Recruitment of Policy Leaders

policy leaders

The 2020 Recruitment of Policy Leaders campaign is now closed. See you next year!

Launch a stimulating and fulfilling career in the federal public service. Become a policy leader, and help shape public policies on the most challenging issues of the day.

Successful recruits work in a number of unique policy jobs that put their skills to the test, in areas such as the digital economy and economic growth, leading on climate change, anti-poverty, health and foreign policy.

Become a policy leader

The Recruitment of Policy Leaders program recruits accomplished Canadians and permanent residents with the potential to lead positive change and make significant contributions to the federal public service. The program forms a pool of stellar recruits, ready for hiring in a variety of mid- to senior-level policy positions across the federal government.

To qualify, you’ll need a strong record of outstanding academic performance, policy-relevant experience, as well as leadership and initiative. All disciplines and professional backgrounds are welcome. You’ll also need to be passionate about public policy and be ready to drive innovation to address Canada’s most pressing policy challenges.

Are you interested in:

  • developing creative solutions to Canada’s most challenging policy issues?
  • advising senior government officials in a fast-paced environment?
  • joining Canada’s public service in a mid- to senior-level policy position?
  • working on diverse policy issues and charting your own career path based on your interests and expertise?
  • joining a highly-connected network of passionate and driven alumni?

As a successful applicant, you’ll join a pool of talented and accomplished academics, scientists and professionals.

Benefits of the program

  • Access opportunities that align with your interests and fields of expertise, in a variety of government departments
  • Work with a mentor to help you network and guide you through the job search and hiring process
  • Have your academic record and professional experience recognized
  • Be part of a professional network that thrives on challenges and is eager to tackle Canada’s most critical public policy questions
  • Take part in orientation sessions and regular social events, connecting you to other successful candidates and learning opportunities

Selected candidates join the public service in intermediate level roles, typically as senior policy analysts (EC-5 to EC-7, or equivalent groups and levels). Salaries may range from $87,308 to $127,950.


The Recruitment of Policy Leaders is a competitive program that selects outstanding candidates with proven track records of academic excellence, policy experience, and personal initiative and leadership. You are encouraged to read through the requirements to assess whether you would be a good fit for the program.

There is no unique or standard background, and candidates from all fields are encouraged to apply. Successful candidates typically have received significant scholarships, have several years of policy-relevant experience, and have led initiatives to benefit their community or other organizations.

Here are the requirements:

  • a post-graduate degree from a recognized university (master’s, PhD) or a law degree complemented by any undergraduate degree, obtained by December 31, 2021
  • a strong record of academic excellence, including major awards, scholarships, publications in peer-reviewed journals, or admission in internationally competitive academic programs
  • a deep understanding of public policy, as well as policy-relevant experience, drawn from roles in government, academia, private sector, or non-governmental organizations
  • a sustained record of personal initiative and leadership shown through participation in extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or leadership roles in the community
  • other skills including analytical thinking, judgement, creativity, communication, values and ethics, and effective interpersonal relationships
Not a Canadian citizen?

Non-Canadians living in Canada can apply to the program, but preference will be given to veterans, Canadian citizens and permanent residents (in that order) who meet the job requirements.

If your citizenship status changes to Canadian citizen after applying, please update your GC Jobs applicant account.

What to expect when you apply

If you meet the requirements at each stage, here’s what you can expect:

  • you’ll receive an electronic invitation to complete a writing assessment in mid-January, and you’ll be invited to participate in an interview between February and March
  • we’ll complete reference checks and validate key academic credentials and awards

Hear from our policy leaders

Program alumni will share more information online and host Q&A sessions throughout the campaign. Follow @RPL_RLP on Twitter or watch our GCwiki page for details and registration links.

Shanley Matthews

Masha Cemma, Policy Advisor, Office of the Chief Science Advisor

“The Recruitment of Policy Leaders program landed me a dream job working with the Chief Science Advisor of Canada, a perfect spot to use my science background and hone my policy acumen. I knew it was the opportunity of a lifetime, because the office was brand new when I joined and I was eager to get in on the ground floor. Two years later, I’m part of a big team working on horizontal science initiatives both in Canada and internationally, like Open Science.”

Asha Jibril

Asha Jibril, Senior Policy Advisor, Canadian Human Rights Commission

“As a Senior Policy Advisor, I provide guidance to investigators, mediators and legal counsel on some of the most systemic and complex human rights issues in Canada. I work with a diverse array of community-based organizations to improve access to justice for marginalized groups, conduct research into issues of public interest, and prepare decision-makers for appearances before Parliament and the United Nations. The Recruitment of Policy Leaders program enabled me to pursue a meaningful career in what I am most passionate about.”

Félix Meunier

Félix Meunier, Director, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Transport Canada

“My position allows me to play a prominent role in defining the approach to integrate drones in the life of all Canadians — and I’m not only referring to small drones but to very big ones too, that will eventually be used as urban taxis! Where else could I work on such varied issues for Canadians, feel that I make a difference and meet such incredible people?”

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