Marson has taught graduate courses in public policy and management at Harvard, the University of Victoria, the Development Academy of the Philippines and at Queens University.
Public Service Career: Brian Marson is well known across Canada and internationally for his research, his teaching, his writing and his consulting work in public management, and for his advocacy of excellence in public service, He served as the chief architect of the Government of Canada’s Service Improvement Policy, and led the Government of Canada’s Service Improvement Initiative which has been emulated by other countries including the UK, New Zealand and France. He was co-founder of the inter-governmental Institute for Citizen Centered Service (www.icces-isac.org), and as Chair of the ICCS Board and Chair of the Research Committee he oversaw the development of the award-winning Citizens First and Taking Care of Business National Research and Measurement Surveys, and the development of the Common Measurements Tool, all adopted internationally. He also co-designed the Government of Canada’s Management Accountability Framework (MAF). During his public service career he has served as Vice President of the Canadian Government’s Canada School of Public Service (https://www.csps-efpc.gc.ca/index-eng.aspx), President of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (www.ipac.ca), Deputy Secretary of Canada’s Ministry of State for Economic Development, Comptroller General of British Columbia, and CEO of Service Quality British Columbia. He is a Board Member of IPAC, Victoria.
Boards and Awards: Marson was a co-founder and Associate Secretary (Asia) of Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO International); and has served as a Board Member of the National Quality Institute and the Canada Awards for Excellence.
He received the Heintzman Leadership Award for his work in promoting citizen-centred service around the world, and also received the Government of Canada’s Head of the Public Service Innovation Award for his contributions to innovative public management. He also received Lifetime Achievement Awards from The National Quality Institute of Canada (Excellence Canada) as well as the Financial Management Institute of Canada.
Publications: Professor Marson’s books and articles on excellence in public management include: The Well Performing Government Organization; and The New Public Organization. He recently served as Chief Expert for the development of the APO’s Manual on Public Sector Productivity (2020). For Malaysia he authored the Managers Guide to One Stop Service Centres. His journal articles cover topics such as Leadership, Change Management, Service Excellence, Benchmarking, and Employee Engagement. His pioneering development of the Public Sector Service Value Chain Model (linking Employee Engagement, Citizen Service Satisfaction, and Citizen Trust in Government Organizations) has been adopted by public organizations internationally.
Dan joined the ICCS in April 2015. He leads a dynamic team of professionals that help public sector organizations pursue service excellence through research, measurement and benchmarking, learning, collaboration and professional development. Previously, Dan worked in various executive positions for the Government of Canada over a thirty-year career in which he managed a number of innovative programs and services targeted at small businesses and entrepreneurs including the award-winning Canada Business Network and BizPaL service.
Dan has a Master of Public Administration degree from Carleton University and a Master of Electronic Commerce degree from Dalhousie University. Dan received a 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service 2013 Ralph Heintzman Leadership Award for his commitment and leadership to developing and delivering client-centric services across all levels of government in Canada.
Drew advises clients on matters related to economic development, gaming, housing, commercial leasing, corporate governance, structure and finance.
Drew has also worked on nearly all aspects of the commercial side of cannabis, including incorporating and organizing licensed producers under the medical and recreational regimes, setting up licensed retailers in both Alberta and Saskatchewan, and advising on the process and considerations required to regulate on-reserve cannabis.
Drew was raised in Treaty 6 territory on the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation reserve and is also of Shuswap descent from the Simpcw First Nation in British Columbia.
Manjit Bains, CPA, CMA, is the founder and President of Bains Strategies Inc. She has over 25 years of progressive leadership experience in the private and public sectors ranging from small businesses to organizations with over 400 staff and $90 million in annual expenditures.
As the past Vice President of Corporate Relations and Corporate Secretary with Consumer Protection BC, Manjit was responsible for business development, media and stakeholder relations, call centre services, consumer education and marketing and brand development. Manjit worked closely with the government on issues of consumer policy and legislation. She also supported the Board of Consumer Protection BC in areas of governance policy and procedure, board recruitment and evaluation, administration of conflict of interest guidelines, and support to board committee chairs. She had interim responsibility for human resources in the organization, including negotiating union agreements, labour relations and employee engagement.
Prior to her work with Consumer Protection BC, Manjit held senior positions in the BC Ministry of Tourism, BC Ministry of Attorney General, and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. She managed diverse portfolios including strategic planning, financial management, human resources, information technology, management information, facilities and administrative matters. Her private sector experience includes retail sales management.
In addition to being a Chartered Professional Accountant, Manjit also holds several business administration diplomas in finance and accounting from Camosun College. She is a graduate of the Ivey School of Business Executive Leadership program from the University of Western Ontario and a graduate of the Governance Essentials Program for Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations from the University School of Victoria.
Manjit believes in giving back to the community and serves on several Boards including the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, Glenlyon Norfolk School Society, the Credit Counselling Society, and the BC Arthritis Advisory Board.
Mr. Graves is one of Canada’s leading public opinion, social policy and public policy experts as well as being one of its leading applied social researchers. In 1980, he founded EKOS Research Associates Inc., an applied social and economic research firm. Under the leadership of Mr. Graves, EKOS has earned a reputation for creative and rigorous research in the areas of public policy, social policy and program evaluation and as a leader in innovative survey techniques and methodology. During his career he has directed hundreds of large scale studies of Canadian attitudes to a vast array of issues. His analysis and advice has been sought by senior decision makers in both the private and public sectors. Mr. Graves is a Fellow of the Canadian Research Insights Council (CRIC) as well as an Honorary Fellow with the Calgary School of Public Policy and sits on the Advisory Board at the Sprott School of Business. Mr. Graves is an Adjunct Research Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University, Ottawa. Mr. Graves is also a member of the Federal Vaccine Confidence Task Force Group and is a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI).
Winter Fedyk is the Director of Silo Strategy, a project management and public policy consulting firm. She is also an associate with Think Digital which focuses on digital transformation for the public good. Prior to taking the leap to the private sector, Winter was a long-time public servant, and has 20 years of experience working for governments at the federal, provincial, and territorial levels. In 2018, Winter won the national IPAC Social Leadership award for her role in organizing the Public Policy Book Club in Regina. Winter likes to connect people and ideas, and eagerly awaits the revolution.
Heather Scriver is an Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Corrections and Policing. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Regina, and diplomas in both Human Resources and Leadership. Heather’s thirty-six years in Corrections have been decorated with several accolades, including a Corrections Exemplary Service Medal, Protective Services Medal and two Long Service Awards. She also finds great pride in her family. Alongside her husband of 25 years they have raised two beautiful children, one microbiologist soon to be a biology teacher) and one nutritionist/transition coach, and one very, very good dog named Jax.
Heather’s style of leadership emphasizes honesty, humour, and being approachable, as demonstrated by her open door policy. When she is not in the workplace, she brings her strong work ethic and leadership skills on her quest for personal health and harmony. She is often found working out in her gym or pounding the pavement.
One interesting fact about Heather is she and her family became the Family of the Day at the Epcot Centre in Orlando Florida. Heather would be thrilled to be given the opportunity to tell you how they became the family of the day. It is quite an interesting story!
Heather is very proud of completing the 7-day hike to Machu Picchu. Although the hike was physically demanding, she challenged herself and succeeded!
It is Heather’s goal to retire from the Public Service and contract her services back to the Government of Saskatchewan. She would like to become a mentor or coach she always wanted to have- to watch people grow and succeed in their career or personal life is a privilege.
Hi my name is Sara and I have been working for the Government of Yukon for 24 years.
I began my career with the government as an archaeology summer student. In an early job working at an interpretive centre for the Yukon’s prehistory I found I had a knack for creating digital content to promote exhibits and events.
From there I found myself working in communications where I took every opportunity I had, to work in digital communications. This eventually led to a temporary assignment with the government’s Executive Council Office where I created and managed the government’s content strategy.
I am now working as a UX manager with the government’s eServices for Citizens unit. Here I manage our Digital Service Delivery Guide (Digital Standard) and I’m currently developing templates and guidance for staff to help them conduct usability tests and other types of user research.
I have my UX Master Certificate with the Nielsen Norman Group and I am passionate about working with program areas and citizens to find the balance between program requirements and goals and user needs. When we get that right, we create digital services that work for people and that’s what it’s all about.
Isa David is a learning specialist and manager at the Canada School of Public Service’s Digital Academy. She holds 20 years of experience in the fields of facilitation, learning technologies and instructional design. Isa is based in Quebec City but her constant passion for collaborative technologies and tools have brought her to work virtually with public service colleagues of many jurisdictions across Canada for the past 10 years.
Helen is a Campaigns and Communications Project Manager at Apolitical, the global peer to peer learning platform used by over 140,000 public servants from 170 countries. At Apolitical, Helen creates free online learning opportunities, including live online workshops and self-paced email boot camps, for public servants around the world. Previously, she was a Project Manager at McAllister Olivarius, an international law firm dedicated to defending women's rights. She has an MPhil (Cambridge) in Gender Studies and a BA (Yale) in Global Affairs and Gender Studies.
Aliesha Arndt is Mohawk of Six Nations of the Grand River and was born to the Bear Clan. She is also Indian (from Kolkata) on her father’s side. She was born, raised and still lives in Scarborough.
Over the last 10 years, Aliesha has done work with several community development, non-profit and government organizations in the fields of both Education and Justice.
Much of this work has been focused on understanding how the project of colonization has and continues to unfold within what is now Canada, and the implications of this on relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous (to Turtle Island) Peoples.
Most importantly, Aliesha is a sister, daughter and granddaughter.
Many public servants are working in an era of uncertainty, managing our collective pandemic response, while also wondering when their working lives will return to some sense of normalcy. What does the future hold for public servants at all levels of government across Canada? This panel sheds light on this very subject by bringing together three senior, experienced leaders in the public service to discuss the major trends affecting the public service today and well into the future.
Region of Peel
Government of Manitoba
Government of Alberta
This session will focus on key areas of the public service that have either changed or been impacted due to COVID-19 and what it means for the future public service. Topics discussed include, digital, indigenous, and diversity and inclusion.
Deputy Hillary Hartley, Ontario Digital Service, OPS
Philippe Thompson, CFO, Indigenous Services Canada
Dan Batista, Executive Director, Institute for Citizen-Centred Service (ICCS)
Drew Lafond, Partner, MLT Aikins LLP
Abiola Sunmonu, Trade Advisor at the Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Edmonton Provincial Government
A session between a mentor and mentee to provide practical advice to New Professionals about how to advance their careers.
Brian Marson, the mentor will be presenting the Leadership Journey Model to share what you need to be successful as you move from New Professional to Supervisor, Manager and Leader. And how to best acquire your management and leadership skills.
Manjit Bains, the mentee will share her personal journey on how to be an effective manager and leader.
Brian Marson, International Expert on Public Management at Advisor to the OECD and the Asian Productivity Organization
Manjit Bains, President, Bains Strategies Inc.
Winter Fedyk, Director, Silo Strategy
Frank Graves, President of EKOS
Hon. Roy Cullen
Learn how public servants from Yukon, Ontario, Canada and the UK worked in partnership to develop a first-of-its-kind course, “How to be digital in the Canadian public service”, and beyond.
Helen Caldwell, Apolitical
Isa David, Canadian Digital Academy
Sarah Bergquist, Government of Yukon
Learn how public servants from Yukon, Ontario, Canada and the UK worked in partnership to develop a first-of-its-kind course, “How to be digital in the Canadian public service”, and beyond.
Helen Caldwell, Apolitical
Isa David, Canadian Digital Academy
Sarah Bergquist, Government of Yukon
Learn to communicate the heart of your message in two minutes or less. Be able to synthesize your main point in one sentence. These are key skills for communication amongst and between staff to keep accurate, clear, timely information flowing throughout an organization. Understand, learn and apply fundamental skills and strategies for effective two-minute briefings.
Lucy La Grassa, PhD Coach and Chair for The Executive Committee
Dr. Laurence B. Mussio, Special Advisor to the Office of the Chief Executive Officer,BMO Financial Group
This session will explore public policy and administration in municipal government. The panelists will share their experience working in the municipal government and why they chose to work in the municipal sector.
Since July 2019, Philippe Thompson has been the Chief Finances, Results and Delivery Officer (CFRDO) at Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). The CFRDO Sector is responsible for providing leadership and ensuring effective management of departmental Finance. The Sector is the departmental lead on integrated planning, results and delivery, parliamentary reporting and provides facility management, security and procurement services to the whole Department. It also manages the departmental Information Technology, Data Management and Information Management functions.
The CFRDO sector allowed the Department to remain on sound footing operationally and financially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Thompson’s leadership ensured that the sector was flexible and agile in supporting the organization during this time of need.
Prior to joining ISC, Philippe was the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Management Sector at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). He previously occupied different positions at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Public Safety Canada, the Privy Council Office, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Public Works and Government Services. Mr. Thompson’s expertise is recognized nationally and internationally in the field of results-based management and he has extensive experience in leading major departmental projects and transformations.
Philippe holds a Bachelor of Political Science and a Masters of Public Policy and Public Administration from Concordia University.
Abiola Sunmonu has been working with the Government of Alberta for 7 years. She previously worked at Alberta Status of Women as a Senior Policy and Economic Specialist, as well as with Alberta Energy as an Executive Advisor for the Assistant Deputy Minister for Electricity and Sustainable Energy.
In her current role, Abiola provides market intelligence and support to Alberta firms pursuing international projects funded by International Financial Institutions like the World Bank. She is also the province’s representative on the World Bank’s Private Sector Liaison Officer (PSLO) Network.
Her professional work experience involves working the United Nations in Ethiopia, working with a Canadian NGO (Canada World Youth) for 6 years in Kenya, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Peru and with CALDO- a consortium of Canadian University that includes the University of Alberta.
Abiola has a Bachelor Degree (Hons) in International Development, Social Anthropology and Economics from Dalhousie University and a Master’s Degree in Legal Studies from Carleton University. Abiola is a recipient of three Premier’s awards for her contribution to the Alberta Public Service and the Wood Buffalo Wildfire.
Abiola speaks five languages and actively volunteers in the community.
Richard Karsseboom is an Emergency Management and Business Continuity professional in the Strategies and Partnerships Branch within the Community and Health Services Department at the Regional Municipality of York in Ontario, Canada. His role includes leading Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs (BCP) across all branches within the Department. Richard’s work has spanned all levels of government, Municipal, Regional, and Provincial/Territorial, as well as NGOs. His current focus is on building connections across the Regional government, beyond the traditional sphere of Emergency Management and BCP, to improve responses to emergencies that impact our communities and on strengthening Emergency Management governance within the Department.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Richard has played an instrumental role in establishing the Region’s Voluntary Isolation Centre, and in serving as Operations Section Chief and Logistics Section Chief for the Communicty and Health Services Emergency Operations Centre.
Richard holds both a Bachelor and Master degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from York University and has attended the University of Geneva's Assessment on Geologic and Climate-Related Risk program. He also attended Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative. He is a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and a published author of A Drive-through Simulation Tool for Mass Vaccination during COVID-19 Pandemic.
It was a goal of mine to work in Public Service, simply because I wanted to help those that needed it the most.
I didn’t know what that helped looked like but I believe in my abilities, continued to be diligent in my pursuit to work in Municipal Government because of the direct impact we have on the communities.
Having said that, there has been challenges along way but one thing I always keep in mind is my “Why”
My journey started in my community to be honest. The support from teachers, coaches, mentors, friends and most importantly family molded me into the person that I am today.
This sense of community really made a difference in my life because I felt grateful for the support and compelled to want to make a difference in people’s lives.
In my down time you can find me at the gym, trying a new recipe as I love cook and spending quality time with family and friends.
Stephenie Agnew has been working in the health privacy and information management field for the past 5 years at the municipal level. Currently she is currently the supervisor for the Health Emergency Operations Centre Documentation Unit. When it isn’t a health emergency, you can find her supporting in the PHIPA privacy office providing guidance to staff across the community and health services department. She cares about supporting and educating staff so they in turn can feel empowered to provide an excellent customer experience to the clients they help.
Stephenie holds her undergraduate degree and an information management Certificate from the University of Toronto, as well as her Access and Privacy Certification from the University of Alberta.
Most recently, she completed the AMCTO Diploma in Municipal Management and is a co-chair for the GenNext Cabinet. She is always happy to talk shop or swap theories about season 2 of the Mandalorian.
Shirley Zhu is the Program Coordinator of Planning and Business Performance with the Environmental Services Department at York Region. Her journey with the public sector and municipal government began at the City of Toronto, where she provided administrative support to the Employment and Social Services team as a summer student, in between her semesters off from pursuing her undergraduate degree at the Schulich School of Business. Since then, she has held various communications, product management and strategic planning roles across the municipal government, automotive and financial services industries. Outside of work, Shirley is the Co-Chair of East Toronto Health Partners’ Community Advisory Council and advocates for accessible, equitable and sustainable health services in East Toronto, and beyond. Her passion for health system planning, improving value-based healthcare services, and life-long learning motivated her to pursue her Master’s degree in Business Administration, with a specialization in health industry management. Her professional journey thus far is what many may consider ‘atypical’, but the adventure has helped her build multiple transferable skills, find her authentic passions, and identify opportunities for growth through self-reflection. She hopes to use her experiences to coach, mentor, and inspire her peers and other young professionals to stay curious, challenge the status quo, and get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Clare Isman has served as a Deputy Minister, President and CEO with the Saskatchewan public service for sixteen years (2004-2020), including Chair of the Public Service Commission (2004-2009), Deputy Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration (2009-2012), Deputy Minister of Finance (2012-2017) and President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (2018-2020). Prior to joining the Government of Saskatchewan in 1998, Clare worked for the City of Regina for 16 years, in both finance and human resources.
Clare has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan, is an FCPA/FCMA, and is a Chartered Director. Clare was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Gold Medal for Public Administration in 2015, the CMA Saskatchewan Member Recognition Award in 2010, was named one of Saskatchewan’s Women of Influence in 2006, and received the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal in 2005.
Throughout her career, Clare has served on and chaired various Boards and committees and is keenly interested in effective board governance. Clare has also facilitated workshops and seminars throughout her career in support of her commitment to lifelong learning, her profession, and the professional public service.
Dr. Loleen Berdahl was appointed for a five-year term as the new executive director of the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS), effective October 1, 2020.
With a strong background in both educational leadership and policy research, Dr. Berdahl previously served as department head in Political Studies at USask from 2016-2020. During this time, she led her department through a period of significant renewal and revitalization, with the hiring of six faculty positions and the promotion of four faculty members. She also led the introduction of the Certificate in Indigenous Governance and Politics and the Certificate in Politics and Law, the expansion of the Certificate in Global Studies, the online development of the Political Studies BA, and the adoption of the First Year Research Experience (FYRE) program across the department.
With a PhD from the University of Calgary, Dr. Berdahl began her career working for the Canada West Foundation for ten years.
Her time spent in a policy-related work environment inspired her commitment to help students recognize and develop career-relevant skills that employers and society need. It has also guided her SSHRC-funded research on career skills training in graduate education. In addition to her SSHRC project, Dr. Berdahl also examines how institutional, cultural, and political factors shape individual attitudes and collaborative decision-making practices, with a focus on public attitudes regarding Canadian public policy, federalism, and regionalism.
Beyond her extensive research program, Dr. Berdahl is the recipient of four teaching awards, including her discipline’s national teaching honour, the Canadian Political Science Association’s Teaching Excellence Award. She is also currently a Faculty Fellow with the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning, and her Graduate Transformative Skills project will inform the redesign of graduate career skill training programs at USask.