Premier Stephen McNeil announced changes today, June 2, to the government’s senior management team.
Laura Lee Langley is appointed deputy minister of the Office of the Premier, deputy minister of Treasury and Policy Board, clerk of the Executive Council and head of the Public Service. Ms. Langley also becomes deputy minister of Communications Nova Scotia and will retain her current position of Public Service Commissioner.
“Laura Lee has demonstrated strong leadership skills, an impressive work ethic and brings a wealth of experience to this position,” said Premier McNeil. “She has worked on many major issues and files throughout her 20-year career in government and I have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead Nova Scotia’s public service.”
Ms. Langley is replacing Catherine Blewett, who this month will assume her duties as federal deputy minister of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, in an appointment announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in February.
Earlier this spring, Premier McNeil publicly expressed his thanks and appreciation to Ms. Blewett and George McLellan, who retired as deputy minister of Finance and Treasury Board, for their senior leadership in providing dedicated service to the people of Nova Scotia.
Additional appointments announced by the premier today are:
–- Byron Rafuse, associate deputy minister of Finance and Treasury Board, becomes deputy minister of Finance and Treasury Board. Mr. Rafuse has 26 years of experience in the public service and has spent the last 12 years in increasingly senior management roles at Finance and Treasury Board.
–- Kelliann Dean, deputy minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, is appointed deputy minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and deputy minister of Municipal Affairs. Ms. Dean is the longest serving deputy minister, having spent 12 years in a deputy position during her 15 years in government.
–- Julie Towers, chief executive officer of the Office of Aboriginal Affairs, also becomes chief executive officer of the Office of Immigration.
–- Tracey Taweel, associate deputy minister Communications Nova Scotia, is the new deputy minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
–- Dan MacDougall, deputy minister of Municipal Affairs, is the new president and chief executive officer of Housing Nova Scotia.
–- Geoff Gatien, controller at Finance and Treasury Board, becomes associate deputy minister of Finance and Treasury Board and continues to serve as the province’s controller.
–- Jeannine Lagassé, executive director of Executive Council Office, is also appointed secretary to the Executive Council.
“These appointments will enable government to continue to make progress on key priorities, including responsible fiscal management, services to meet the needs of Nova Scotians, immigration and growth in international trade, particularly through our growing commercial relationship with China,” said the premier.
“Members of our public service are dedicated and committed to their work,” said the premier. “The changes announced today will give talented leaders in government additional opportunities to maximize their skills and capabilities and continue the development of a strong and engaged public service.”
Premier McNeil also extended his thanks to Dan Troke, outgoing president and CEO of Housing Nova Scotia.
“On behalf of Nova Scotians, I would like to extend my thanks Mr. Troke for his service,” said Premier McNeil. “His work to advance the interests of the province are much appreciated and I wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Dr. Peter Vaughan, deputy minister of Health and Wellness, has informed the premier of his intention to retire in the fall. The process to seek his replacement will begin immediately.
“I would like to thank Dr. Vaughan for his lengthy service to the province, both at the Department of Health and Wellness and previously at the health authority level,” said Premier McNeil. “His extensive provincial, national and international clinical medical experience is exceptional, demonstrating a passionate commitment to the well-being of citizens here and around the globe.
“Having individuals of his stature step forward to serve in government is a testament of the excellence and depth of talent that exists within Nova Scotia’s public service.”
These appointments are effective June 6.