CSPS Digital Academy Events/Annual Digital Government Forum 2022 - Speaker Biographies

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Speaker Biographies for Hybrid Annual Digital Government Forum: The Need to Build Modern Services for All
November 22, 2022 | 10:30 AM – 3:30 PM (ET)
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We have a great hybrid event planned for you! There are some great speakers lined up, with more coming soon. Keep an eye out as we update this page. We're looking forward to seeing you in person or online!

Speaker Biographies

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Erica Vezeau (Master of Ceremonies)

Director General, Digital Academy, Canada School of Public Service
Erica Vezeau is the acting Director General of the Canada School of Public Service’s Digital Academy. She joined this team in March 2021 to support its mandate to help public servants gain the knowledge, skills, and mindsets they need to succeed in the digital age. She has over 15 years of previous private- and public-sector experience in program administration, service delivery, and strategic planning with a special interest in digitally focused projects to modernize business processes and improve government services.

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Hillary Hartley

Chief Digital and Data Officer and Deputy Minister, Digital Strategy, Ontario Public Service
Hillary Hartley is Ontario’s Chief Digital and Data Officer and became Deputy Minister of Digital Strategy within Cabinet Office in June 2022. As CDDO, she is responsible for the administration of the Simpler, Faster, Better Services Act to deliver better, more easily accessible services to the people, communities, and businesses of Ontario.

Hillary was previously the head of the Ontario Digital Service, joining the province in April 2017 as Deputy Minister Responsible for Digital Government. She also served as Deputy Minister of Consumer Services, which included the government’s retail services operation (ServiceOntario), and programs focused on consumer protection.

Prior to coming to Ontario, 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 twenty-five years, serving as a director at NIC Inc., an organization that helps governments deliver programs and services online.

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Honey Dacanay

Executive Director, Digital Policy Division, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Honey is a globally recognized digital transformation leader with significant experience leading public sector renewal and reform initiatives in the Governments of Canada and Ontario.
A Professor of Practice at McMaster University, some of Honey’s notable recent accomplishments include: designing and overseeing Service Canada's first agile governance pilot; co-founding the Ontario Digital Service and leading teams that enshrined the province’s digital standards into landmark legislation; co-authoring the world’s first open access graduate level Teaching Public Service in the Digital Age policy curriculum; and overseeing the development of the Discover Series at the Canada School of Public Service Digital Academy.

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Manu Singh

Director, Partner Services and Strategy Division, Public Affairs Branch, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
Manu Singh (pronouns: he/him) has been part of the government’s digital delivery sphere for over 20 years and has learned much while at Canada Border Services Agency, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and all GC departments and agencies while a policy chief at TBS.

In his latest role as Director of the Partner Services and Strategy Division in the Public Affairs Branch at CRA, his nationwide team leads multidisciplinary experts in design and production that respond to the web, intranet and print needs from an agency of 55,000 people, ensuring user needs are put first.

His academic background, like his career, is a diverse makeup of studies in computer science, biology, and psychology.

Manu striving to include the best and brightest minds, each bringing diverse lived experiences into decision-making and program design tables. Diversity and inclusion aren't just nice-to-haves in the service space, they are a must to deliver better public services.

At his core, Manu’s passion lies in collaborating with people to deliver amazing results for people.

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Stephen Burt

Chief Data Officer, Treasury Board Secretariat
In March 2022, Stephen Burt was appointed Chief Data Officer for the Government of Canada, at the Treasury Board Secretariat. His mandate is to provide leadership across government on information and data governance and integration, privacy modernization, and data-enabled digital services and programs.

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Burt was the functional authority for data governance and analytics capability for the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF). He drove the analytics adoption and maturity throughout DND/CAF, and led the department-wide initiative to establish analytics and data governance.

Mr. Burt began his career in the Government of Canada in 1997 with Revenue Canada. In 1999, he joined DND, where he worked in a variety of policy, operational and defence intelligence roles, including two years as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister.

Mr. Burt moved to the Privy Council Office (PCO) in 2007 to work in the Security and Intelligence Secretariat as Senior Advisor on National Security. In that role, he was secretary for the committees of the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister. In 2009, he joined the Intelligence Assessment Secretariat (IAS) at PCO, and held positions as Director for Afghanistan and, later, for Asia. Mr. Burt was appointed Director of Operations for the IAS in January 2012, and took on the position of Assistant Secretary on an acting basis in March 2014.

In April 2015, Mr. Burt assumed the role of Assistant Chief of Defence Intelligence at Canadian Forces Intelligence Command, where he led the federated production of intelligence within DND/CAF, and oversaw defence intelligence policy.

Mr. Burt has an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Ottawa, as well as a Master’s in Public Administration from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

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Marc Brouillard

Chief Digital Officer, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Marc Brouillard is the Chief Digital Officer for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in the Government of Canada. He has also served as Chief Technology Officer and acting Chief Information Officer of Canada at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. Marc also served as deputy departmental CIO and acting departmental CIO at Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Prior to joining the Government of Canada, Marc was VP of Business Development for a local eCommerce Services start-up. Prior to that, he spent 13 years at MONTAGE IT Services, a division of MTS/Allstream, where he held numerous positions in technology consulting and business development.

Marc provides strategic leadership in pursuing world class excellence in digital transformation, data and information management, and cyber security. He has had a long and successful career as a senior public and private sector executive in information management and technology.

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Andrea Guertin

Managing Director, Bridgeable
Andrea is the Managing Director of Bridgeable, a Canada-based service design consultancy that uses human-centred design tools and tactics to transform experiences. As an award-winning designer, change manager, and innovation strategist, she's worked across real estate, healthcare, and finance industries. She's committed her career to help executives navigate the power of design. Andrea uses creativity and a structure of systems analysis, design thinking, and attention to human dynamics to guide teams toward their transformation.

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Adriana Poveda

Executive Director, Service Delivery, Service BC, Government of British Columbia
Adriana is currently the Executive Director for Service Delivery at Service BC. She is responsible for the 65 service centres in British Columbia, which provide front line support for many of the hundreds of programs and services the provincial government offers to residents, businesses, and visitors. Throughout her career in the private and public sector, she has built strong and diverse experience in service delivery, operational excellence, change management, effective leadership, and innovation; she is a visionary, an innovator, a true servant leader, and a champion for her teams and the communities she serves. Some of her experience includes:

15+ years of experience in program development, delivery, and evaluation, particularly related to programs that deliver services to the public
15+ years in senior leadership roles running large-scale operations, with a regional component, including budget, human resource management, public relations/communications, leadership, and team building
10+ years of experience developing, negotiating, and influencing policies and strategies at the inter-ministry and inter-governmental level
10+ years of experience leading strategic and business planning processes
10+ years of experience establishing collaborative relationships with senior leaders and leading organizational change
Adriana has a Bachelor's Degree in Finance and International Business.

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Aaron Jaffery

Director General for Digital Experience and Client Data, Service Canada
Aaron is the Director General for Digital Experience and Client Data in Employment and Social Development Canada. Aaron joined Service Canada from the Department for Work and Pensions in the United Kingdom where he led teams transforming the experience for UK citizens across a number of services including retirement, health & disability and digital identity.

Aaron is passionate about making Government services work better for the citizens it serves. He is an advocate for human-centred design and driving integration between policy development and service delivery.

Aaron and his wife have four children and relocated to Canada in Summer 2022.

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Raj Thuppal

Chief Digital Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister, Digital Services and Transformation, Transport Canada
As of April 1st 2021, Raj Thuppal joined Transport Canada (TC) as the Chief Digital Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister of Digital Services and Transformation.

Prior to this, Raj was the Chief Technology Officer at Shared Services Canada (SSC) where he was responsible for modernization of IT infrastructure and Cyber Security. For four years prior to this, as the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Networks, Security and Digital Services, Raj was responsible the consolidation and reengineering of GC data networks and digital services across Canada and internationally, supporting 400,000 users in 43 departments. Raj also served as the Assistant Deputy Minister of Cyber and Information Technology Security at SSC for approximately three years.

After joining the public service in 2003, Raj worked in various management roles at the Department of National Defence and the Canada Revenue Agency. Before this, he held various engineering roles in the private sector at Marconi/FORE Systems in Ottawa. Raj holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from India.

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Kelly Acton

Assistant Deputy Minister, Digital Policy and Performance, Office of the Chief Information Officer of Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat
Kelly Acton is the Assistant Deputy Minister of Digital Policy and Performance in the Office of the Chief Information Officer of Canada at the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS), providing enterprise level guidance on instruments and performance linked to the digital agenda, in the fields of service, security and access to information.

Kelly was previously Assistant Secretary of Strategic Communications and Ministerial Affairs at Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS). Prior to her arrival at TBS, Kelly held executive positions in communications, in IM/IT, strategic policy and regulatory affairs at Innovation, Science and Industry, as well as various leadership positions at what was then Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Kelly works in an engaging, multidisciplinary way, with a broad perspective informed by work in both the public and not-for-profit sectors on a range of public policy issues.

Kelly holds a degree in Journalism and Political Science from Carleton University, and an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Wendy Luciani

Executive Director of Partnerships, Canadian Digital Service
Wendy Luciani is the Executive Director of Partnerships for the Canadian Digital Service, within the Government of Canada. At CDS, she leads service delivery and consulting efforts; helping departments change how they design and deliver federal services.

Ms. Luciani has extensive experience leading government and non-profit service transformation initiatives. While at the Canada Border Services Agency, Wendy led the transformation of service delivery for air travelers, by replacing paper based processing with digital service delivery using next-generation kiosks and the eDeclaration mobile app.

Wendy is a former recipient of the Public Service Award of Excellence for Citizen-focussed Service Delivery and holds a degree in History from the University of Ottawa and a Masters of Communications and Technology from the University of Alberta, and lives with her two sons in Ottawa, Ontario.

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Dafna Carr

Associate Deputy Minister, ServiceOntario, Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery (MPBSD)
Dafna joined the Ontario Public Service (OPS) in 2016 after over 25 years in health care leadership roles. In her 6 years in the OPS, she has held three roles in three ministries. After two-and-a-half years as CIO for the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, Dafna took on the Corporate CIO role accountable for Government Information Technology Ontario and followed that with her current role as Associate Deputy Minister for ServiceOntario.

ServiceOntario is the front door to government, servicing 56M interactions with Ontarians and 2.5M interactions with businesses every year. With nearly 300 locations across the province, and over 40 services online, ServiceOntario is there for customers in person, online and on the phone. As Ontarians’ expectations evolve, Dafna is leading ServiceOntario through changes that focus on the customer and employee experience and digital service design. Innovations such as 24/7 online access to 90+ business registry transactions, digital reminders, appointment booking, new community-driven partnerships and more, ServiceOntario continues to make it faster, simpler and easier for customers to access government services.

Dafna is a change and transformation leader, bringing value-based leadership to each role she takes on.

Dafna has a strong focus on building positive workplace culture and more recently led the GovTechON Anti-Black Racism Action Plan — an action plan co-created by staff and leadership to help uncover opportunities and bring forward ideas to enable the values and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Throughout her public sector career, Dafna has held positions at Health Quality Ontario, Cancer Care Ontario, University Health Network and Gamma-Dynacare Laboratories. In these organizations, she led a series of large-scale transformation projects enabled by technology and business intelligence, in areas such as cancer screening and cancer care, access to care, wait times, patient safety and laboratory operations.

Dafna holds a Master’s in Business Administration from York University and has completed Leadership programs at the University of Toronto and Ivey at Western University.

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John Roberts

Associate Deputy Minister, Ontario’s Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery; Province’s Chief Privacy Officer, Archivist of Ontario; Deputy Chief Digital and Data Officer
John Roberts is an Associate Deputy Minister with Ontario’s Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery, and the province’s Chief Privacy Officer, Archivist of Ontario, and Deputy Chief Digital and Data Officer. He has over 30 years of experience ranging from operational, policy, and senior leadership roles to government information management and digital government initiatives. As Associate Deputy he leads the all-of-government work across the digital, data, access to information, privacy and recordkeeping functions. His extensive knowledge of information management has contributed to his numerous achievements in policy, strategy and legislative modernisation to support data and information practice in government. Prior to joining the Ontario Public Service in 2015 he worked in the New Zealand government, and since arriving in 2015 he has overseen the development of the OPS Recordkeeping, Access and Privacy Transformation Strategy, led consultations on privacy modernisation, and been part of multi-ministry leadership on enterprise data integration and data governance work. He also served as acting Chief Information Security Officer from 2020-22.

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Wilfreda Edward-Dolcy

Lead Open Data Specialist, the Strategic Policy Team, Open Government Directorate, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Wilfreda Edward-Dolcy is an internationally recognized expert in the field of Open Data. She is currently the Lead Open Data Specialist on the Strategic Policy Team within the Open Government Directorate at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. There, she specializes in advancing the release and re-use of open government data, as part of a wider mandate to mainstream open government in Canada. She is passionate about the impact of open data for problem solving, and advocates for this as a board member to the Canadian Open Data Society and the Government Co-chair to the Open Data Charter Implementation Working group. She is a sought-after writer and speaker, recently delivering a presentation at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s, Workshop on Facilitating Open Government Data. Wilfreda brings an honors degree from the University of Ottawa with a specialization in Geomatics and Spatial Analysis.

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Sidra Mahmood

Open Data Lead, Chief Data Office, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
Sidra leads the open data presence for the Government of Canada's fourth largest department, ESDC. A service designer at heart with design roots, Sidra is committed to using data and empathy-driven design practices as well as policy analysis to improve the usability of critical government services. Their goal is to simplify digital processes to create meaningful participatory opportunities for public engagement with governance, while embracing the spirit of transparency and openness. Prior to this role, they were a recipient of the 2020 Code for Canada Fellowship and a proud founding member of the City of Toronto’s Open Data program. Sidra has lived all over the world but now calls Toronto home. They are an avid hackathon participant, digital accessibility SME, and frequent speaker at UX, open source, and civic tech conferences. In their spare time, they enjoy DJing, camping, and are the proud pet parent of two retired racing greyhounds.

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Chris Allison

Director General, the Centre for Data Management, Innovation and Analysis and Chief Data Officer, Public Health Agency of Canada
Christopher Allison (Chris) is the Director General of the Centre for Data Management, Innovation and Analysis and Chief Data Officer of 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.

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Jean-Noé Landry

Former Executive Director, OpenNorth.ca; Obama Scholar 2021-2022; Senior Fellow, Canadian Urban Institute; Senior Advisor, Inter-University Data Studio on the Socio-Ecological Transition, Concordia University
Jean-Noé Landry is a social entrepreneur, Canadian climate activist, international open data movement leader. He recently completed the Obama Scholars 2021-2022 program at Columbia University in New York City where he was actively engaged in the Climate School’s Decarbonization, Climate Resilience, and Climate Justice Network, delivered presentations at the Earth Institute and Columbia Global Centers, while being locally involved in several environmental justice initiatives with WE ACT For Environmental Justice in Harlem.

Back in Canada, he is currently leading the creation of a new climate-focused inter-university data studio at Concordia University, in Montreal, advising the establishment of a new local civil society alliance co-creating a common civic agenda on the ecological transition with the Ville de Montréal, and supporting strategic initiatives at the Center for Open Data Enterprise (CODE) on climate relevant data ecosystems and environmental justice in partnership with the Bezos Earth Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Open Data Watch. Between 2015 and 2021, Jean-Noé was CEO of Open North, a Montreal-based non-profit that advises communities and governments of all sizes on data governance and sharing, digital transformation and open technology strategies. During this time, Open North grew from a civic tech start-up to a multi-disciplinary international non-profit organization specializing in the ethical and collaborative use of data and tech. Prior to his leadership role at Open North, from 2002-2012, Jean-Noé worked in Canadian politics as a campaign manager trainer and campaign director after spending more than a decade with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the United Nations working alongside pro-democracy civil society and political leaders in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Russia, Kenya, Tunisia, and Ukraine.

Jean-Noé holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Humanities at Carleton University in Canada and a master’s degree in philosophy from Trinity College Dublin. He was also a Fellow in Community Leadership in Justice at the University of Ottawa’s Center for Law, Technology and Society. He’s currently a Senior Fellow (Climate Data and Governance) with the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI), recently joined the latest wonderful cohort of coaches at the Institute for Change Leaders, and co-coordinates the international Obama Climate Leaders alumni network. Jean-Noé is frequently invited on national and international competition juries, data ethics working groups, and professional training schools and academies, such as the GovLab’s Data Stewards Academy and the Canada School of Public Service’s Digital Academy.

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Erica Ren

Chief Data Officer, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada
Erica Ren joined Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in October 2022 as the Chief Data Officer. In this role, she leads the department’s data strategy to enable data-driven evidence and trusted insight in support of public policy, programming and decision making. Erica joined the public service in 2005 and has worked in digital service delivery, business transformation and data analytics across the government, including Canada Border Services Agency, Correctional Services Canada, Canadian Heritage and Transport Canada. Erica holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master in Engineering and a Bachelor in Applied Science from the University of Ottawa.

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Brock Higgins

Lead, Partnerships Business Development, Canadian Digital Service
Brock Higgins is the Lead for Partnerships Business Development and previously led talent acquisition and recruitment for the Canadian Digital Service. Prior to joining government, Brock spent 13 years with Leaders International and Higgins Executive Search as a Managing Partner and Consultant, leading executive search engagements for government, academia, health care, not-for-profits, and private sector.

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Tamreen Arif

Senior Policy Advisor, Canadian Digital Service
Tamreen is always interested in finding new ways to turn complex problems into inclusive & equitable policy solutions.

Raised in Montreal, she's called Edmonton (Treaty 6) home for the last nine years. Tamreen has worked in policy roles in the non-profit sector and all three levels of government.

She has worked on a wide range of policy topics ranging from land-use planning in the North to rural economic development in southern Alberta. She joined CDS in October 2021 as a Senior Policy Advisor. In her spare time, you can find her in Edmonton's River Valley or searching for the best poutine in town.

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Manu Kabahizi

Consulting Digital Practitioner, Canadian Digital Service
Manu is a consultant at CDS helping various programs across GC deliver digital services that meet user needs using best practices. In a career spanning 22 years and over 20 countries, Manu has founded several technology businesses, led R&D for software products, and advised international agencies, such as UNICEF and UNFAO. Prior to joining CDS, Manu was a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer for Ulula, a role in which he oversaw research, development and delivery of a Software as a Service platform used by international business (such as Apple, Nike, IKEA and others) to monitor human rights abuse in global supply chains.

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Charlyne Lefebvre-Paillé

Senior Advisor, Research & Design, Canadian Digital Service
Born in Shawinigan, Charlyne has a background in Industrial Design and Human-Computer Interactions and completed a master's degree in Service Design from the Royal College of Art in London. She has worked in service design consultancies and IBM Watson Health. She acted as the Design Research Lead for Government Health and Human Services, collaborating with 30+ federal, state and local agencies. At CDS, she is a Senior Consultant for research and design, supporting partners in their user-centric journeys. Outside of work, she's probably nerding out about any new craft techniques she's learning!

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Dan Batista

Executive Director, Institute on Citizen-Centred Service (ICCS)
Dan joined Citizen First - ICCS in April 2015. He leads a dynamic team that helps public sector organizations pursue service excellence through research, learning, collaboration and professional development. Previously, Dan worked for the Government of Canada as a Senior Director leading a number of innovative teams that provide services to small businesses and entrepreneurs including the Canada Business Network and BizPaL.

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.

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Nancy Norris

Senior Director, ESG & Digital Trust, Ministry for Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, Government of British Columbia
Nancy Norris is the Senior Director of ESG & Digital Trust in the Ministry for Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation for the Government of British Columbia, Canada’s western-most province. Nancy has over 10 years of experience in strategic policy roles in the energy and mining sectors. Nancy has worked for the Government of British Columbia since 2018. In her current role Nancy is responsible for the Energy & Mines Digital Trust (EMDT) pilot project, which explores how British Columbia can leverage its leadership position in SSI and digital credentials to improve responsible mineral and natural gas sourcing and carbon accounting. Nancy has presented SSI concepts and use cases in the EMDT project to multiple stakeholder groups, including three public presentations to the open-source community. Nancy holds a Master of Public Policy from Simon Fraser University.

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Charles Macpherson

Senior Product Manager, Digital Identity and Trust Program, Office of the Chief Information Officer, BC Ministry of Citizens’ Services
Charles Macpherson is a Senior Product Manager in the Digital Identify and Trust Program in the BC Ministry of Citizens’ Services. He supports the rollout of digital trust solutions in British Columbia, keeping a watchful eye on the high-level goals and the low-level details to ensure successful outcomes. A Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Charles has supported technical service delivery in the public service for over 14 years, balanced with time to enjoy mountain biking and adventuring in the BC wilderness.