Recruitment of Policy Leaders

policy leaders

The 2019 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 candidates work in any number of unique policy jobs that put their skills to the test.

Want to drive innovation and economic growth in the new digital economy? Build on Canada’s leadership on the environment and climate change? Develop creative solutions to the social policy issues of the day? These are just a few of the areas where Recruitment of Policy Leaders participants are making a difference. A unique and challenging public sector career is calling.

Are you ready?

Become a policy leader

As a successful applicant, you’ll join a pool of talented and accomplished professionals, academics, scientists and thinkers. Here are some advantages of the program:

  • you’ll be assigned a mentor to help you network and guide you through the job search and hiring process
  • you’ll be part of a professional network that thrives on challenges and is eager to tackle Canada’s most critical public policy questions
  • you’ll have access to 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. Salaries could range from $81,858 to $119,962.


Here are the requirements:

  • a post-graduate degree from a recognized university (master’s, PhD) or a law diploma complemented by any undergraduate degree, obtained by December 31, 2020
  • a record of academic excellence, including awards, scholarships, publications in peer-reviewed journals, or admission in international academic programs
  • an understanding of public policy and policy-relevant experience, drawn from roles in government, academia, private sector, or non-governmental organizations
  • a record of personal initiative and leadership role shown through participation in extracurricular activities or volunteer work
  • other skills including analytical thinking, judgement, creativity, communication skills, values and ethics, effective interpersonal relationships, initiative, and leadership
Not a Canadian citizen?

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

If your citizenship status changes to Canadian citizen after applying, please update your 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 within 9 weeks to complete a writing assessment in January and February
  • you’ll be invited to participate in an interview between March and May
  • we’ll check your references in May 
  • you’ll receive an email notifying you at each stage about the status of your application

Hear from our policy leaders

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.”

Katie Durvin

Katie Durvin, Policy Analyst, Youth Secretariat, Privy Council Office

“The public service needs diverse voices and perspectives. There are many ways to build policy expertise — don’t count yourself out if you haven’t followed a ‘traditional’ path’. I didn’t realize how big the network was, and how many resources would be available to me — from information about upcoming events, to job postings, to opportunities to connect with so many smart, passionate public servants.”

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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