The Centre on the Future of Government Advisory Council

Strategic advice and guidance for the development of the Centre for the Future of Government  is provided by a council of senior-level advisors who offer counsel on program design and who help identify top experts and potential contributors on relevant topics.

The Advisory Council sits by invitation from the President of the University of Ottawa. Members help ensure that the strategic direction of the Centre on the Future of Government programming is looking forward and aligned with trends and issues in public policy and applied governance.



Advisory Council Members


Mojdeh Cox, Government relations and public policy

Mojdeh Cox is a government relations and public policy professional with over a decade of experience in leading and contributing to municipal and federal campaigns. She is also an independent Innovative Management and Workplace Cultural Resilience Consultant specializing in equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging. In her independent consulting work Mojdeh is an award-winning leader in facilitation and adult education. She has delivered high-level training for municipal committees, non-profit administrative and governance leaders, as well as small to medium sized businesses. Mojdeh Cox is also an accomplished speaker and storyteller. Her academic roots are in Political Science and Social Justice and Peace Studies, the ideal combination of knowledge and skills to assist in acting as convener of challenging dialogue.


Alayne Crawford, Head of Governement Relations and Regulatory Affairs, IBM Canada

Alayne Crawford is the Head of Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs for IBM Canada, based in Ottawa. Prior to joining IBM, she served as Director of Government Relations for Shaw Communications. Alayne is currently the President of the Board of the Government Relations Institute of Canada, a member of the Politics & the Pen Organizing Committee benefitting the Writer’s Trust, a Fellow of Carleton University’s Clayton H. Riddell Masters of Political Management (MPM) Program and a founding board member of the Canadian Advocacy Network. Alayne spent 4 years working for the previous Government, including for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University and an MBA from Queen’s University.


Linda Lizotte-MacPherson, Former Government CEO, CIO, COO and Deputy Minister

Lizotte-MacPherson was President of the Canada School of Public Service from October 2012 to July 2015. From October 2009 to October 2012, she was Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Revenue Agency. She was Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Chief Operating Officer for Service Canada. She was Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board from 2005 to 2008. She was also the first Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Health Infoway Inc and Chief Information Officer for the federal government from 1998 to 2000. She is a graduate of Carleton University where she earned a Bachelor of Commerce (honours) degree and from Queen's University's Digital's Executive Development Program and finished the Board of Directors Program through the Institute of Corporate Directors.


Leigh Harris, Partner, Management Consulting, Lead Partner, Federal Government, KPMG in Canada

Leigh is a Management Consulting Strategy and Operations Transformation Partner and leads the firm’s federal government practice.  She has more than 20 years of professional public sector work and management consulting experience combined.  She has held senior executive positions within government and lead roles in federal practices at other global consulting firms. Leigh helps government clients address challenges and issues with the purpose of producing better outcomes for Canadians and the communities where they reside. She also helps her clients solve their most complex challenges, such as enterprise-wide and whole-of-government transformation programs in the areas of strategy, policy development, program design and reform, operations and service improvement, resource allocation and funding methodologies.


Olivia Neal, Director of Digital Transformation, Microsoft

Olivia Neal is the Director of Digital Transformation in Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector Team. In this capacity, she is leading the development of digital transformation strategies, and is working with teams around the world to help governments to use digital tools and approaches to be more effective. Prior to joining Microsoft, Olivia spent her career in the public sector. She spent three years leading digital change initiatives from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, and prior to that she was a Senior Civil Servant in the UK Government. In these roles she has worked with Governments from around the world, to build partnerships and increase capability to deliver high quality digital services and develop digital culture.


Taki Sarantakis, Deputy Minister and President, Canada School of Public Service

Taki Sarantakis is the President of the Canada School of Public Service, a position he assumed in July 2018 coming from the School from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), where he was the Associate Secretary of TBS from 2016 to 2018. From 2013 to 2016, Mr. Sarantakis was Assistant Secretary, Economic Sector and prior to his tenure at the TBS, Mr. Sarantakis was the Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy and Communications at Infrastructure Canada. In 2011, Mr. Sarantakis was awarded Canada's Public Service Award of Excellence in Policy, and in 2013 he was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Prior to joining the federal government, Mr. Sarantakis was a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, and he holds a B.A.  and a Master of Arts from York University in Toronto. 


John Ossowski, President and Deputy Minister Canada Border Services Agency

John Ossowski was appointed President of the Canada Border Services Agency on December 7, 2016. Prior to this appointment, John was Deputy Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency from July 2015 to December 2016.  He has also held senior positions as Associate Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada and also as Assistant Secretary, International Affairs, Security and Justice Sector, at the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS).  He has also worked at Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) where he was Director General, Policy and Communications and then Deputy Chief, Corporate Services. Before joining CSEC, John was Assistant Director, Government Relationships and Communications at the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, which is Canada's financial intelligence unit. Prior to this, John spent a number of years at TBS in the Government Operations Sector and finally as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary. John has a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Victoria.


Allan Rock, Former President and Vice-Chancellor University of Ottawa

Allan Rock is President Emeritus of the University of Ottawa, and a Professor in its Faculty of Law, where he teaches International Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflict in International Law. He practised in civil, administrative and commercial litigation for 20 years (1973-93) before courts at all levels, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He was inducted in 1988 as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a former Treasurer (President) of the Law Society of Ontario.

Allan Rock was elected to the Canadian Parliament in 1993, and re-elected in 1997 and 2000. He served for that decade as a senior minister in the government of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in both social and economic portfolios. He was Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (1993-97), Minister of Health (1997-2002) and Minister of Industry and Infrastructure (2002-03).

He was appointed in 2003 as Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations in New York during a period that involved responding to several complex regional conflicts, including those in Sri Lanka, Democratic Republic of Congo and Darfur. He led the successful Canadian effort in New York to secure, at the 2005 World Summit, the unanimous adoption by UN member states of The Responsibility to Protect populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing and other mass atrocities. He later served as a Special Envoy for the United Nations investigating the unlawful use of child soldiers in Sri Lanka during its civil war.

In 2008, Allan Rock became the 29th President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, a comprehensive university of 50,000 students, faculty and staff. uOttawa is ranked among the Top Ten in Canada for research intensity, and is the largest bilingual university (French-English) in the world. He completed two terms as uOttawa President in 2016. Allan Rock was subsequently a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School, associated with the Program on International Law and Armed Conflict.


Jeffrey Simpson,  University of Ottawa Board of Governors

One of Canada's leading journalists, Jeffrey Simpson was national affairs columnist at The Globe and Mail for nearly three decades. The author of eight books, he has won all three of Canada's leading literary prizes -- the Governor-General's award for non-fiction book writing, the National Magazine Award for political writing, and the National Newspaper Award for column writing (twice). He also won the Hyman Solomon Award for excellence in public policy journalism. His latest book, Chronic Condition : Why Canada’s Health-Care System Needs to be Dragged into the 21st Century, won the Donner Prize in 2012 for the best book on public policy by Canadians. Mr. Simpson has been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of British Columbia, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Manitoba, l'Université de Moncton and Queen's University.


David Luxton, Senior Strategic Advisor, Professional Development Institute

Mr. Luxton serves on the boards of international defence and security companies, including Ottawa-based Allen-Vanguard Corporation, a recognized global leader in electronic counter-measures against extremist threats.  He led the strategic build-out of the company from 2011 - 2009 and has served as Chairman of the Board since 2010.

He began his career as an infantry combat officer with the Canadian Army then served for several years as a senior public servant in various policy and management roles in Canada and in the UK, where he completed post-graduate studies at Oxford University.

In 1990 Mr. Luxton founded Simunition, which remains the world leader in realistic close-quarters combat training (now owned by GD-OTS). In 2003 he founded DEFSEC Corporation, which specializes in investment and strategic advisory services for defence and security companies, with a strong focus today on intelligent tactical systems including Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (“C-UAS”).   

Mr. Luxton also served for several years as a board member of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) and as Chair of Ottawa’s Defence & Security Economic Development Cluster at Invest Ottawa.


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