Jen Collette: Director General, Policy, Planning and Partnerships

Woman wearing black shirt and glasses smiles, sitting on rock.
Photo: Jen Collette

“One of my favourite parts of my job is facilitating the work of others, and watching my team members grow and succeed.”

Jen Collette has worked with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) for eight years. As the Director General of the Policy, Planning and Partnerships Directorate (PPPD) for the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC), Jen is passionate about contributing to programs that have a tangible impact on the everyday lives of Canadians.

Jen has enjoyed working in a number of capacities, beginning her career with the MSC in 2016 as the Director of Policy and Partnerships Division (PPD). She was previously Director, Science and Technology Policy Division at ECCC. Throughout all of these positions, Jen has continued to be inspired by the dedication and calibre of the colleagues and friends she has made along the way.

One of Jen’s primary motivations in her role is making the connection between emergency management, resilience and long-term sustainability.

“Emergency management is about prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery to events, such as natural disasters,” says Jen. “More than 85% of natural disasters are weather or water-related. As climate change manifests itself through increasingly intense and frequent extreme events, climate change mitigation and adaptation are key to strengthening resilience.”

For Jen, it is essential to recognize that critical services such as weather and water warnings and alerts, climate change adaption and mitigation, and sustainable development are interlinked and that parallel progress should be made on all three. Jen is confident that the continuous advancements in data, analytics, computing, modelling, and mobile technology will help these efforts by making tools and information more accessible than ever before, and inspire and empower all people to take action.

Among Jen’s proudest moments in her career was in 2019 when she had the honour of representing Canada at the United Nations Eighteenth World Meteorological Congress (Cg-18) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Here are a few random facts about Jen:

  • What was your first job? Summer student at the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program.
  • What is your favourite game or sport to watch and play? Recreational minor hockey to cheer on my son.
  • Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car? All of the above, although I haven’t ridden a horse in over 30 years.
  • What are your hobbies? Walking, cooking, reading, sewing, listening to music.
  • What is your favourite flavour of ice cream? New York Super Fudge Chunk.
  • How many pairs of shoes do you own? Are you allowed to plead the Fifth when you are Canadian? Too many. Fluevogs are my recent favourites.
  • If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have? I would squash racism out of existence. I would calm conflict like a warm blanket. I would spread joy better than any virus.
  • Summer or winter? Neither. I like the fall.
  • Do you love or hate rollercoasters? Hate.
  • What's your favourite movie? Hidden Figures. Inspiration from real-life strong, visible minority women exercising genius level science?  What more could you want?
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Serving Canadians. Striving for excellence, but not at the expense of people.

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