December 14th

Launch of the New IPAC Mentorship Program

A Modest Reinvention of Self: Fostering Excellence in the Public Service with IPAC’s New Mentorship Program

The inaugural cohorts of IPAC’s new mentorship program, IPAC Mentors, have just begun the first of six monthly sessions running through May 2023. This innovative program offers a unique approach to the traditional mentorship model by connecting managers and directors with senior government and public administration leaders from across a range of agencies, departments, and levels of government. This means that these professionals will benefit from the experience and perspectives of leaders from work environments outside their own. Each cohort comprises a small group of mentoring partners and a mentoring lead from different jurisdictions.

This cross-pollination among the municipal, provincial, and federal public services allows participants to expand their knowledge about career advancement strategies, networking, and skill development in the complex world of public administration. Topics will include personal leadership styles, strategies in the post-pandemic return to work, conflict resolution, management pitfalls, political acuity, policy development, and workplace culture. The intention of this exercise is to establish a resource for participants through which, over the course of six months, they gain a body of new knowledge consequential to their professional development as emerging leaders. The first trials of this pilot program feature Soussan Tabari and Matthew Cutler as the mentoring leads, each of whom bring a phenomenal breadth of expertise to the table.

Soussan Tabari has led the modernization and digitization of over 100 lines of business across the Ontario Public Service, including as an Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports, and in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The focus of much of her work has been to transform and modernize user-centric public policy programs and services through digital opportunities. In doing so, Soussan has bridged the gap between policy and technology to facilitate innovation and new business models in several government initiatives. She has also received an individual 2015 Amethyst Leadership Award, as well as two other Amethyst Awards.

Matthew Cutler brings over two decades of experience in all three levels of government, including as an Assistant Deputy Minister in the Manitoba Public Service. While his career has featured a variety of sectors – from civic engagement to major and multisport games to community development – Matthew now works as Vice-President, Exhibitions at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. For a leadership style that focuses on partnerships, people and performance, Matthew has been recognized with the Manitoba Service Excellence Award, the Toronto City Manager’s Award, the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers, and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal.

The mentoring partners of these two initial cohorts have been individually nominated by their respective departments and represent promising talent and emerging leadership across the public service in Canada. Collectively, these first two pools of participants signal an encouraging start to IPAC Mentors, as well as offer a bright foundation for future iterations of the program.