You are invited to join your fellow public servants virtually for the Institute of Public Administration of Canada's (IPAC) New Professionals event.

This year's event promises an engaging exploration of diverse themes through thought-provoking panel discussions. Topics will encompass exciting career opportunities within the public service sector, hear from emerging leaders on how they are managing their career, senior executives will share their insights on how the various levels of government function and what you need to be successful, the art of effective networking and mentoring, and insightful discussions on navigating the governmental landscape amidst a backdrop of instability and societal transformation. We will also be offering an opportunity to connect you with various seasoned public servants following the event for those looking to expand their professional network.

DECEMBER 7, 2023

Virtual conference from
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET



Perspectives from New Professionals
Career opportunities within the Public Service
Navigating Government


Sydney Sheridan

Sydney Sheridan
Senior Policy Advisor, Enterprise Recordkeeping, Access and Privacy Branch, Ontario Public Service

Sydney Sheridan is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Enterprise Recordkeeping, Access and Privacy Branch of the Ontario Public Service. In addition to her previous experience in I&IT strategy development at Government Information Technology Ontario (GovTechON), she has worked toward the equitable digital transformation of Canada's non-profit sector.

Sydney is passionate about a human rights-based approach to issues including privacy, access, and copyright. She co-authored a chapter on the conflict between freedom of expression and copyright in IFLA’s Navigating Copyright for Libraries. She holds a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Khadeja Elsibai

Kadeja Elsibai
Senior Policy Analyst, Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Khadeja is an acting senior policy analyst in the Policy and Regulatory Affairs team at the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB). Khadeja is passionate about creating opportunities for public servants to connect and invest in their career development. She serves as co-chair of Future Leaders of Ontario, the employee network for new and young public servants employed in the Government of Canada and based in the Ontario Region. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada's Toronto Region Chapter and co-leads the Chapter’s events and communications portfolios. Khadeja holds a Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law from York University.

Jesse O'Neill-Bains

Jesse O'Neill-Bains
Intergovernmental Relations Advisor, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat, Office of the Premier and Cabinet Office, Government of British Columbia

Jesse O'Neill-Bains, a recent graduate of Western University, achieved his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Certificate in Digital Communications in 2021. During his academic tenure, he garnered practical experience as an Office Coordinator with a Victoria-based IT consulting company. Subsequently, he ventured into the public sector with the Government of B.C., initially serving as an Industry Intelligence Analyst within the Ministry of Citizen's Services. Currently, he holds the position of Advisor in the Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat at the Premier's Office.

Jesse has been actively involved with IPAC Victoria since 2021. He was elected to the board of directors in 2022 as Co-director of Communications and recently assumed the role of Chair of New Professionals in 2023.

Jhanell Edwards

Jhannell Edwards
Strategic Communications Advisor, The Black Executives Network (BEN) Secretariat, Government of Canada

Jhannell is a seasoned real estate professional, with a passion for driving meaningful change within the public sector. With a solid foundation in the Ontario Public Service where she contributed to the Ministry of Community Social Services, Jhannell has embarked on a new journey in the Federal Government as a strategic Communications Advisor with the Black Executive Network.

As an advocate for effective communication, Jhannell helps to orchestrate dynamic outreach and engagement strategies across diverse platforms, including social media and digital channels. Her goal is to amplify voices, fosters collaboration, and spark dialogues that resonate beyond boundaries. She is dedicated to creating a more inclusive government landscape and helping to pave the way towards transformative progress.


Melanie Bell

Melanie Bell
Program Manager, Learning and Development, Public Serivce Commissioner (PSC), Government of Manitoba

Melanie Bell is currently the Program Manager, with the Learning and Development Branch in the Public Service Commissioner (PSC) with the government of Manitoba. Melanie began her journey with Manitoba’s Public Service in 2011 as a GIS Analyst with Sustainable Development, shortly thereafter was rewarded a position as a Senior Business Analyst with the Department of Agriculture. In January 2021, Melanie joined the PSC on a secondment to lead the Workforce Action Plan. Through this time she has been an active member of the New Professional Network, in a variety of volunteer roles and for the last few years the Co-Chair of the Network. She is passionate about connections, networking and leveraging technology to empower team members to perform at their very best.

Stephanie Carter

Stephanie Carter
Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Strategy and Advisory Services, Government of New Brunswick

Stephanie has been working with the Government of New Brunswick for over 20 years. She is currently the Assistant Deputy Minister of Corporate Strategy and Advisory Services. She is a strategic thinker, can bring clarity from ambiguity and connects the dots with ease. She is an empowering, visionary and results focused leader who understands the complexities of government, the human side of change and best practices for identifying problems and their root causes, setting goals and achieving results. She enjoys mindfulness, yoga, and the great outdoors!

Joseph Silva

Joseph Silva
Treasurer, City of Markham

Joseph Silva is an experienced public servant and policy and finance leader. He has worked at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, and is currently the Treasurer for the City of Markham, one of Canada’s most dynamic and diverse communities. He is also an Adjunct Faculty at York University’s School of Public Policy and Administration. Prior to joining the City of Markham, Joseph worked at the Regional Municipality of York, including as Director of Strategies and Partnerships in the Region’s Community & Health Services Department responsible for strategic social policy and community development initiatives, and as Director and Deputy Treasurer in the Finance Department overseeing the delivery and transformation of a number of financial and business services.

Joseph values life-long learning and has a varied educational background, which includes training in economics, accounting and public administration. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and an Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT). Joseph also strives to give back to community, and currently volunteers with the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) Toronto Region and as a mentor with CPA Ontario. He also served as Co-Chair of the GenNext Cabinet of United Way Greater Toronto.

Mala Khanna

Mala Khanna
Associate Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mala Khanna joined the Department of Canadian Heritage on January 10, 2022, as Associate Deputy Minister.

Before joining the Department of Canadian Heritage, Mala served as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Sub-Saharan Africa Branch at Global Affairs Canada. Prior to that, she was Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Parliamentary Affairs) at the Privy Council Office.

Mala joined Canada’s public service in 2000 at the Department of Justice Canada, where she held positions in the Public Safety, Defence and Immigration Portfolio, and the Public Law and Legislative Services Sector.

Mala holds a Bachelor of Arts in History (1995) from the University of Alberta, as well as a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Social Work (2000) from McGill University.

Mala has lived in Ottawa since 2000 and is the mother of two teenage girls.

Mala Khanna est entrée en fonction à Patrimoine canadien le 10 janvier 2022 à titre de sous-ministre déléguée.

Avant de se joindre au ministère du Patrimoine canadien, elle a été sous-ministre adjointe de la Direction générale de l’Afrique subsaharienne aux Affaires mondiales Canada. Auparavant, elle était secrétaire adjointe du Cabinet (Affaires parlementaires) au Bureau du Conseil privé.

Mala s’est jointe à la fonction publique du Canada en 2000 au ministère de la Justice du Canada, où elle a occupé des postes au sein du portefeuille de la sécurité publique, de la défense et de l’immigration, et le secteur du droit public et des services législatifs.

Mala est titulaire d’un baccalauréat ès arts en histoire (1995) de l’Université de l’Alberta, ainsi que d’un baccalauréat en droit et d’une maîtrise en travail social (2000) de l’Université McGill.

Mala habite Ottawa depuis 2000 et est la mère de deux adolescentes.

Peter Wallace

Peter Wallace
Former Deputy Minister of the Treasury Board of Canada

Peter Wallace is a Senior Advisor at the Boston Consulting Group, a Fellow at the Munk Institute of Global Affairs and Public Policy and a Fellow at the CD Howe Institute.

Peter is an experienced public policy practitioner, with 40 years of service at all levels of government. Key roles include Secretary of the Treasury Board for the Government of Canada, City Manager of the City of Toronto and Secretary of Cabinet and Head of the Public Service for Ontario. Earlier senior roles in the Government of Ontario include Deputy Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, Deputy Minister of Energy, and Associate Secretary to Cabinet and Deputy Minister, Policy.

Peter is an independent trustee for the University Health Network. He is past Chair of the Ontario Financing Authority, Great Lakes Fishery Commission and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

Peter is a graduate of the University of Toronto, with a bachelor’s degree in political economy and Master of Public Administration.

Katy Lalonde

Katy Lalonde
Assistant Deputy Minister, Digital Innovation and Product

Katy Lalonde is the Assistant Deputy Minister of Digital Innovation and Product with the Government of Ontario. She supports teams that are building an ecosystem of digital products that make it easier for people and business to interact with the Government of Ontario, including, Notify and the province’s Data Catalogue.

Katy was a founding member of the Ontario Digital Service and has previously held the roles of Director of Product, Director of Digital Policy, and Executive Advisor to the Deputy Minister/ Chief Digital and Data Officer. Her expertise is in digital and product strategy, in the leadership and operations of digital organizations inside government, and in organizational design to support empowered, multi-disciplinary teams.

Katy Lalonde est Sous-ministre adjointe pour le Division de l’innovation numérique et des produits avec le gouvernement de l’Ontario. Elle soutient les équipes qui mettent en place un écosystème de produits numériques permettant aux particuliers et aux entreprises d’interagir plus facilement avec le gouvernement de l’Ontario, notamment, Notify et le catalogue de données de la province.

Katy a été l’un des membres fondateurs du Service numérique de l’Ontario et a précédemment occupé les postes de directrice des produits, de directrice des politiques numérique et de conseillère exécutive auprès du sous-ministre / chef du numérique et des données. Elle est spécialisée dans les stratégies numérique et de produits, dans la direction et les opérations d’organisations numériques au sein du gouvernement, et dans la conception organisationnelle pour soutenir des équipes multidisciplinaires et autonomes.

Paul LaFleche

Paul LaFleche
Deputy Minister, Department of Seniors and Long-Term Care; Deputy Minister, Municipal Affairs and Housing Government of Nova Scotia

On September 14, 2023, Paul LaFleche was appointed to the Executive Deputy Ministers' Committee to tackle the Provinces most pressing challenges and develop social, economic and energy solutions. Prior to this appointment he was Deputy Minister for the Departments of Seniors and Long-Term Care, and Municipal Affairs and Housing; Deputy Minister of Transportation and Active Transit; the Department of Lands and Forestry; and the Deputy Minister of the former Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

Mr. LaFleche is an experienced senior executive and strategic advisor in government, academia and economic development. He practiced as a geoscientist in the university, government and private sectors as a professor, research scientist and consultant.

He was appointed Secretary to the Nova Scotia Executive Council in 2003 and Clerk in 2004. He was appointed Deputy Minister of the Nova Scotia departments of Agriculture and Fisheries & Aquaculture in 2007. While Deputy Minister for TIR, from 2016 to 2018 Mr. LaFleche served as Chair, Council of Deputy Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety, and in 2018 served as Co-Chair, Council of Deputy Ministers Infrastructure and Chair of the Council of Deputy Ministers of Public Works.

Mr. LaFleche has also served as President of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Nova Scotia and is a licensed vocational education teacher with a Diploma in Adult Education from the Nova Scotia Community College. He holds Masters and Doctorate degrees from McGill University, a Bachelors of Science from Loyola College, Concordia University and a Masters in Public Administration from Carleton University. He is a Fellow of Geoscientist Canada.

Jessica Prince

Jessica Prince
Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Issues, Office of the Premier of British Columbia

Jessica is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Issues in the Office of the Premier of British Columbia. She was previously an Executive Director in the B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. Before joining the provincial government, Jessica was Chief of Staff to the federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, as well as Chief of Staff to the federal Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.

Jessica began her career on Bay Street as a civil and commercial litigator at two different boutique law firms. During her time in private practice, she regularly volunteered as duty counsel at Pro Bono Law Ontario’s walk-in legal clinic. Jessica has a Bachelor of Arts degree (First Class Honours) from McGill University and a law degree from the University of Oxford. In 2016, she was named one of Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers by Canadian Lawyers’ Magazine. In 2021, she was named one of Business in Vancouver's Top Forty Under 40.

Nicholas Johnston

Nicholas Johnston
Policy Analyst, Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada

Nicholas is a young professional, who is very interested in developing and advancing public policy which helps make Canadian’s lives just a little bit easier than before. Nick was born and raised in Japan, as a result of his mother accepting a posting at the Canadian embassy in Tokyo. It was seeing his mother working as a diplomat that inspired Nicholas to believe that he could be one too, someday. Today, Nicholas possesses a Bachelors degree in Economics, and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the University of Waterloo. Nicholas completed brief stints with the private sector, as a project manager with Blackberry, with the Ontario Public Service as an imports as an exports analyst, before landing at his current role where he works with the Federal Public Service (Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada) as a policy analyst working on Intellectual Property policy.

Nicholas is actively involved with multiple young public servant networks and is keen on trying to grown and develop his professional network at a time where it is increasingly hard to meet new people as a result of hybrid work. Nicholas has found that employee networks are increasingly important and provide a radically new value-added component that did not exist before the Pandemic. Nicholas is on the board of directors in IPAC-NCR, on the executive committee of his departments Young Professionals Network.

Sana Abou-Shaaban

Sana Abou-Shaaban
Manager, Environmental Policy and Planning, Canada Border Services Agency

Sana Abou-Shaaban, a dynamic leader and Manager of Environmental Policy & Planning at the Canada Border Services Agency, brings a wealth of expertise as a licensed Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) and Certified Professional ScrumMaster (CSP-SM). With a proven track record of impactful leadership in engineering and IT not-for-profit organizations, Sana is a trailblazer in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Passionate about advancing Women in Tech, Sana is the co-founder of the Women in IT Network at CBSA and has played pivotal roles in IEEE Canada and IEEE NAB Communication Society. In 2022, she chaired Professional Engineers Ontario - Ottawa Chapter, showcasing her commitment to driving positive change in the technology sector. Sana's dedication to fostering diversity and opportunity was recognized with the prestigious WCT Leadership Excellence Award in 2022. This year, she received both the CBSA President's Award for her outstanding contributions to a network or community and the IPAC Emerging Leader Award, acknowledging her significant impact on public administration. In every role she undertakes, Sana Abou-Shaaban exemplifies excellence, innovation, and a relentless commitment to making a positive difference.

Anne-Michèle Lajoie

Anne-Michèle Lajoie
Analyst/Economist, Finance Canada

Anne-Michèle Lajoie is an Analyst/Economist at Finance Canada, where she is privileged to work on a wide range of social policy files. As a public servant in a central agency, she is passionate about being at the centre of decision-making and contributing to meaningful policy decisions that impact the life of all Canadians.

Anne-Michèle holds a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management in Global Economic Relations and a Master of Public Policy and Administration specialized in Data Science from Carleton University in Ottawa, ON. Outside of work, Anne-Michèle sits on the board of the National Capital Region’s Institute of Public Administration of Canada.

In her spare time, she enjoys knitting, playing tennis, strumming her guitar, or cross-country skiing in the winter!

Register today to join
this exciting event!


DECEMBER 7, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET
Unleashing Your Potential and Advancing Your Career
12:00 pm EST

Opening Remarks

12:05 pm EST Round Table with Emerging Leaders: Shaping Your Public Service Future

Join us for an inspiring session where emerging leaders share their unique career journeys and insights on managing their professional paths. Hear about the highlights, challenges, and invaluable advice that has shaped their careers. They'll discuss how they've navigated any obstacles they have encountered. Don't miss this chance to be motivated and informed by those who are already making their mark in the public service.

1:00 pm EST Government 101: The Insider's Guide to Navigating through the Public Sector

In this session, you will gain valuable insights into understanding how senior leaders navigate the complex landscape of government functions. Explore the differences between various types of government, from local to federal, and learn the art of staying apolitical while serving and remaining neutral. Uncover the nuances of decision-making processes and grasp the essential knowledge required to succeed in senior government leadership. Elevate your career by mastering the intricacies of government operations and enhancing your ability to make a positive impact. Don't miss this session to gain a competitive edge in your career.

1:55 pm EST Break
2:10 pm EST Networking & Mentorship: Your Path to Professional Growth

Unlock the secrets of successful networking and mentoring to help with your career growth. Discover the profound impact of building meaningful relationships in the professional world, and gain insights on cultivating connections that count. Learn the art of finding the perfect mentor: what to seek, what to anticipate, and how to reciprocate effectively. Unearth the keys to authentic networking, ensuring your interactions resonate. Don't miss this session and elevate your career with wisdom that will shape your professional journey.
3:05 pm EST Unlocking Opportunities: What can the Public Service offer you?

Explore the infinite possibilities within the public service sector! In this session, you'll discover strategies to navigate your career path. The panel will discuss their diverse careers and the options available across all three levels of government municipal, provincial, federal and agencies. Discover invaluable insights, including their personal career journeys and the wisdom they've gathered along the way.
4:00 pm EST Closing Remarks
4:05 pm EST Networking

DECEMBER 7, 2023

Virtual conference from
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET


Interested in having your organization be part of this event? Email [email protected] for more information.