What are careers in public policy?
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So, what are careers in public policy?
Now that you’ve learned all about public policy in this video series, maybe you’d like to know a little bit more about some jobs that allow you to work in this field.
The Action Canada Fellows share a bit more about their professional experiences:
Research – Inform Policy
- Work in research can include conducting research, analyzing data, and providing evidence-based insights to inform decision-makers.
- Fellows suggest that these types of roles are well-suited to people who like to work with others to achieve a bigger outcome than what they can do by themselves.
Public Servants – Create Policy
- Public servants craft and implement policies. Their work can serve citizens in their community, their province/territory or all Canadians, depending on whether they work for municipal, provincial/territorial of the federal government.
- Fellows suggest that these types of roles are well-suited to people who want to directly have an impact on the well-being of people.
Politics – Advance Policy Ideas
- Work in politics offers the opportunity to connect with people in your community, hear the challenges they are facing, and learn what solutions they suggest for addressing those problems. Those elected to office can bring forward policy solutions to address the problems they see in society.
- Fellows suggest that these types of roles are well-suited to people who like to find solutions and make them happen.
Advocacy / Lobbying – Influence Policies
- Professionals in advocacy, lobbying, and non-profit leadership work with government to help them understand issues faced by the people or organisations they represent and try to advance policy changes on their behalf.
- Fellows suggest that these types of roles are well-suited to people who are social and like to think strategically.
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Fellows featured in this module
Tesicca Truong 張慈櫻 Trương Từ Anh (she/her) is a community engagement innovator, an anti-oppressive dialogue facilitator, and a serial changemaker. Her passions lie at the intersection of youth empowerment, citizen engagement and resilience building.
She co-founded CityHive, a non-profit on a mission to transform the way young people shape their cities and the civic processes that engage them. She also co-created the inaugural Vancouver School Board Sustainability Conference, currently in its eleventh year, and kick-started the Vancouver Youth4Tap Coalition, a city-wide campaign that led to the installation of new water fountains in every public high school in Vancouver. She has run for office municipally and provincially and has advised Ministers both federally and provincially. She currently works as the Program Manager at Environment Funders Canada.
Tesicca has served on the Mayor’s Engaged City Task Force, BC’s Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council, and SFU Senate. For her work, she was awarded the SFU President’s Leadership in Sustainability Award and Vancouver’s Greenest City Leadership Award. Tesicca has also been named on Top 30 under 30 and Top 25 under 25 lists by Corporate Knights, North American Association for Environmental Education, and Starfish Canada. You can find her longboarding and biking through the city, swimming and kayaking in the ocean, rock climbing in the mountains, and exploring the woods.
Jasmine (Jas) Irwin is a Senior Associate at Springboard Policy, a public policy consulting firm that helps organizations to use their voices and expertise to shape important policy conversations. Jas has always been drawn to good ideas and driven to maximize their impact by helping to communicate those ideas to others in clear and compelling ways. She has eight years of experience working at the intersection of communications and policy to build consensus and spur change.
In her current role, Jas has spearheaded projects ranging from mapping the infrastructure gap in Canada’s North, to examining the role of artificial intelligence tech on children’s privacy rights, to researching career guidance as a policy tool for those with barriers to work. Before joining Springboard, Jas worked as a Policy Advisor and Press Secretary to Ontario’s Deputy Premier, where she worked on key policies like the transformation of Ontario’s Student Assistance Program. She began her career working in post-secondary student advocacy, creating province-wide campaigns on issues like tuition affordability and pay equity.
Raised in London, Ontario, Jas has a B.A. in Media and the Public Interest from Western University, and an M.A. in Political and Legal Thought from Queens University. At Queens, her research focus was on corrections policy in Canada and the overrepresentation of Indigenous women in high-security settings.
Jas also enjoys reading, lightly interrogating friends and strangers about the things they are interested in, and performing live comedy.
Ian Van Haren is a PhD Candidate and course lecturer in sociology at McGill University. His research focuses on civic engagement, migration policy, refugee resettlement, and the experiences of newcomers of diverse backgrounds as they adjust to life in Canada. Before his doctoral studies, he worked as a diplomat for the Canadian government, with assignments as a migration officer in London, England; Beirut, Lebanon; and Pretoria, South Africa.
Ian grew up in a farming community in central Alberta: for the first ten years of his life his parents had a dairy farm and since then they have farmed bison. His grandparents immigrated to Alberta from the Netherlands.
Ian now lives in Montreal. In addition to his overseas experience, he has also lived, worked and studied in Moncton, New Brunswick; Gatineau, Quebec; and in Ottawa and Toronto. He is a board member at Citizens for Public Justice, a faith-based public policy and advocacy organization, and has also been involved in refugee sponsorship initiatives in Ontario and Quebec.
Leslie Muñoz is a proud Colombian-Canadian currently living in Guelph, Ontario. A driven strategist, government relations expert and community-builder, they currently serve as Chief of Staff to the President of the University of Guelph. Prior to this role, they served as Manager of Policy and Intergovernmental Relations at the City of Guelph and as a Policy Advisor with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
They are also an Ontario Legislature Internship Program alum and previously worked with Global Affairs Canada as a member of Canada’s G7/G20 Summits team. Outside of work, Leslie enjoys cycling, exploring new towns and cities and spending time at home with their toddler and partner.
Émily Soulières is an experienced public servant currently working for Service Canada in Quebec. As a senior manager in the Assistant Deputy Minister’s office, Émily focuses on issues management, as well as advising and making recommendations on a wide range of issues.
Since joining the Public Service of Canada in 2011, Émily has had the opportunity to play strategic roles and work on key files, including governance for the Department of National Defence, Global Affairs Canada’s consular policies and, more recently, the delivery of essential programs and services to Canadians for Employment and Social Development Canada.
In July 2019, Émily left her job with the Government of Canada in order to seek out new experiences in the private sector and a new life on Canada’s West Coast. For nearly three years, she lived in Vancouver and had the privilege of working for Navitas, a growing Canadian company and leading global education provider.
The COVID-19 pandemic gave Emily the space to self-reflect, re-examine her own values and priorities, and rethink her future. Seeing the plight worsening for the most vulnerable Canadians during the pandemic, Émily understood that she wanted to dedicate her career to building a richer, more inclusive Canada. This is why she seized the opportunity to return to her roots and resume her career in the federal public service.
Émily firmly believes that the Government of Canada has a key role to play in developing bold, innovative, hands-on solutions to today’s major social, economic and political issues, such as the labour shortage, care for seniors, support for individuals with mental health issues, systemic racism and youth disengagement.
Émily is fluent in English and French and has a basic knowledge of Arabic. She grew up in Gatineau and has a bachelor’s degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from the University of Ottawa. She now lives in the Greater Montréal area.
Anh-Khoi Trinh is a PhD candidate passionate about bridging the gap between science and society. Originally from Gatineau, QC, Anh-Khoi moved to Montreal in the pursuit of an education that would lead to a R&D career. His path led him to a PhD in theoretical physics at McGill University after he learned and marveled at the mysteries of quantum gravity and the elegance of mathematics; supported by a scholarship from NSERC, his research aims to decipher the properties of spacetime at infinitesimally small scales.
Throughout his postgraduate studies, Anh-Khoi’s commitment to drive positive impact through science remained undaunted as he engaged in science communication, science education, and science policy initiatives. With a focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion, his work aimed to make science and research more accessible by inspiring the next generation to pursue science careers, improving physics educational curriculums, and improving policies in support of the next generation of researchers.
Anh-Khoi is a recipient of McGill’s Clark Science Executive Leadership Fund in 2020 which financed his enrollment in McGill’s mini-MBA program, and he is a past-President (2021) and current member of the Board of Directors for the student-led non-profit Science & Policy Exchange. In his spare time, he enjoys playing sports and exercising.
Anna Laurence currently works as Senior Manager, Government Affairs at Rogers Communications, where she focuses on Rogers federal government relations issues relating to broadcasting, copyright, accessibility, and cyber security. Prior to joining Rogers Anna worked in government relations with The Canadian Real Estate Association, dealing with a variety of housing issues and leading the internal coordination of the association’s annual grassroots lobby days – one of the largest of its kind in Canada.
Anna has long been passionate about politics and grassroots involvement. She first directed grassroots advocacy efforts as the Chapter Advocacy Coordinator of STAND Canada, a student led human rights advocacy group. She later pursued her interest in politics working on Parliament Hill while taking part in the Parliamentary Internship Programme (PIP). Since finishing PIP she has assumed various roles on the alumni Board, including as President. She is a board member of Voice Found Canada, a survivor led national charity that aims to increase awareness of and educate individuals and organizations on how to identify, prevent and respond to child sex abuse and sex trafficking. She also actively volunteers with the National Capital Region YMCA and chaired the organizing committee for the 2018 Y Cycle for Strong Kids. A former competitive fencer, equestrian and soccer player she likes to keep active. Having hung up her foil nowadays she teaches spin classes on a regular basis instead. A proud maritimer Anna may live in Ottawa but still calls Halifax home. She holds an MA in Political Science from McGill University and a BA in Political Science and Film from Carleton University.
Joshua has advised key decision makers in federal, provincial and municipal government and is committed to turning ideas into action. In his current role as Senior Policy Analyst with the Nova Scotia government’s Accessibility Directorate, he is working with municipalities, universities and community groups to ensure that Nova Scotians of diverse abilities can participate fully in daily life. In his previous role as Senior Policy Advisor to the Mayor of Halifax, he worked with residents, community groups and government to make Halifax a more inclusive, accessible and active community. He’s also worked in the Minister’s Office in both the Finance and Health portfolios with the Government of Nova Scotia, where he managed many of the key challenges facing provincial government. With the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Joshua helped to build strong, sustainable communities across the country by influencing policies and programs that fall within federal jurisdiction.
Joshua graduated with First Class Honours and the University Medal in Sociology from Dalhousie University and the University of Kings College in Halifax, and holds a Masters Degree in Social and Political Thought from York University in Toronto. Between degrees, he interned at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, where he assisted in the preparation of UNESCO’s strategy in the fight against racism and discrimination.
Following his Masters, Joshua participated in the Parliamentary Internship Programme in Ottawa. He is a dedicated father, a volunteer board member with Springtide, a grassroots organization dedicated to helping people lead change through politics with their integrity intact, and enjoys jogging, cooking and playing basketball.
Ayesha joined Global Affairs Canada in November 2021, where she is the Director of the Task Force responsible for establishing a Canadian centre for democracy. This mandate letter and platform commitment was most recently announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the December 2021 Summit for Democracy and has as its aim to amplify Canadian expertise to support of democracy and good governance.
Prior to this, Ayesha was the Director of Strategic Issues in the Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat of the Privy Council Office. In this role, she supported the Prime Minister and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs in their engagement with provinces and territories and helped to deliver on the government’s key commitments in areas of COVID response, health, climate, and reconciliation. Previously, Ayesha also led the whole-of-government effort to prevent and counter foreign interference in Canada’s democratic institutions and the 2019 General Election.
Ayesha was recruited into the federal government through the Management Trainee Program, following the completion of an Honours undergraduate degree in International Relations and a Masters degree in Public Administration at Dalhousie University. Her experience in government has included time in the International Affairs Division of Public Safety Canada, where she led the coordination of the department’s multilateral engagement with the United Nations and the Organization of American States on policy issues related to human rights, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, border security and corrections. For two years, Ayesha managed the Virtual Risk Analysis Cell, where she contributed to the federal government’s response to national-scale emergencies like the 2016 wildfires in Fort McMurray and in British Columbia, as well as 2017 floods in Ontario and Quebec, and assessed the impacts of natural and man-made hazards to Canada’s critical infrastructure assets and systems.
Outside of work, Ayesha serves as President of the Board of Directors of the National Capital Branch of the Canadian International Council, making her the youngest branch President and first person of colour to occupy the post.
She is a 2015-16 Action Canada Fellow and Chair of the Action Canada Board of Directors, and a regular participant in the Banff Forum. Her hobbies include sewing clothes for herself, bingeing true crime podcasts, and reading a mix of both fiction and non-fiction.
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