Simon Kennedy was named Deputy Minister of Health effective January 21, 2015.
Previously, he served as the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Canada’s G-20 Sherpa. He oversaw the Trade Portfolio through one of the most productive periods in the history of Canadian trade negotiations. During his tenure, negotiations were successfully concluded on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Negotiations were also concluded on the Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, Canada’s first free trade agreement in Asia, and the treaty brought into force.
Prior to his assignment at International Trade, Mr. Kennedy served as the Senior Associate Deputy Minister at Industry Canada from September 2010 to November 2012. One of his key responsibilities was to administer Canada’s foreign investment review regime. For almost a year during this period, Mr. Kennedy was also the Prime Minister’s representative on the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Working Group. In this role, he led the negotiation with the White House of the Canada-U.S. Action Plan for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, announced by the Prime Minister and President Obama in December 2011.
Mr. Kennedy began his career with the public service in 1990, serving in a variety of progressively senior roles at Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He also held several senior positions at the Privy Council Office, the department supporting the Prime Minister, in the 1990s and 2000s. These most recently included two deputy-level appointments: Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet for Operations (2008-2010) and Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet for Plans and Consultation (2007-2008).
Mr. Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Master of Science in Communications Management from Syracuse University. He is a graduate of INSEAD’s Advanced Management Programme. Mr. Kennedy also holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.