The Impact and Innovation Unit is staffed by a highly skilled, interdisciplinary team with decades of combined experience in policy/program development and management, outcomes-based funding, evaluation, partnership brokering, and behavioural insights.
Meet the team
Matthew Mendelsohn, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Results and Delivery)
Matthew Mendelsohn is the Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet for Results and Delivery in the Privy Council Office, leading the federal government’s Results and Delivery Unit and Impact and Innovation Unit.
Prior to returning to the federal public service, Matthew was the founding Director of the Mowat Centre, a public policy think tank in the School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Toronto. During that time he published and lectured widely on government transformation, democratic institutions and intergovernmental politics.
Matthew is a former Deputy Minister and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet with the Ontario government and a former Senior Advisor in the federal government’s Privy Council Office.
Matthew received his B.A. from McGill University and Ph.D. from the l’Université de Montréal, and held a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia. He was a tenured faculty member in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University for 10 years and has been an active volunteer board member for many not-for-profit organizations that support community engagement and improved social and economic outcomes.
Rodney Ghali, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet
Rodney is the Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet of the Impact and Innovation Unit at the Privy Council Office, Government of Canada. He is responsible for leading the exploration and execution of new and innovative policy and programmatic approaches, focused on improving impact, accountability and value for Canadians. Prior to his current role, Rodney was Director General of the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention, Public Health Agency of Canada, where he was responsible for overseeing the Federal Government's policy and programs in the areas of healthy living and chronic disease prevention. Previously, Rodney spent a number of years at Health Canada in various positions such as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Minister and Director of Strategic Policy. He has worked on numerous legislative/regulatory initiatives and health-related issues including: food and consumer product safety, reproductive technologies, aboriginal health, blood safety and mental health. Rodney holds a Master of Science (neurobiology) from McGill University and a Honours Bachelor of Science (genetics) from the University of Western Ontario.
Chad Hartnell, Director of Operations
Chad is the Director of Operations of the Impact and Innovation Unit in the Privy Council Office. In this role, he is responsible for leading the development of new impact measurement methodologies, such as social return on investment, and working with federal partners on the mainstreaming of social financing tools and other experimental program approaches. Over his federal government career, Chad has worked in Public Health Agency of Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, Health Canada and the Privy Council Office. In these roles, he has worked on a variety of initiatives in the policy, legislative, and programming domains, including in healthy living/chronic disease prevention, Indigenous health, employment, and justice and public safety. Chad holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi and Bachelor of Arts (economics and political science) from the Colorado College.
Elizabeth Hardy, Senior Lead, Behavioural Insights
Elizabeth is Senior Lead, Behavioural Insights at the Impact and Innovation Unit, overseeing the application of behavioural science and design to public policy challenges. In addition, she is responsible for managing the IIU’s Innovative Staffing Program, including the IIU Fellowship Program as well as overseeing the communications function for the team. Prior to joining the Government of Canada, Elizabeth held several senior leadership positions, including leading the Behavioural Insights Unit in the Government of Ontario, where she was instrumental in creating and building Canada's first behavioural science team in government. To date, Elizabeth has successfully completed trials dealing with public health, tax collection, regulatory compliance, and service delivery. She is Co-Chair of the Behavioural Insights Community of Practice in the Government of Canada and Chairs the pan-Canadian Behavioural Insights Network (BIN).
David Donovan, Lead, Policy and Innovative Finance
David is Lead, Policy and Innovative Finance at the Impact and Innovation Unit. Before joining the Privy Council Office, David was responsible for advancing private sector partnership and international development finance efforts at Global Affairs Canada. He has held roles in public, private, and academic sectors. David is the former research director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen's University. He has published a number of articles relating to the international promotion of democracy, and on democratic and Parliamentary reform in Canada. He has also presented his views on democratic governance before a number of Parliamentary Committees and international conferences. David graduated with a BA (Honours with Distinction) in Political Studies and Master's in Public Administration from Queen's. He is also a Sauvé Fellow of the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation based in Montréal.
Julie Greene, Lead, Capacity and Partnerships
Julie Greene is Lead, Capacity and Partnerships, at the Impact and Innovation Unit. She is responsible for leading broad-based capacity for action on the Government’s innovation and experimentation priorities, through collaborative mechanisms and partnership development, including the Deputy Ministers Task Force on Public Sector Innovation. Before joining the Privy Council Office, Julie was a key contributor to the design of a flagship federal multi-sectoral partnership approach in healthy living and chronic disease prevention, resulting in new ways of doing business and achieving results with other sectors and across policy domains. Recognizing this first-in-Government position, she co-led a program of research to explore partnership design and effects, and has jointly published several papers in this field. Julie was educated at the University of Ottawa, holds a Master's Degree in Education (Counselling), a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) and spent early years in her career working in clinical and community settings. Raised in the federal Health Portfolio, with feet firmly planted in policy, program and research positions, Julie is now looking to contribute to the systemization of public sector innovation.
Valérie Anglehart, Program Coordinator
Valérie Anglehart is the Program Coordinator at the Impact and Innovation Unit (IIU). She is responsible for working in close collaboration with stakeholders inside and outside government to help deliver on key priorities, including the IIU’s Innovative Staffing Program. Prior to this role, she was the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Results and Delivery. Valérie was responsible for providing administrative leadership and developing procedural and copy edit guides for this newly established Secretariat. Valérie has an extensive background in Executive support. She has also led on the data validation exercise of the Order-in-Council transfers to Shared Service Canada, and worked on the Executive Performance Management and Talent Management Programs at Global Affairs Canada. A key strength that anyone interacting with her will appreciate is her humility and her ability to develop strong lasting partnerships.
Laurie Bennett, Multimedia Communications Officer
Laurie is the Impact and Innovation Unit’s Multimedia Communications Officer. She focuses her efforts on increasing accessibility to the work of the IIU through the development of engaging publications and web-based products. Prior to her work with the IIU, Laurie served as VP of operations for Transpath, a medical diagnostics firm, and also did work as a videographer and online courseware developer for the University of Alberta. Laurie has an honours diploma in Interactive Media Design from Algonquin College, with specializations in digital publishing, motion graphics, and video productions.
Michael Haber, Lead, Public Engagement
Dr. Michael Haber is Lead, Public Engagement, at the Impact and Innovation Unit. In this role, he is responsible for collaborating with federal departments and external partners to advance Impact Canada Challenge Prizes and Initiatives, and for supporting the IIU’s digital delivery model. Before joining the Privy Council Office, Michael spent 10 years with Health Canada as a Human Therapeutic Product Assessment Officer, a project manager, and most recently, as the department’s Government of Canada Entrepreneur to the Deputy Minister Task Force on Public Sector Innovation. Michael was educated at McGill University and holds a Doctorate and Master of Science in Neuroscience, a Graduate Certificate in Biotechnology, and a Bachelor of Science in Physiology.
Saskia Jarvis, Senior Advisor, Operations
Saskia is a Senior Advisor at the Impact and Innovation Unit. She is responsible for providing support for various IIU activities, including building networks with federal departments and external partners to foster collaboration and advance the Government of Canada's experimentation and innovation agenda. She also provides support for the Deputy Ministers Task Force on Public Sector Innovation. Before joining the Privy Council Office, Saskia worked on a variety of health-related policy initiatives, with a focus on health promotion and chronic disease prevention. Saskia has experience in advancing private sector partnerships, and provided policy support for The Play Exchange, a national competition that sought transformative ideas to create healthier, active lifestyles for Canadians. Saskia graduated from Carleton University with a BA (Honours) in Sociology and a Master's of Arts in Sociology.
Craig Joyce, Senior Advisor, Methods
Craig is a Senior Advisor at the Impact and Innovation Unit. He has held various roles in government in the area of evaluation over a period of ten years. At the IIU, he is part of the team responsible for supporting the development of the IIU’s framework for impact measurement. Craig has a special interest in evaluating the impact of programs and policies on the quality of life of Canadians, as well as using quasi-experimental research methods in evaluation in order to rigorously measure outcomes. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Queen’s University, a Master of Public Administration, and a Master of Library and Information Studies, both from Dalhousie University.
Haris Khan, Advisor, Behavioural Insights
Haris is an Advisor at the Impact and Innovation Unit. He is responsible for supporting the application of behavioural science and statistically rigorous experimentation methods to address complex policy and program challenges. Before joining the Privy Council Office, Haris worked on the adoption of evidence based decision making in government, and conducted quantitative and qualitative research on a diverse set of public policy issues ranging from risk in real estate markets to early childhood development programs. Haris holds a Honours Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of Public Policy, both from the University of Toronto.
Janelle Lanoix, Senior Advisor, Partnerships and Programs
Janelle is a Senior Advisor at the Impact and Innovation Unit. She is responsible for the IIU's work, in partnership with the Treasury Board Secretariat, in advancing the government's experimentation agenda as well as in the application of behavioural science to address complex policy and program challenges. Before joining the Privy Council Office, Janelle worked on a variety of health-related policy, legislative, and programming initiatives, in the areas of healthy living, chronic disease prevention and the legalization of cannabis. Janelle graduated from the University of Ottawa with an Honours Bachelor Degree in Health Sciences and a Graduate Diploma in Population Health Risk Assessment and Management. She is currently doing her Master's in Public Health with the University of Alberta.
Kristalyn Laryea, Senior Advisor, Partnerships and Programs
Kristalyn is a Senior Advisor at the Impact and Innovation Unit. She is responsible for supporting and collaborating with federal departments and external partners to advance innovation and social finance within government. Prior to joining the Privy Council Office, Kristalyn worked in the federal Health Portfolio on a range of issues, including controlled drugs regulations, antimicrobial resistance, lung health, childhood obesity, and medical countermeasures against biological threats. She also contributed to efforts to tie federal investments in healthy living and chronic disease prevention to measureable changes in health outcomes, including Canada’s first social impact bond in public health. Kristalyn worked as a microbiologist in the private sector before joining the federal government and holds a Master of Science from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Jessica Ly, Executive Assistant
Jessica is the Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary at the Impact and Innovation Unit. Prior to this role she held a number of management executive assistant positions at Health Canada within the Health Products and Food Branch, Corporate Services Branch, Healthy Environments and Consumer Product Safety Branch and Deputy Minister’s Office. Jessica has a working background in administration and hospitality.
Sarah MacMaster, Junior Advisor
Sarah is a Junior Advisor at the Impact and Innovation Unit and works on a number of key priorities, including work to support innovation and experimentation through the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Clerks and Cabinet Secretaries Conference on Policy Innovation, the Deputy Ministers Task Force on Public Sector Innovation, and the Assistant Deputy Minster Committee on Experimentation. In addition, she supports the IIU as implementation of the Impact Canada Initiative begins. Before joining the Privy Council Office, Sarah worked as an administrative assistant to the Assistant Deputy Minister and General Director in the Federal-Provincial Relations and Social Policy Branch at the Department of Finance. Prior to that, she worked as the executive assistant and meeting coordinator for the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association (CATCA). There, she was responsible for overseeing the planning and coordination of meetings and conventions. Sarah obtained her degree in History and English from the University of Ottawa.
Chris Soueidan, Visual Designer
Chris is the Impact and Innovation Unit’s Visual Designer. He is focused on developing the digital brand behind the IIU and its related visual products. Chris worked as a user experience designer in the Information Technology Bureau at Global Affairs Canada, collaborated on web design projects with Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, led the accreditation product design for the G7 Summit and runs Loogart, a Canadian visual design studio. He specializes in illustration, brand identity design, motion graphics, user experience and web. Chris holds a Bachelor of Engineering from McGill University in Montreal.
Alyssa Whalen, Advisor, Behavioural Insights
Alyssa is an Advisor at the Impact and Innovation Unit. She is responsible for supporting the application of behavioural science and statistically rigorous experimentation methods to address complex policy and program challenges. Alyssa supports projects carried out both within the IIU, and by the Behavioural Insights Fellows within other government departments. Before joining the Government of Canada, she researched and studied at Queen’s University, concentrating in quantitative and qualitative consumer behaviour research. From Queen’s, Alyssa holds a Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Science in Marketing, as well as certificates in Business and Social Impact.
Katharina Wolff, Senior Advisor – Policy and Impact Measurement
Katharina is a Senior Advisor at the Impact and Innovation Unit. She is responsible for providing support for various IIU activities with a particular focus on test-driving new measurement approaches with key federal Department partners as part of the Government of Canada’s experimentation and innovation agenda. She is keen to help the IIU translate their impact and innovation agenda into the policy development cycle. Katharina comes from the Province of Ontario where she most recently designed and delivered a $50 million innovation What Works Fund for poverty reduction. Through this work, she spearheaded the use of evaluative design thinking and testing of innovative measurement technologies to help advance Government’s understanding of “what works”. Katharina has over 10 years of experience in strategic policy, and program design and implementation, including expertise in evaluation and impact measurement. Katharina is a graduate of Western University with a dual Business Commerce and Arts Degree, and a Masters of Art’s specialization in Program and Policy Evaluation.
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