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Just in time for the holidays, the Hill Times is reporting of changes in the PMO.:
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Senior staff shake-up in the Prime Minister’s Office
By Laura Ryckewaert
Dec. 20, 2018
Leslie O’Leary has landed the role of director of issues management in the PMO, and Joseph Pickerill will be replacing her as chief of staff to Infrastructure Minister François-Philippe Champagne.
An end-of-year senior staff shake-up has taken place in the Prime Minister’s Office, as part of which, Brian Clow has been promoted to the title of executive director of Canada-U.S. relations and issues management.
A string of changes was announced in a recent memo to staff from PMO chief of staff Katie Telford and principal secretary Gerald Butts, with all moves effective as of Jan. 7, 2019.
Brian Clow is now an executive director in the PMO.
Mr. Clow first joined the PMO in January 2017 to lead the then-newly created Canada-U.S. relations team, a three-member unit focused on monitoring news coming out of the U.S., liaising with stakeholders, and supporting outreach and policy work across cabinet related to our southern neighbours. Dubbed a war room, the team had a big role to play during the recent NAFTA renegotiations.
Before joining Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s team, Mr. Clow was executive director of issues management and legislative affairs to former Ontario Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne, and was director of strategic research and policy for the Ontario Liberal caucus under then-premier Dalton McGuinty. He also spent time on the Hill in then-Liberal official opposition leader Michael Ignatieff’s office as the research team lead.
With his promotion, he has joined the PMO’s executive director ranks, which include Kate Purchase, executive director for communications and planning, and Mike McNair, executive director of legislative affairs. He continues to oversee the Canada-U.S. relations team, which has seen a small change of its own: adviser Simon Beauchemin is now a manager for Canada-U.S. relations, giving him greater day-to-day oversight over the team. Elise Wagner continues as a special assistant for Canada-U.S. relations.
Simon Beauchemin has also been promoted.
Mr. Beauchemin was a special assistant for parliamentary affairs to then-international trade minister Chrystia Freeland before joining the PMO in January 2017. He’s also a former consultant for Hatley Strategy Advisers in Montreal.
Working under Mr. Clow as director of issues management is Leslie O’Leary, who has left her post as chief of staff to Infrastructure Minister François-Philippe Champagne to join the PMO.
Previously, Ryan Dunn filled this role, but he left in July to become chief of staff to Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade Minister Dominic LeBlanc.
Ms. O’Leary had been working in the infrastructure minister’s office since January 2016, starting as a director of issues management under then-minister Amarjeet Sohi. Mr. Champagne was shuffled in to replace Mr. Sohi, who is now natural resources minister, as part of the cabinet shuffle last July.
Leslie O’Leary has been named PMO director of issues management.
With her exit, Joseph Pickerill is lined up to take over as chief of staff to Mr. Champagne starting on Jan. 14. Mr. Pickerill has been busy on the Hill as director of communications to the international trade minister since January 2016, starting under Ms. Freeland.
He’s a former director of communications for the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a former strategic communications officer with the U.S. State Department, a former press and public affairs director at the British Consulate General in Boston, and a former member of then-U.K. prime minister Tony Blair’s cabinet office delivery unit, among other past jobs indicated on his LinkedIn profile.
For her part, before coming to work for the federal government in Ottawa, Ms. O’Leary was working as director of communications to then-Ontario deputy premier Deb Matthews. She’s also a former associate press secretary to then Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, a former press secretary to then-Ontario revenue minister John Wilkinson, and a former adviser to then-Ontario deputy premier George Smitherman. Outside of politics, she’s also been a senior specialist for media relations and public affairs for Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, as indicated on her LinkedIn profile.
Issues adviser Michael Power is now a deputy director of issues management and strategic planning. Along with helping Ms. O’Leary put out any political fires, he’ll be helping with long-term planning on key issues in the office.
Mr. Power has been part of the PMO issues management team since January 2016, starting off as a special assistant, and previously worked as a special assistant in Mr. Trudeau’s office as the third party Liberal leader. Among other things, he’s a former online editor and sales director for The Ottawa Star, a local community newspaper.
Michael Den Tandt is running for the Liberal Party’s nomination for 2019.
Currently also working in the PMO issues management section are legislative assistant Sebastien Belliveau and issues advisers Gillian Hanson, Michael Jones, Samantha Khalil, and Chloé Luciani-Girouard.
Michael Den Tandt, who’s been a communications adviser to the prime minister since February 2017, has bid farewell to the PMO. On Dec. 14, Mr. Den Tandt announced that he will be seeking the Liberal Party’s nomination in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, Ont., to become the official candidate for 2019. Conservative MP Larry Miller has represented the riding since 2004, and in 2015 was re-elected with roughly 46.7 per cent of the vote.
Mr. Den Tandt is a former national political columnist with Postmedia and with the QMI News Agency before that, and is a former security and defence correspondent for The Globe and Mail in Ottawa.
The Hill Times
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