CSPS Digital Academy Events/Annual Digital Open Government Forum: Harnessing the Power of Artificial Intelligence Speakers (2020)

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Annual Digital Open Government Forum: Harnessing the Power of Artificial Intelligence - Program
Join us on GCCollab for updates and discussion

Speaker Biographies

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The Honourable Joyce Murray

Minister of Digital Government
Minister Murray is a dedicated community leader with a deep commitment to environmental sustainability and democratic engagement. Her federal political career follows a 25-year career building an international reforestation company and four years serving in the Cabinet of the Government of British Columbia.

In her earlier role as Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, Minister Murray championed and helped lead the development of the Centre for Greening Government. Making federal government operations more environmentally friendly and efficient was a natural project for Minister Murray, whose entrepreneurial spirit was reinforced through her reforestation company. The company has planted almost 1.5 billion trees, including more than 500,000 that she planted herself.

Minister Murray is a thought leader, driving progressive new policies in government. Whether advocating for strong, smart environmental measures such as a tanker ban on British Columbia’s north coast or for the legalization and strict regulation of cannabis, her ability to envision and deliver on bold new ideas comes from her depth of experience in politics and business. Her interest in environmental sustainability was evident in her master’s thesis on global warming, which contributed to her receiving the Simon Fraser University Dean's Convocation Medal for top MBA graduate of 1992.

As a child, Minister Murray immigrated to Canada from South Africa with her family and settled in Vancouver. She has three adult children and five grandchildren, and lives in Vancouver Quadra with her husband, Dirk.

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Taki Sarantakis

President, 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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Samuel Marleau Ouellet

Director, AI Hub, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Samuel Marleau Ouellet is the director of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s AI Hub. His team is in charge of AI-related bilateral and multilateral initiatives, such as the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI) and supports the Government of Canada AI Advisory Council. Samuel is also project director of the COVID-19 Exposure Notification App (COVID Alert) Advisory Council Secretariat and interim board member of the International Centre of Expertise in Montréal on Artificial Intelligence. Prior to that at ISED, he was the manager of the trade policy unit and senior industry analyst. He was also a senior trade policy analyst at Global Affairs Canada. Samuel graduated with a Ph.D. in Business Administration from HEC Montreal and a M.A. in political philosophy from Ottawa University. His research interests are in internationalization strategies and cultural management. Before joining the Canadian federal public service, he served as a senior political advisor in the government of the province of Quebec.

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Jim Provost

Lead Data Scientist, Lixar IT
Jim Provost is the Lead Data Scientist at Lixar. An accomplished speaker, teacher, and developer, Jim brings more than two decades of software development and machine learning experience and passion to his work.

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Sandy Kyriakatos

Chief Data Officer, Canada Border Services Agency
Sandy Kyriakatos Joined the Strategic Policy Branch on Monday, December 2, 2019 as the new Chief Data Officer, responsible for Data Analytics, Information Sharing and Access to Information and Privacy.

Sandy joined CDO from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), where in July 2016 she was appointed as the first Chief Data Officer in the GC. While implementing the Data Strategy Sandy spent the last three years maturing the data science capacity, data sharing, and data management at ESDC while championing a broad culture change around data. Prior to joining ESDC, she held a variety of positions in the private and public sector related to Data Analytics, Data Governance, Business Intelligence (BI) and Information Technology. She began her career in technical and advisory roles to and went on to lead organizational change in Analytics and Data. Her deep expertise across functional roles, industry verticals, and capabilities, brings unique insight into new role.

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Jesse Hirsh

Futurist, Researcher, Internet Strategist and Canada School of Public Service Digital Fellow
Jesse Hirsh is based out of Lanark County, Ontario, and has over 25 years experience as a technology researcher, ethicist, public speaker, broadcaster, and futurist. He writes a daily newsletter called Metaviews and works with organizations to help them use technology strategically and responsibly. He has an MA from Ryerson University in algorithmic media, and his current work focuses on the governance and ethics of artificial intelligence, data protection, and privacy. Jesse was a digital fellow with the Canada School of Public Service’s Digital Academy and a member of the Advisory Council for the Certificate in Machine Learning at York University’s School of Continuing Studies. An avid (social) entrepreneur, Jesse operates the Academy of the Impossible, a peer to peer lifelong learning network, and Ottawa Valley Smart Farms, an agricultural technology company.

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Dr. Sarah Shoker

Postdoctoral Fellow and Founder, Glassbox Inc.
Dr. Sarah Shoker is a postdoctoral fellow in political science at the University of Waterloo, where she uses empirical methods to research the social and policy impact of emerging technologies. She is a SSHRC 2020-2022 postdoctoral fellow, along with being the winning beneficiary for the 2019-2020 University of Waterloo Trailblazer Postdoctoral Fellowship.

She is the founder of Glassbox, a social impact firm that trains stakeholders in government and the tech sector to identify the social impact of AI systems. Her work is highly requested by government policymakers and garnered an invitation from Canada’s head of state, the Governor General Julie Payette, to participate in a delegation to Lithuania and Estonia. Dr. Shoker was invited into the Government of Canada’s Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence as a member of the Public Awareness Working Group. Her past work also includes a commission by Global Affairs Canada to write a report on the gendered effects of digital information communication technologies (ICTs) in the context of international security. Her report will be used to help mainstream gender into the Government of Canada’s national cybersecurity policy. Dr. Shoker has been the keynote speaker at the Data Exploitation Conference hosted by Public Safety Canada, where she had the opportunity to speak about algorithmic fairness and ethics to FiveEyes partner agencies. And whether she is speaking on panels sponsored by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, to think tanks like the Centre for International Governance Innovation, or with United Nations member states, she always strives to use her research to bridge the gap between stakeholders who often have very different ideas about AI’s role in society.

Most recently, Dr. Shoker’s book on gender, technology, and war was published in October 2020 by Palgrave MacMillan under the title Military-Age Males in U.S Counterinsurgency and Drone Warfare. You can follow her on Twitter @SarahShoker.

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Benoit Deshaies

Data and Artificial Intelligence, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Benoit studied computer science at Carleton University in Ottawa. He is acting Director of Data and Artificial Intelligence at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS). He directs the development of the Directive on Automated Decision-Making and the Algorithmic Impact Assessment (AIA). These policy tools ensure that Automated Decision Systems are deployed in a manner that reduces risks to Canadians and federal institutions, and lead to more efficient, accurate, consistent, and interpretable decisions made pursuant to Canadian law.

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Valentine Goddard

Founder and Executive Director, AI Alliance
"Lawyer, mediator, interarts curator and artist, Valentine Goddard is the founder and executive director of AI Impact Alliance, an independent non-profit organization operating globally, whose mission is to facilitate an ethical and responsible implementation of artificial intelligence. It produces the annual conference AI on a Social Mission and the Art Impact AI workshops both resulting in inclusive AI policy recommendations.

She is a member of the United Nations Expert Groups on The Role of Public Institutions in the Transformative Impact of New Technologies, and on a “Socially just transition towards sustainable development: The role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all”. Ms. Goddard sits on several committees related to the ethical and social impact of AI, contributing to public policy recommendations related to the ethical and normative framework of AI, while being regularly invited to speak at international conferences. She is a board member of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

In her multidisciplinary and applied approach to the ethics of AI, she places special emphasis on human dignity, having initiated throughout her career cultural and social mediation projects for human rights education. Her recent work is focused on how the arts and cultural sectors can foster renewed and diverse perspectives of our digital futures, support the development of informed and legitimate AI Policies, and shape AI’s development and governance."

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Dara Renton

Head of Product Management, Ontario Digital Service
Dara leads the practice of product management at the Ontario Digital Service helping the public sector adapt to the internet era and unleashing the potential of digital in government through product management and human centred design.

Previously Dara built and led a digital team at Toronto Public Library transforming the online experience for millions of users.

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Mauko Quiroga

Policy and Engagement Officer (aka. gov. whisperer) @ beta.gouv.fr
Mauko Quiroga is a Policy & Engagement Officer (aka. gov. whisperer) helping government deliver better digital services. He's a core member of French Prime Minister Services' beta.gouv.fr and Etalab. As a Government-as-a-Platform practitioner, he has contributed to services such as France's National Access Point for transport data and Assemblée nationale's LexImpact. He also contributes to OpenFisca, under the patronage of the Agence nationale de la cohésion des territoires, to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of rule-making processes, achieve better policy outcomes and transform public service delivery.

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Pia Andrews

Director General, Digital Experience and Client Data Workstream, Employment and Social Development Canada
Pia Andrews is an open government and data ninja who has been working in making the world a better place for 20 years. She currently works within the (public sector) machine to transform public services through greater transparency, democratic engagement, citizen-centric design, open data, emerging technologies and real, pragmatic actual innovation in the public sector and beyond. She believes that tech culture has a huge role to play in achieving better policy planning, outcomes, public engagement and a better public service all round. She is also trying to do her part in establishing greater public benefit from publicly funded data, software and research. Pia was recognised in 2018 and 2019 as one of the global top 20 most Influential in Digital Government and was awarded as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Australia for 2014.

Pia is currently the Digital Lead and Special Advisor for the Benefits Delivery Modernization program at Service Canada (ESDC) in Ottawa, Canada. There she is helping design and deliver a holistic and modern digital channel for the Canadian Government to deliver a delightful, dignified, user-centric, responsive and integrated digital journey that motivates and empowers people to help themselves.


Julie McAuley

Chief Data Officer, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Julie McAuley joined Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada in September 2017 as the department’s Chief Results and Delivery Officer. In this role, she leads the implementation of the department’s outcomes-focused results and delivery framework and is the responsible for the oversight and management of ISED’s Chief Data Office. Prior to joining ISED, she spent her career at Statistics Canada where she held a number of executive positions.


Peter Yoon

Manager, Rapid Experimentation and Innovation Space, Health Canada
Peter is an advocate of learning by doing. He leads an applied science experimentation division at Health Canada to test novel technologies within the compliance and enforcement domain.


Bryan Paget

Data Scientist, Regulatory Operations and Enforcement Branch, Health Canada
Bryan is an open organization transformation powerhouse with a passion for open and F.A.I.R. data management and policy. Bryan works as a data scientist at Health Canada and his specialty is in natural language processing and all things Linux and open source.


Brook Carrothers

Manager, Passenger Protect Program and Targeting Operations, Aviation Security
Brook Carrothers is currently the Manager of the Pre-Load Air Cargo Targeting (PACT) Team at Transport Canada. She began her career at Transport Canada in 2008 with the Passenger Protect Program (Canada’s No-Fly List), transitioned to the intelligence group to lead the aviation file, and then contributed to the successful launch of the Air Cargo Security Program in 2016.

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Chesley Escott

Projects Officer and Coordinator, Passenger Protect Program and Targeting Operations, PACT Unit, Aviation Security
Chesley has worked with the Pre-load Air Cargo Targeting (PACT) for five years now, and is the creator of the Excel and Outlook based technology solutions which the new AI project will replace. Lately, he has helped to form a bridge of communication between the PACT world of aviation security and the artificial intelligence world of data science.


Dave Carter

Research Council Officer, Situational Awareness, National Research Council
Dave Carter is an engineer with the Text Analytics group in the Information and Communications Technologies portfolio of National Research Council Canada. He obtained an M.A.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Ottawa. He joined the NRC in 2006 and leads the development of NRC’s natural language processing platform for syndromic surveillance and situational awareness.

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Lorena Webster

Senior Laboratory Accreditation Officer, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Lorena Webster: Science Authority, Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Lorena is the business representative and product owner on the Canadian Food Safety Information Network (CFSIN) Project. CFSIN is a cloud based pan-Canadian food safety information network for FPT food safety organizations, which includes a data repository, intelligence capabilities, and other network services supported by a digital platform that will enable effective surveillance and event response activities.

The FIESCA tool that Dave Carter will be demo’ing was developed for us as part of the suite of tools available within the CFSIN platform.

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Mélanie Robert

Executive Director, Open Government and Portals, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
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

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Tracey Lauriault

Associate Professor, Critical Media and Big Data, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University
Tracey P. Lauriault, is Associate Professor of Critical Media and Big Data, Communication and Media Studies, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University, and is Cross Appointed to the MA in Digital Humanities She hosted the International Data Power 2017 conference in Ottawa and was part of the 2019 organizing committee for Bremen. As a board member of the Institute for Data Science she bridges computer science, social theory and public policy. She is one of the founders of the new domain of critical data studies, open data and open smart cities in Canada and has expertise in data infrastructures and spatial media for which AI play a significant role. She serves on the multi-stakeholder forum for Canadian Open Government Civil Society Network, was on the Board for Open North Canada, and is a research associate with the Maynooth University Social Science Institute in Ireland, the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre at Carleton University and the Centre for Law Technology and Society at Ottawa University and Institut national de la recherche scientifique in Montreal.

For more info about Tracey Lauriault's online presence

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Erick Galinkin

Researcher, Montreal AI Ethics Institute; Principal Artificial Intelligence Researcher, Rapid7
Erick Galinkin is a hacker and mathematician specializing in theory of machine learning and applying artificial intelligence to cybersecurity problems. His research at the Montreal AI Ethics Institute focuses on using principles from modern software deployment to enhance the security and ethics of machine learning systems.

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Ana Brandusescu

2019-21 McConnell Foundation Professor of Practice, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montreal, McGill University
Ana Brandusescu is a researcher, advisor, and facilitator who works on a more critical and publicly accountable use of data and technology. Currently, as the 2019-21 McConnell Foundation Professor of Practice at McGill University’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montreal, Ana is examining the funding landscape of artificial intelligence (AI) in Canada to better understand the economic, political, and social implications of this technology. Ana is also co-leading of “AI for the Rest of Us”, a research project to develop a new model of public (civic) engagement in government decision making processes that are being automated with AI. She also consults on data and tech projects.

During her time at the World Wide Web Foundation, Ana led research on the implementation and impact of open government data in 115 countries with the Open Data Barometer, co-chaired the Measurement and Accountability Group of the international Open Data Charter, and led gender equality research advocacy across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean via the Women's Rights Online program. Ana authored blogs, reports, and book chapters on open data, open contracting, data measurement, AI policy, data protection, and gender equity. Ana's work also includes policy research, and building strategic partnerships in open data for agriculture and nutrition, participatory mapping, co-developing the Open Contracting Data Standard and crowdmapping community development in Canada.

Ana holds a MA in Geography from McGill University, and a BA with a double major in Economics and Environmental Geography from Simon Fraser University.

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Sarah Villeneuve

Program Lead, Partnership on AI
Sarah is a Program Lead for PAI’s Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in AI team. Sarah is deeply interested in topics at the intersections of AI, social justice, and power. Through her work, she is dedicated to building a diverse community and advancing research to help inform the responsible development and use of artificial intelligence.

Previously, Sarah led research on the socio-political aspects of AI at the Brookfield Institute, a non-profit think tank housed at Ryerson University in Toronto, where she designed and delivered a series of national workshops on AI policy supported by the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy. Prior to this, Sarah was a research assistant at the University of Cambridge where she contributed to the development of The Whistle, a digital human rights reporting verification tool. She has also contributed to IEEE’s Global Initiative on the Ethical Considerations of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems as both a member of the Wellbeing committee and the metrics working group.

Sarah has presented her work at forums such as the Canada-UK Symposium on Ethics in Artificial Intelligence, the Open Government Partnership Global Summit, and the Media Ethics Conference. She has been recognized as one of 100 Brilliant Women to follow in AI Ethics and as one of 30 Women Advancing AI in Canada. She has also been featured in Fast Company and the Globe and Mail.

Sarah holds an MSc in Data and Society from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from the University of London.


Ashley Casovan

Executive Director, AI Global
Ashley has been at the forefront of building tools and policy interventions to support the responsible use and adoption of innovative technologies, both with her work at the Government of Canada, and as the Executive Director of AI Global, a multi-stakeholder non-profit dedicated to mitigating harm and unintended consequences of AI systems. As a recognized leader in the social tech community she has developed a strong reputation for developing workable governance for data, artificial intelligence, and open source tools. Her work and ability to bring experts together to solve important challenges has led to meaningful change in government and beyond. Her work helps to inform government, industry, and academic research. She is currently a member of the following initiatives:
Chair, Responsible AI Certification Working Group, World Economic Forum

  • OECD’s Network of Experts, AI Policy Observatory
  • Canada’s AI Strategy Council Public Awareness Working Group
  • The Canadian Data Governance Collaboration Steering Committee
  • Responsible AI Advisor to the United States Government Accountability Office
  • Responsible AI standards - ISO JTC1/SC42, IEEE, CIO Strategy Council
  • The Open Community for Ethics in Autonomous and Intelligent Systems(OCEANIS)
  • Advisor to InnSoTech project for Alberta “HelpSeekers” Initiative
  • Member of Advisory Board for NSERC research project at University of Toronto, “CREATE Responsible AI”
  • Industry Advisor for independent study, “Current Health Regulations and their impact on AI,” University of Texas, Faculty of Law
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Sarah Paquet

Director and Chief Executive Officer, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada
Sarah Paquet attended the University of Ottawa, earning her Civil Law degree in 1993 and her Common Law degree in 2001. Ms. Paquet started her federal public service career in the Department of Justice (DoJ) in 1997. She held various positions within DoJ including Health Canada Legal Services, before becoming Executive Director and General Counsel for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Executive Director and Senior General Counsel for Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).

In August 2011, she became Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of PSPC’s Integrated Services Branch. She played a key role in PSPC's Service Strategy, which helped ingrain client service excellence across the department. She was also responsible for enabling major Government of Canada IT-enabled business solutions.

In April 2017, Ms. Paquet became the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategy Branch, at Shared Services Canada (SSC). She led the development of the Government of Canada renewed IT infrastructure transformation plan, resulting in new investments in SSC.

In February 2018, Ms. Paquet was appointed the Executive Vice-President (EVP) at SSC. As the first EVP at SSC, Ms. Paquet is providing leadership to SSC as it modernizes the Government of Canada enterprise IT infrastructure, enabling digital services to Canadians.

Ms. Paquet is also the Deputy Minister Champion for the University of Ottawa strengthening their relationship with the Government of Canada, focussing on student mental health and recruitment. She is a strong advocate for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

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Andrew Ng

CEO, Founder, Landing AI; Co-Founder, Coursera; Adjunct Professor, Stanford University
Andrew Ng is Founder of DeepLearning.AI, Founder and CEO of Landing AI, General Partner at AI Fund, Chairman and Co-Founder of Coursera, and an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University. As a pioneer both in machine learning and online education, Dr. Ng has changed countless lives through his work and research in the field of artificial intelligence. He now focuses his time primarily on his entrepreneurial ventures, looking for the best ways to accelerate responsible AI practices in the larger global economy.

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Marc Brouillard

Acting Chief Information Officer, Government of Canada
Marc Brouillard is the Chief Technology Officer for the Government of Canada, in the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and is currently acting as the interim 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 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 government-wide vision and strategic leadership in pursuing world class excellence in digital integration, information management and technology, and cyber security. He has had a long and successful career as a senior public and private sector executive in information management and technology.