Simon Kennedy was named Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) in September 2019. He has overseen ISED’s response to the global pandemic, working with industry to pivot towards the production of medical supplies and to build up Canadian biomanufacturing capacity, rolling out new programs to aid businesses affected by the pandemic, and partnering with Canadian companies to support innovation and industrial transformation.
Previously, he served as Deputy Minister of Health. During his tenure, the Department assumed a national leadership role in responding to the opioids crisis; negotiated new funding with the provinces and territories for home care and mental health services; and launched major reforms to pharmaceutical pricing, nutrition labelling, vaping, and tobacco packaging. Mr. Kennedy also oversaw Health Canada’s implementation of the government’s initiative to legalize and regulate cannabis.
Mr. Kennedy has served in a variety of progressively senior roles in seven different federal organizations, including in six deputy minister-level appointments. He was the Prime Minister’s personal representative, or “Sherpa”, to the G-20 from 2012 to 2014. He has degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University and Syracuse University, and is a graduate of INSEAD’s Advanced Management Programme. Mr. Kennedy has been a member of the board of a variety of organizations, including the Canadian Tourism Commission, Canadian Institute for Health Information, Mental Health Commission of Canada, and Ottawa Community Foundation, among others. He co-chairs the Ottawa Chapter of the Institute of Corporate Directors.