President of the Public Health Agency of Canada

Dr. Harpreet S. Kochhar

President Dr. Harpreet S. Kochhar's biography

Dr. Harpreet S. Kochhar was appointed President of the Public Health Agency of Canada on October 12, 2021. Since re-joining the Health portfolio in 2020, when he was appointed to the role of Associate Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Kochhar has become an integral player in Canada's COVID-19 response.

Before joining Health Canada, Dr. Kochhar served as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Operations Sector for Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) where he led the delivery of the Immigration, Citizenship and Passport programs across Canada and at missions and offices abroad. He also was responsible for the implementation of key strategic projects for IRCC, including the Passport Modernization Initiative, Predictive Analytics, and the transformation of IRCC's operational delivery model.

Previous to this, Dr. Kochhar was Associate Vice-President of Operations at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) from 2015 to 2017, and was Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer and Canada's Delegate to the World Organization for Animal Health. He was responsible for delivering food inspection services across the country as well as managing more than 4,000 employees. During his tenure at the CFIA, Dr. Kochhar managed several high profile cases to ensure the safety of Canada's food supply, including the official response to Canada's largest beef recall (XL foods).

Dr. Kochhar started his career by practising veterinary medicine in South Western Ontario. He has a Master's Degree in Veterinary Science and a Ph.D. in Animal Biotechnology from the University of Guelph where he also was Assistant Professor at the Ontario Veterinary College.

On a personal note, Dr. Kochhar is an active fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and contributes to charities such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Mental Health Institute, and the Liver Foundation. In 2012, Dr. Kochhar was honoured with Elizabeth II's Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his professional and volunteer contributions and in 2017 he was awarded the Canada 150 Medal for community services.

In his spare time, he enjoys cooking as well as playing golf, volleyball, and skiing.

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