Members & Graduates of the Policy Officer Recruitment Programme

Since its inception in 1987, the Policy Officer Recruitment Programme (PORP) has recruited more than 250 individuals. Today, graduates of the programme have gone on to have successful careers within the Policy Group at the Department of National Defence or elsewhere in the federal government, as well as in academia and the private sector. Take a look at what some current members and graduates of the PORP have to say about their experiences in the programme and why those seeking a career in the defence and security field should consider applying.

Alexandra Kaminski

Video / October 11th 2022


(AK) My name is Alexandra Kaminski. I am a policy officer at the Department of National Defence.

The Policy Officer Recruitment Program, also known as PORP, is a development program for policy officers at the beginning or mid-stages of their career. While I was in school, I really had an interest about defence and security issues, but I was looking for that practical work experience.

I was lucky enough to join the program a few months after graduating. I'm going into my third year of the program. My first year, I worked on Arctic Defence policy. This year, I've been working in Cabinet Affairs. And soon, I'll be going to New York to work at Canada's permanent mission to the UN. Arctic Defence policy was one of my most favourite files so far.

I didn't realize that Canada's landmass is 40% in the Arctic. We've got to work with other Arctic nations; work on briefing materials, speeches and research ways to further collaborate in the future. Working in Cabinet Affairs has been amazing, because you really get a bird's-eye view of the Department's priorities.

One of my most interesting files I got to work on this past year was Canada's military assistance to Ukraine. I got to put together proposals for that assistance. I got to put together briefing material and speeches for the Minister. You really get that opportunity to shape the issues of the day. So, there are plenty of amazing opportunities as part of the policy officer recruitment program. One of them being that you can be a junior advisor at Canada's permanent mission to the United Nations in New York.

And I'm lucky enough to be going this year. So, while I'm there, I'm gonna be working on Disarmament and International Security. During the program, you get to visit an army base, a navy base and an airforce base. At Wainwright, we actually got to see an exercise taking place. So, I believe it was MAPLE RESOLVE.

It was truly amazing to get that opportunity. Can't think of another program out there that can give you the same range of experiences as the Policy Officer Recruitment Program. I would recommend it to anyone who has even a slight interest in Defecse and international security issues, because it will broaden your knowledge, your skill set and give you so many opportunities you wouldn't get elsewhere.

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Reesha Namasivayam

  • Hometown: Dawson Creek, BC
  • Graduate degree: M.A. in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University.
  • Joined PORP: 2004
  • Where are you today: Director General of Policy Coordination

My career trajectory, post-PORP, has been varied but filled with learning opportunities. When I left DND, I was the special advisor to the Deputy Minister – a great opportunity to learn from leadership. I then went to the Privy Council Office where I was tasked with advancing the Government’s legislative agenda. After that, I went to Health Canada as the Director of Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs – where I had a chance to help steer the Government’s health agenda, on files such medical assistance in dying and cannabis regulation. Prior to leaving Health Canada, I was the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Minister. After a thoughtful decision to return to the security and intelligence community, I joined the Canada Border Services Agency to help develop an Issues Management function and develop other policy capacities within the Agency, including leading a COVID-19 policy task force. After two years, I returned to the Policy Group, where I am grateful to be working with the most dedicated and amazing team and amongst the best management team one could hope for.

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Spencer Page

  • Hometown: Oshawa, Ontario
  • Graduate degree: M.A. in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo.
  • Joined PORP: 2021
  • Where are you today: Special Advisor to the Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy).

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Tania Roth

  • Hometown: Montreal, Quebec
  • Graduate degree: M.A. in Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa.
  • Joined PORP: 2018
  • Where are you today: Graduated the Programme in 2021, and now working in the Directorate of NORAD Policy.

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