The Chiefs of Staff
Below is a current list of chiefs of staff, the most influential advisers to the cabinet ministers in Justin Trudeau's government. Placed according to the order of the cabinet list on the prime minister's website, the list below will be updated as any new chiefs of staff are confirmed.
This article was published more than 4 years ago. Some information in it may no longer be current.
Chief of Staff
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
A former policy staffer of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s while he was in opposition, Ms. Surkes also worked in the Liberal research bureau in 2010 under then-leader Michael Ignatieff and before that under Stéphane Dion. In her earlier days on Parliament Hill, she worked as a legislative assistant to Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh.
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Mary Jean McFall
A lawyer, Harvard University graduate and former Liberal candidate, Ms. McFall was working as a partner with Templeman Menninga before joining Mr. MacAulay’s office. She ran as a Liberal candidate last year in the riding of Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, finishing as runner-up behind Conservative incumbent MP Gord Brown. Ms. McFall is a past board member of the Egg Farmers of Ontario and previously worked as counsel at her family-owned company Burnbrae Farms, a Canadian egg producer.
Minister of Global Affairs Canada
Mr. Ovens is a former a mining-industry manager who has worked around the world on mining development and minerals exploration. He was most recently the head of potash strategy and development at BHP Billiton in Saskatoon.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
A Montrealer and urban planner, Mr. Bélanger was working with the Global Green Growth Institute, a sustainable development group, before joining Mr. McCallum’s office in December. Stationed in Rwanda, he was the group’s country representative working on green growth and green urbanization, according to his LinkedIn page. He has a master’s degree in real estate development from Columbia University.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
A senior Liberal adviser, Mr. Theis had been working on issues management for Mr. Trudeau before last year’s election, a role he also filled for the Trudeau team during the campaign. He also worked as a policy adviser to Mr. Ignatieff, and in his earlier days, as a lobbyist for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, according to his LinkedIn page.
President of the Treasury Board
Ms. Saini was working as senior manager of policy and research for Mr. Trudeau in opposition and also worked as an aide to Mr. Dion when he was Liberal leader. Before joining Mr. Trudeau’s team in opposition, she was deputy executive director for Results Canada, a non-profit that works extensively on poverty issues.
Government House Leader
Mr. MacNeil is another long-time Liberal staffer who previously worked as chief of staff in the Liberal whip’s office. During the Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin years, he was focused on the upper chamber, serving as director of parliamentary affairs for the leader of the government in the Senate, according to his LinkedIn page.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Mr. Bains nabbed this Bay Street lawyer from McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto, where Mr. Marques was a commercial litigation partner and trial lawyer. He previously served as law clerk to Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. “I joined Minister Bains in Ottawa because the Trudeau government represents a unique, generational opportunity for meaningful change in Canada,” Mr. Marques told The Globe and Mail in January.
Minister of Finance
From Alberta, Mr. Maksymetz was head of campaign mobilization for Mr. Trudeau’s national campaign last year. He is a long-time party organizer for Western Canada and a former cabinet staffer in previous Liberal governments. A few years ago, he worked as a senior adviser in the government of B.C. Premier Christy Clark.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s chief of staff recently left the minister’s office. Cyrus Reporter, a senior adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office and a long-time lawyer and political staffer, is assisting the Justice Minister in the interim.
Minister of Public Services and Procurement
Mr. Cairo was a cabinet aide in the Paul Martin government and then a senior adviser to Mr. Dion as Liberal leader. Most recently, he worked as vice-president of operations at Argus Software in Toronto, a subsidiary of advisory and software company Altus Group Ltd.
Minister of International Trade
Mr. Clow is another senior adviser to Ms. Wynne who made the jump to the federal Liberals. He had taken a leave from the Ontario government last summer to work on the Liberals’ national campaign. He is a former researcher in the office of Mr. Ignatieff when he was Liberal leader.
Minister of Health
Ms. Hinse worked on Quebec public relations for the Liberal Party during last year’s federal campaign. Before that, she was was a communications consultant at National Public Relations and previously worked as an aide in the Quebec Liberal government of Jean Charest.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Mr. Duclos has nabbed sociologist Ms. Duplessis as his new chief of staff, a position she starts later this month. Ms. Duplessis served as a Montreal city councillor under the municipal party of then-mayor Gérald Tremblay, and was later appointed by mayor Laurent Blanchard as chair of the city’s executive committee. Prior to joining the Liberal government, Ms. Duplessis was working as head of Recyc-Québec, a provincial recycling agency, according to her LinkedIn page.
Minister of Transport
Mr. Arseneau also came from the Quebec government, where he was serving as deputy chief of staff to Quebec Treasury Board President Martin Coiteux. He previously worked as a senior adviser at Heenan Blaikie in Montreal and as a government relations officer for the Quebec government based in New York.
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
Mr. Montpetit was a senior adviser to Mr. Dion when he was Liberal leader and most recently worked as director of public affairs for the Canadian Payments Association. He previously worked as a political consultant and since 2007 has been a board member for Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, according to his LinkedIn page.
Minister of Natural Resources
From 2009 to 2014, Ms. Annesley was vice-president of communications for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, a lobby group for oil and gas companies. Before that, she worked as manager of oil sands communications for Royal Dutch Shell in Calgary, according to her LinkedIn page. Most recently, Ms. Annesley was based in Kingston as director of government relations for Queen’s University.
Minister of Canadian Heritage
Ms. Joly nabbed this chief of staff from Google Inc.’s Canadian division, where Ms. Church was head of communications and public affairs. She had been with Google since 2012 and previously served as director of communications to Mr. Ignatieff while he was leader of the opposition. Ms. Church also worked on Mr. Ignatieff’s leadership campaign.
Minister of National Revenue
Ms. Guilmette is another adviser who came from the Quebec Liberal government of Premier Philippe Couillard, where she was chief of staff to Native Affairs Minister Geoffrey Kelley. Her husband, Pietro Perrino, is an associate secretary-general for Mr. Couillard’s executive council and a long-time Quebec Liberal.
Minister of Veterans Affairs and associate minister of National Defence
Another grab from Bay Street, Ms. Tabbert was an executive and legal counsel for Manulife Financial in Toronto before joining Mr. Hehr’s office. She is a former partner with Fasken Martineau in Toronto and ran in the 2011 federal election as a Liberal candidate in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. She lost that race to Conservative Cheryl Gallant, who won the riding again last October. According to her LinkedIn page, Ms. Tabbert is also the founding shareholder in a Toronto yoga studio called YogaBe.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
A former clean-energy advocate, Mr. Raynolds ran for the Liberals last year in the Alberta riding of Banff-Airdrie but lost to incumbent Conservative MP Blake Richards. He served for several years as executive director for the Calgary-based environmental group Pembina Institute, and more recently as executive vice-president for BluEarth Renewables Inc., a renewable-energy company.
Minister of National Defence
Another former senior adviser to Mr. Ignatieff, Mr. Bohunicky previously worked as a director-general in the federal departments of Transport and Agriculture. Most recently, he had executive positions with companies Maple Pure Products Inc. and consulting firm Baker Group International, according to his LinkedIn page.
Minister of Employment and Labour
Mr. Mitschke was serving as chief of staff to B.C. Justice Minister Suzanne Anton before moving to Ms. Mihychuk’s office. Before that, he was chief of staff for Environment Minister Mary Polak, according to his LinkedIn page. Mr. Mitschke has a law degree from the University of Alberta.
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Mr. Brodhead is the former executive director of Toronto’s Evergreen CityWorks, a group that works on urban sustainable development and green infrastructure. He previously served as deputy chief of staff to then-Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty.
Minister of Democratic Institutions
Mr. Salam moved from being the minister’s director of policy to being chief of staff in February, 2016. He previously worked as director of policy for Ontario’s minister of immigration, and worked as a special assistant and in multicultural outreach for the federal Liberal leader’s office from 2009 to 2011.
Minister of Sport and Disabilities
Mr. Stickney was working as associate vice-president at communications firm Fleishman Hillard in Vancouver before joining Ms. Qualtrough’s office, according to his LinkedIn page. Before that, he served as a senior aide in the B.C. Liberal government.
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Minister Tootoo has hired as chief of staff George Young, who was previously working as a senior adviser and strategic support co-ordinator for the City of Ottawa, according to his LinkedIn page. Before that, he worked as director of communications for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute think tank. Earlier in his career he worked as an aide on Parliament Hill including a stint in the office of then-opposition leader Stéphane Dion.
Minister of Science
Mr. Rosenfeld was most recently director of public affairs for U15, a group of 15 universities, where he worked on government relations strategies to advance research and innovation. A political staffer during the Jean Chretien years, Mr. Rosenfeld later worked in public outreach for the federal public service in Canada and the Balkans and as a consultant for Ottawa lobby firm StrategyCorp. He has a masters of law in international human rights from the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Minister of Status of Women
Before the move to Ms. Hajdu’s office, Ms. Lugli was working as an executive for the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, according to her LinkedIn page. She has also been president of the federal Liberal Party for the Northern Ontario region.
Minister of Small Business and Tourism
Ms. Bendayan is the former Liberal candidate who in the fall election challenged NDP Leader Tom Mulcair for his seat in Outremont but lost by over 4,000 votes. Before the election, Ms. Bendayan was a lawyer specializing in international arbitration and commercial litigation at Norton Rose Fulbright in Montreal. She has acted as a legal and constitutional adviser to the Liberal Party and received her law degree from McGill University.