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Diversity & Inclusion in Policy Making: The Public Servant's Role
Diversity & Inclusion in Policy Making: The Public Servant's Role

Tue, Jan 26


Online event

Diversity & Inclusion in Policy Making: The Public Servant's Role

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Time & Location

Jan 26, 2021, 7:00 p.m. MST

Online event

About the event

With sustained attention by social and traditional media, elected officials and public servants all over the world have placed a renewed urgency on the question - How can public policy decisions become more inclusive of the widely diverse populations our organizations serve? Join us for a thought-provoking conversation on this question, designed specifically for public sector employees in Alberta.


Karen MacKenzie, President, MacKintosh Canada and PeopleBest Canada

  • Ms. MacKenzie is a proud Cree-Métis woman and the President of MacKintosh Canada, an Indigenous owned, international consulting company and PeopleBest Canada, an artificial intelligence company. Business ownership along with academic and senior management positions has led Karen to this important crossroads in our collective societies where co-creation of the future is both important and enabling. Karen brings her traditional knowledge of Indigenous ways into the contemporary workplace, as this wisdom and way of being reflect “wise practices of purpose driven individuals, communities and organizations”. Karen is a proven leader, and a highly respected authority on individual, team, organizational and community change. Ms. MacKenzie is a past member of the Edmonton Police Commission and now sits on the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Safety and Well-Being. She sits with the Circle of Elders for Edmonton Catholic Schools. She is also an advocate for the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Ms. MacKenzie was recently appointed as an “Expert Panel” member for the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation and as a Senior Advisor to Navigator. She was recognized as an Albertan SHEInnovates leader under the Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC). She is a Senior Advisor to the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership, Coady Institute, St. Francis Xavier University and is a board member of “Honouring Indigenous Peoples”, a national Rotary initiative.

Matthew Barker, Executive Director, Edmonton Police Commission

  • Matt has been with the Edmonton Police Commission as the Executive Director since October 2019. Previously, he was with the Government of Alberta since 2005, having the privilege of working in a number of Ministries over 15 years. He started with Justice and Solicitor General and was involved in a number of  projects and programs such as the development of the Peace Officer Act, Traffic Sherriff program, policing standards and creation of the provincial .05 alcohol limits.  In 2013, Matt took a secondment position to work for Executive Council in the Cabinet Coordination Office at the Legislature and stayed there until April 2015 before returning to Justice and Solicitor General in the Ministry’s policy shop for a brief time. In June 2016 Matt moved to the Ministry of Senior’s and Housing where he was exposed to the social policy side of government and was responsible for the team who developed the Provincial Affordable Housing Strategy.  In 2019 Matt was excited and pleased to assume a new role at the Edmonton Police Commission as the Executive Director.

Sharif Haji, Executive Director, Africa Center

  • Sharif comes with over a decade of experience in policy and program design, development and implementation. Mr. Haji has a strong background in public policy formulation and community development experience. He brings a blended experience of both public and non-profit sectors in Canada and overseas. Before his current role as the Executive Director of the Africa Centre, Mr. Haji worked with the Ministries of Seniors and Housing and Health for over five years. During his tenure in the public sector he led and/or managed various provincial files including; implementation of the Provincial Affordable Housing Strategy, Alberta’s Primary Health Care Strategy, the design of the Family Care Clinics and Alberta’s Primary Care Networks. Prior to working with the Government of Alberta, Mr. Haji had extensive experience in the non-profit sector locally and internationally. Locally, he worked with Edmonton Multicultural Coalition in different capacities. Internationally, he worked with World Vision International in different countries where he led or managed major bilateral and multilateral grant-based initiatives. Educationally, Mr. Haji has a Bachelor of Arts in Health Science and Social Services from the University of South Africa (UNISA), and a Master of Public Health in Global Health, from the School of Public Health, University of Alberta.


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