An Immigration System for Canada’s Future: Perspectives on Where to go From Here
Toronto ON, 67 Yonge Street, Suite 300
Roundtable Luncheon with Louise Baird, Claudia Hepburn & Andrew Thomson
C.D. Howe Institute events and webinars are open to members and their guests.
Louise Baird is currently Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic and Program Policy, at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), where she is also responsible for the strategic immigration review. Prior to joining IRCC, Louise was the Assistant Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs at the Privy Council Office (PCO). Louise also worked as an ADM at the Treasury Board Secretariat, where, among other duties, she managed the Treasury Board cabinet committee. At the beginning of her public service career, she spent several years in a variety of leadership roles in Canada’s Industry department. Before joining the federal public service, Louise worked in Ottawa’s high-tech sector.
Claudia Hepburn, Chief Executive Officer, Windmill Microlending
Claudia has devoted her career to building innovative charities that convert human potential into prosperity. Before Windmill, she co-founded and ran NEXT Canada, to develop high-impact young entrepreneurs. She also founded and ran an award-winning program to improve educational opportunities for children living in poverty in Canada and has led the education policy work of a leading Canadian think tank.
Claudia serves on the board of the LCBO and of SickKids Foundation, and is a member of the Human Resource and Compensation Committees of both organizations. She is a member of the C.D. Howe Institute’s Human Capital Council, and is an advisor of Impression Ventures and Gotcare. During her 18 years serving on the board of the Kids & Company, it grew from a start-up into Canada’s largest childcare company with over 12,000 spaces across North America.
Andrew Thomson, Chief of Government Relations, University of Toronto
Andrew Thomson is the University’s Chief of Government Relations and serves on the President’s senior leadership team. As chief advocate to federal, provincial, and municipal governments, he helps drive the University’s public policy agenda. This includes a focus on community and economic development; strengthening public funding for comprehensive and globally recognized, research-intensive programs; and knowledge transfer strategies to support entrepreneurship and job creation.
Andrew’s executive experience, in both public and private sectors, has focused extensively on issues of economic and human capital development. With more than a decade in elected office, and experience serving in senior Cabinet roles — including as Saskatchewan’s Minister of Finance and Minister of Learning — he has a deep understanding of government policy. As an executive with Cisco Systems, based in Toronto and subsequently the Asia Pacific region, he led public sector initiatives focused on creating new partnership and business models within the higher education sector across OECD and emerging markets.
Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts (1990) from the University of Saskatchewan and is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) for his service to the community.
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