Simon Kennedy was named Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, effective September 3, 2019.
Previously, he served as Deputy Minister of Health from January 2015. During his tenure at Health Canada, the Department took on a national leadership role in responding to the opioids crisis; negotiated agreements with the provinces and territories to allocate $11 billion in new funding to home care and mental health services; and launched important reforms to pharmaceutical pricing, nutrition labelling, vaping, and tobacco product packaging. Mr. Kennedy also oversaw Health Canada’s implementation of the government’s initiative to legalize and regulate cannabis, including passage of the Cannabis Act.
Mr. Kennedy began his career with the public service in 1990 and has served in a variety of progressively senior roles in seven different organizations, including in six deputy minister-level appointments at the Privy Council Office, Industry Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Health Canada, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. As the Canadian lead on the bi-national Beyond the Border Working Group, he negotiated with the White House the 2011 Canada-US Action Plan for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. He also served as the Prime Minister’s personal representative, or “Sherpa”, to the G-20 from 2012 to 2014.
He holds a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Master of Science in Communications Management from Syracuse University, and is a graduate of INSEAD’s Advanced Management Programme. Mr. Kennedy also received his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and is co-chair of the ICD Ottawa Chapter. He has served on the boards of a variety of organizations, most recently including the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Canadian Institute for Health Information, and Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, among others.