Our Team


Neil Bouwer

Vice-President, Innovation and Policy Services Branch, Canada School of Public Service 

Neil has occupied a number of policy roles in different departments and central agencies, has contributed to the development of the Policy Community and is a passionate supporter of innovation in public service. In his current post, Neil works to strengthen the government's digital capacity, pursuing flagship projects and supporting communities of practice in public management.  Show less

Rachel Wernick

Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Skills and Employment Branch, Employment and Social Development Canada

Rachel is known for her passion for policy excellence and her strong belief in user-centric design. She has held a variety of positions (policy, program, central agency, corporate, dedicated task force) which has made her a strong proponent of the benefit of multi-disciplinary approaches. She loves challenging assumptions and having her own assumptions challenged. To seek out fresh ideas she strives to engage with a diversity of people from all ages and backgrounds. To inspire new thinking she often brings perspectives from the arts and humanities to bear when discussing public policy issues. Show less

Our Advisors

The Champions and Director engage with a small Assistant Deputy Minister-level Board, an External Advisory Panel and an Assembly of ADMs from every funding department and agency. This helps the team prioritize its efforts to meet recognized needs of policy practitioners in their organizational contexts.  

Co-Champion Neil Bouwer

Co-Champion Rachel Wernick

Siobhan Harty,  Privy Council Office (ex officio)

Eric Costen, Health Canada

Hilary Geller, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Elissa Golberg, Global Affairs Canada

Lawrence Hanson, Transport Canada

Jeff Moore, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Nitika Agarwal, Chief Operations Officer, Apolitical

Caitlin Brownrigg, Director, Technology Partner, Workplace Innovation, Skills and Training, Ministry of Advanced Education, Government of British Columbia

Jennifer Ditchburn, Editor-in-Chief,  Policy Options

Sarah Doyle, Director of Policy Research, Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Laurie Drake, Director of Research and Learning, MASS LBP

Rolene Guilland, Graduate Student, Centre for Governance and Public Management, Carleton University

Tracey Lauriault, Assistant Professor, Critical Media and Big Data, Carleton University

Alexandra Snelgrove, Vice-President, Social Impact, LIFT Philanthropy Partners

Joanne Zuk, Assistant Deputy Minister, Renewal and Strategic Alignment, Government of Manitoba

The Policy Community Partnership Office

In addition to our Champions and Advisors, PCPO uses a number of channels to engage with practitioners directly to build relationships, surface implicit needs and generate insights about our collective policy practice. 

Qi Wang

Director, Policy Community Partnership Office

Qi is passionate about building a Policy Community that cuts across functions, classifications, departments and geography. Qi is equally passionate about food. A couple of examples of when the two meet...First, Qi is driven by doing policy in an integrated way, so instead of seeing policy development and delivery as silos, how about as porous Swiss cheese? Second, there is no set recipe for getting policy right...it requires creativity, adapting to changing contexts, understanding the humans we serve. But it's possible to hone one's skills, mindsets and practice, and that's what Qi loves to do...help public servants be great policy chefs! Show less

Amanda Bloom 

Program manager, XFN

Amanda is passionate about enabling other Public Servants and breaking down silos that prevent them from reaching their full potential. She also knows the power of networks, co-chairing and then chairing the Young Professionals Network at Natural Resources Canada from 2014-2017. Since fall of 2016, Amanda has been a member of the first cohort of Canada’s Free Agents, fueled by her drive to build bridges between departments, regions and across policy functions for better outcomes for all. This positioned her perfectly to tackle her dream job with PCPO - developing and running a mobility program. Her outreach and engagement of Public Servants to inform the design has reinforced her understanding about the multiple roles that make contributions to the policy lifecycle and that with a strong set of skills, you can work many of them. The Cross-Functional Policy Mobility Program (XFN) which Amanda leads, echoes her own career path; working in several policy functions to find out how one piece of the puzzle fits within the other, and to use that knowledge to deliver better work (for ex: making a policy easier to implement/communicate). She continues to be excited by the opportunity she has within PCPO to enable public servants from various classifications and levels to learn new areas of work while honing/gaining skills to grow in their careers. Show less

Ricki-Lee Bloom 

Designer and analyst

Ricki-Lee is a budding blogger writing about how motherhood and career intersect, mental health and ADHD. She thrives working with a team, and enjoys presenting on a variety of topics such as work-life balance and autonomy. Ricki-Lee is interested in human-centered design, experimenting in new tech platforms, connecting people, and how data can support policy. She thrives in chaos and loves untangling and organizing intricate issues to create various approach strategies. Ricki-Lee is passionate about helping people and enabling the Policy Community, and government at large, to improve the lives of Canadian citizens. Show less

Janice Cudlip

On secondment until September 2022

Janice believes ardently in the power of community in service to the public. Involved in most of the PCPO’s projects in one form or another, she convenes community with her creative optimism, enthusiasm and lateral thinking. Janice is passionate about activating challenge mindsets and agency through the context of play. Current projects include: An anti-racism policy challenge, ongoing engagement activities and communications. Show less

Marie-Claude Leclerc

Marie-Claude works to support policy practitioners in developing their wow factor, using the Skils and Mindsets Garden. She has an insatiable appetite for challenging herself to learn and practice new approaches. Full of life, her laugh follows her wherever she goes. Prior to joining the federal government, Mc headed a provincial social innovation organization, in charge of finding solutions to complex problems with stakeholders.  Show less

Nathalie Leclerc

Boundary Spanner

Nathalie stands out for her creativity and her resilient spirit which not only allow her to make connections between ideas, but also to engage numerous partners. She is, among others, behind the Policy Film Festival and GBA + Escape Room of the 2020 Policy Community Conference and the ESDC social finance committee. She was talent manager of the XFN project before making a splash at PHAC where she contributed to the policies surrounding COVID 19. She has devoted her past few years to the social innovation file and is pursuing a master's degree in the subject at the University of St. Paul. Show less

Pierre Lecours

Talent manager, XFN

I am learning about how people can grow their hearts and minds to consider complex social challenges well. I am curious about how I can support them and the conditions they need to do so. I believe that the way to get good things done is to bet on relationships, possibilities and actions - in that order. In XFN, I focus on finding out how the developmental mindset can be brought to life and given a soil to grow at work. Previously, at PCPO, I was involved in the Problem Framing/Reframing project that sought to help people generate new understandings of complex problems before launching into solutions, and in the Long/Short Read project that explored how a "read-talk-test-share" learning space helps us tap into our love of ideas and conversations to fulfill our need for deep understanding. What all these experiences are giving me is the gift of working at a small, human scale – of discovering how small circles of aliveness can create very interesting ripples in the world. Show less

Mélodie Vaillant

Office Manager

My name is Mélodie, my family and friends would describe me as easy going, caring, mother of 3 and an amazing soup guru! I grew up on a farm with 3 siblings where life was simple!  I started my career in the Public Service, 15 years ago and have diverse experience. I have now been working for three years with the wonderful PCPO team as an office manager. I appreciate the various possibilities this may offer me in the future and the help they give me to grow as a public servant. Show less


Khalid Abdulle started with PCPO to support the delivery of the 2019 Policy Community Conference. He then agreed to join the website project team and help transform our project pages into a coherent site (while keeping the active site full of great resources). Thanks for your contribution Khalid! We couldn't have done it without you.