Giselle Jean Baptiste

Giselle Jean Baptiste

Executive Director

Treasury Board of Canada

Giselle Jean Baptiste is an Executive Director at Treasury Board Secretariat. She has over 20 years of experience leading initiatives and projects in various Government of Canada departments such as Public Services and Procurement Canada, Global Affairs Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Giselle holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ottawa.

Alex Benay

Alex Benay

Global Lead, Government Azure Strategy


Former Chief Information Officer, Government of Canada

Director Profile: A former Deputy Minister at the Treasury Board of Canada, President and CEO, who now leads Microsoft’s global strategies for government cloud adoption Prior to this he led the national digital transformation practice at a Big Four firm, Alex Benay is an expert in the digital economy, digital strategy, and digital policy. Alex is known for his ability to lead and execute complex transformations, uniting diverse stakeholders from multiple levels and industries, often with divergent interests, to drive results quickly. Fluent in English and French, as well as a published author, he is a recognized global leader in digital transformation with senior level experience in both the public and private sectors. Alex serves on the board of the World Wide Web Foundation, an international not-for-profit organization established in 2009 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (the inventor of the web). The World Wide Web Foundation, is the leading advocate for a web as a public good and basic right for everyone and its initiatives include the Contract for the Web, the Alliance for Affordable Internet, and the Women’s Rights Online network, For more information, see https://webfoundation.org/. Finally, he is also the co-founder (alongside Jim Balsillie), of the CIO Strategy Council, a group of 70+ CIOs from various industries, which helps to shape the national technology agenda of Canada, including national technology standards to increase global competitiveness in banks, governments, and other sectors.

Background: Alex currently serves as Global Lead, Government Azure Strategy at Microsoft where he helps governments around the world adopt cloud technologies. Prior to this, he was a Partner with KPMG, where he led the national digital transformation practice helping governments and Fortune 500 companies in multiple industries to pivot to the digital economy in the areas of technology, people and strategy.

Previously, Alex was a Deputy Minister at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the Chief Information Officer of Canada, where he managed a $7b (CDN) budget and led the government’s plans in areas of technology, people and business change. The role is fundamental to the country’s national digital agenda and to a strong Canadian digital economy, and includes oversight of digital standards, policies and guidelines, as well as key initiatives in artificial intelligence, national privacy, and cyber-security.

Prior to his appointment as Deputy Minister, Alex was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation, a federal Crown Corporation. In this role, he managed over $275M in capital projects, re-launching a national museum in record time, as well as pioneering new digital partnerships with companies such as Nintendo, which produced global games on its platform using Corporation content and expertise.

From 2009 to 2014, Alex was a Vice-President at OpenText, Canada’s largest software company, where he oversaw several portfolios ranging from industry marketing to global public sector sales. Throughout his time with the company, he played a leadership role in Canada’s digital industry, as well as in promoting the global shift to digital in organizations such as the G20, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Olympics. Before joining OpenText, Alex managed various teams and programs at Global Affairs Canada where he focused on international trade and development in the information, communications and technology sector.

In 2018, Alex was named to Apolitical’s international list of the 100 most influential people in digital government. He is also the author of Canadian Failures, an anthology of essays from prominent Canadians openly talking about failure, and Government Digital, an in-depth look at how modern governments are tackling digital change.

Laura Chang

Laura Chang

Code for Canada

Laura is a design strategist and communications professional focused on helping exceptional organizations tackle meaningful challenges. At Code for Canada, Laura advises on strategic initiatives, marketing, and program growth. In addition to her work at Code for Canada, she supports other non-profit organizations, including Civic Tech Toronto as a Co-Organizer and The Starfish Environmental Society as their Director of Operations & Leadership. Prior to her work in civic tech and digital government, Laura held a number of positions in the tech start-up and marketing space, working with a diverse range of institutional and Fortune 500 clients.

Courtney Claessens

Senior Product Manager

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Canadian Digital Service

Courtney Claessens is a Senior Product Manager at the Canadian Digital Service (CDS), where she works with teams to build the right thing at the right time and hold people at the centre of our products.  At CDS she has led the delivery of the provincial healthcare integration of COVID Alert and products to help people find relevant benefits (for people financially impacted by COVID-19 and for Veterans), and worked with ESDC to improve the CPP Disability application and adjudication process. Before joining the public service she worked at Esri to build products that enable governments around the world to share data with the public.

Gil Côté

Digital Transformation Architect

Cancentric Solutions

Gil is a digital pioneer with over 25 years of digital transformation experience as a public servant, consultant and business leader. His roles have involved project leadership, product development, business transformation, information and business architecture and application development.

He has a proven track record working with extended project teams, across and between organizations to develop innovative and award winning digital solutions involving content management, search, analytics, and machine learning. His diverse experience includes public and private sector engagements throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.

Wendy Cukier

Wendy Cukier

Director, Diversity Institute

Ryerson University

Professor, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Ted Rogers School of Management

Dr. Wendy Cukier is the Diversity Institute Founder, Academic Director of the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub and Research Lead of the Future Skills Centre. She is the co-author of the bestseller, Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Java to Jurassic and former VP of Research and Innovation. The Diversity Institute has 75 research staff, 100 research associates from around the world, 200 industry partners and focuses on dimensions of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, future skills, and entrepreneurship and innovation. Harnessing the power of innovation, it promotes the advancement of underrepresented groups. The Diversity Institute is also a research lead for the $300 million Future Skills Centre and the $8.6 million Women Entrepreneurship Hub. Wendy has been recognized with the Harry Jerome Diversity Award, the Bob Marley Award, the Canada-Pakistan Business Council’s Female Professional of the Year, the Metropolis Research Award, the CATA Alliance, Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN. She has been named a YWCA Woman of Distinction and one of the International Women’s Forum 2020 Women Who Make a Difference, a Woman of Influence and one of the “100 Alumni who shaped the Century” by the University of Toronto. Wendy holds a PhD, an MBA, an MA, and honorary doctorates from Laval and Concordia.

Melanie Gilbert

Melanie Gilbert

Associate Partner

IBM Services - Canadian Public Sector

Melanie is an Associate Partner focused on the Canadian Federal Public Sector since August 2019. She is responsible for the delivery and growth of some of IBM Canada’s largest services engagements.

She is known for her thought leadership with respect to disruptive technologies. As the IBM Canada Public Sector Blockchain leader, she helps her clients understand what makes a good Blockchain use case and how to deploy projects that deliver real business results.

Melanie is passionate about how disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain can improve citizen centric experiences and change the way governments engage with private industry, other governments, and its citizens. As such, she is a frequent public speaker on these topics.

Melanie is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Emlyon, France where she teaches “AI and Disruptive Technologies Applied to Commerce” within the Masters of Science (MSc) in Digital Marketing and Data Science department.

Syed Hasan

Syed Hasan

Innovation and Agile Procurement

Public Services and Procurement Canada

Syed Hasan is the Manager of the Innovative Procurement Methodologies Division at Public Services and Procurement Canada. He managed the development and implementation of the Artificial Intelligence Source List and is currently managing the Professional Services Modernization Initiative, the development of Agile Procurement, and other key initiatives related to innovation and procurement. In his career, Syed has had the opportunity to work at PSPC’s Office of Small and Medium Enterprises as well as at a number of other government departments including Indigenous Services Canada and the Department of National Defence.

Justin Hewitt

A/Senior Director of DevOps Platform Services


I’ve been in the BC Public Service for over fifteen years, a bit of a journeyman, going from one sector to the next every few years.  This includes working with Agile teams for over 5 years, both traditional Scrum and Disciplined Agile Delivery.  My experience shows a hybrid work in practise in government.  I’m a fan of young Napoleon’s approach to leadership, which is from the front.  Previous roles include Product Owner, Scrum Master, Developer, DevOps practitioner, and Director of Operations.    DevOps has been in my game plan for the past 3 years in multiple positions, taking a Service Design approach to enablement, always championing the CALMS model (Culture, Automation, Lean, Measurement, and Sharing).  I’m currently a lead champion of Site Reliability Engineering in the BCPS, to compliment high velocity with reliability of the services we build in our digital transformation journey.  My current efforts involve the transition of a successful pathfinder project of the Province’s DevOps Platform to Enterprise in 2020/2021 fiscal year, a Private Cloud solution that’s well on its way to scale to hybrid cloud.  Oh, and always, always, with the developer as the primary persona.

Natasha Jetté

Head – Exploration and R&D, Digital Innovation Network (DIN), Digital Services Branch (DSB)

Public Services and Procurement Canada / Government of Canada

Philippe Johnston

Philippe Johnston


CIO Association of Canada

Director General, Digital Services Directorate

Transport Canada

Philippe is currently managing the operational and capital IM/IT portfolio for Transport Canada.  Since Jan 2019 he has been digitizing and enhancing the safety, security, and efficiency of Canada’s transportation sector.  Prior to this role he held the CIO position at the granting councils, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).  He was at the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) from 2011-2016, where he led all parts of the internal IM IT organization, including the Deputy/CIO position for the last two years.

During this time he helped establish the Secret Network for the Government of Canada, as well as developing and implementing a comprehensive Front Office strategy for TBS.

Prior to joining TBS, Philippe helped establish the Cyber Defense program at the Communications Security Establishment, while creating partnerships with academia, vendors and with key international organizations in the realm of cyber security.

Philippe was a proud member of the Canadian Navy where he obtained his Combat Systems Engineering Head of Department qualification before his retirement.

Christopher MacDonald

Chief Audit and Evaluation Executive

Public Service Commission of Canada

Mr. MacDonald was appointed Chief Audit and Evaluation Executive on 8 December 2017. He is responsible for providing the President of the Public Service Commission of Canada with independent, objective, and timely assurance and consulting services designed to add value and improve operations. The Internal Audit Function helps the Public Service Commission of Canada accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the adequacy and effectiveness of its risk management, control and governance processes.

His previous position was Director, Audit Operations, at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) from December 2015 to December 2017. As Director, he was responsible for the provision of professional internal audit services. Prior to that, he held the position of Director, Internal Audit at Infrastructure Canada, from January 2014 to December 2015.

Earlier, he worked for the Office of Audit and Inspection at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Casteau, Belguim and held various audit, evaluation and related positions within the Government of Canada at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Finance Canada, Global Affairs Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada, IRCC, and Office of the Auditor General of Canada. Mr. MacDonald is a former chair, member services for the Institute of Internal Auditors (Ottawa Chapter).

He served as a member of the board of Le Manege daycare for a number of years and is currently the President of the board at Ecole Elisabeth Bruyère in Kanata, Ontario.
Mr. MacDonald is a certified internal auditor and has a certification in risk management assurance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Saint Francis Xavier University, a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from Dalhousie University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Queen’s University.

David MacDonald

David MacDonald



David is an 19 year veteran of the WCAG authoring team, the longest standing Invited Expert on the working group. He is currently working on WCAG 2.2 and 3.0. He contributed to the WCAG2ICT on document accessibility, the WCAG Evaluation Methodology, and is an editor of Using ARIA. He was consultant to the GC for Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act and the high profile Donna Jodhan case. David taught WCAG to the Prime Minister’s office and was lead accessibility strategist for the House of Commons. He audited websites under the jurisdiction of the CTA (Air Canada, Westjet, ViaRail, etc.) and CRTC (Bell, Telus, Rogers, etc.). He trained 80 web/mobile developers, managers, and designers at the CBC. He has worked with many Fortune 500 companies in the US and Europe including Bayer and Intel. He is on the Certification Committee for the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP).

Derek Masselink

Derek Masselink

Director, Digital Academy, Digital Platforms and Data Division

Ministry of Citizenship Services, B.C Government

Andrew Morgan

Andrew Morgan

Master of International Business, Innovation Specialist, Solution Centre

Transport Canada

Andrew is currently an Innovation Specialist working for Transport Canada. In addition to receiving a Master of International Business with a specialization in Disruptive Innovation, he is a certified Blockhain Expert. Over his career he has worked for organizations in both the public and private sectors spanning North America, Europe, and Asia (Middle East) . Prior to his current role at TC, Andrew had the opportunity to present strategic innovation initiatives to IM/IT executives of numerous multi-billion dollar organizations.

Blair Neufeld

Blair Neufeld

Innovation Lead, Digital Innovation Office, Executive Council

Government of Alberta

My career has been divided between Canada’s airline industry and the Public Service. The focus for most of my work has been business transformation to improve service delivery, increase efficiency and create more fulfilling experiences for customers and staff.

Whether it’s justice, social services, finance or transportation, big change usually includes technology, business process and organizational redesign. To get there I’ve used service design, agile, citizen engagement and strategic planning. Plus a bunch of listening, sticky notes and sharpies.

Sheri Ostridge

Sheri Ostridge

Chief Audit Executive

Employment and Social Development Canada

Sheri Ostridge is the Chief Audit Executive and Chief Risk Officer at Employment and Social Development Canada. Sheri has 20 years of experience with the Government of Canada, having worked previously at Veterans Affairs Canada, Fisheries and Oceans and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Sheri worked in the academic and private sector before joining the Government of Canada. She is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and has a Master degree in Education from the University of Prince Edward Island (2002) and a Bachelor degree in Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University (1994).

Andee Pittman

Andee Pittman

Design Lead

Treasury Board Secretariat, Government of Canada

Lead Designer, User Research Experimentation and Partnerships

Office of the Chief Human Resource Officer

Andee Pittman is a human-centred designer with a focus on building capacity and co-designing solutions. Sustainability and social justice are lenses they include when designing solutions for today and the future. Andee joined the civic tech community through the Code for Canada Fellowship and stayed in government to demonstrate the power of asking the tough questions, listening, prototyping, testing, and iterating. Andee is currently working in the Office of the Chief of Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) to lead design processes that will inform policy, programs, services and products for the future of work.

Angela Siegel

Faculty of Computer Science

Dalhousie University

Dr. Angela Siegel is a Senior Instructor in the Faculty of Computer Science and the Program Director of the Bachelor of Applied Computer Science program at Dalhousie University. Additionally, she is the Institutional Co-Lead of the Learning Equity & Access Research Network (LEARN), a member of the larger CIRTL network. In this role, she works towards greater understanding of issues involving equity and inclusion within teaching and learning, while also exploring how we might increase access to university for all.

Val Thomas

Val Thomas

Lead, Talent Mobility Strategy / Talent Cloud

Digital Change / Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat / Government of Canada

Val has over a decade of experience leading“first of its kind” culture shifting initiatives in the Government of Canada. Val was one of the original members of IN.spire – the Government of Canada’s first Innovation Hub and is currently the Lead of Talent Mobility for Talent Cloud – an experimental staffing platform reimagining a new talent engine for the Government of Canada. She is pushing boundaries to develop a dynamic skills recognition ecosystem that allows individuals to; record, validate and signal the vastness of what they are capable of in a way that can be easily understood between people and systems. She is driven by her passion to reduce barriers and empower individuals to have stronger control of their data.

Jonathan Vinet

Jonathan Vinet

A/Senior Director

Innovation Procurement Directorate

Jonathan Vinet is currently Acting Sr. Director of the Innovation Procurement Directorate (IPD).  Jonathan has been, for the last year, the director leading multiple Innovative PSPC projects, such as the recently launched PSPC Innovation and Agile Procurement Center, the Innovative Solution Canada program (ISC) and the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS). Jonathan has led the agile procurement team for the past 3 years and conducted multiple agile procurement process. Jonathan has a degree in business from the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), specialized in entrepreneurship. He has over 10 years of experience in procuring IM/IT solutions and more than 5 years in procuring professional services (including R&D).

Bryan Willey

Bryan Willey

Product Manager, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Canadian Digital Service

Bryan is a product manager with the Canadian Digital Service responsible for the GC Notify platform. a fully cloud based notification solution for the Government of Canada developed with the latest digital standards. He brings over 10 years experience from the private tech sector. He came to the Canadian Digital Service after working as an agile product manager for startup companies in Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario. Starting his career in IT management, he transitioned to managing a client support team. This focus on users helped him become an agile user centric product manager.