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Let’s Talk Government

Alumna Annette Gibbons (BA’88) shares career advice in special series

By Heidi Wicks

Annette Gibbons (BA’88) is actively addressing numerous food-related issues on the national stage.

Ms. Gibbons is the associate deputy minister with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and is one of the featured speakers at an upcoming event series, Let’s Talk Government.

Annette Gibbons
Photo: Submitted

The series will be offered in two sessions – one for undergraduate and graduate students, and one for recent graduates and all alumni – by the Office of Alumni Engagement and Career Development.

Career opportunities

Ms. Gibbons is also Memorial University’s deputy minister champion, a role that involves building relations between the Public Service of Canada and Memorial, to identify shared priorities, align and promote relevant research and build awareness of career opportunities in the public service.

Prior to joining AAFC in October 2018, Ms. Gibbons served as an assistant secretary to the cabinet at the Privy Council Office, assistant secretary to the Treasury Board at the Treasury Board Secretariat and assistant deputy minister at Natural Resources Canada.

She holds an MBA from the University of Ottawa, an MA (public administration) from Carleton University and a BA from Memorial.

“Canadians are realizing the great importance of farms and the food system in our lives.” — Annette Gibbons

Ms. Gibbons is enthusiastic about offering support and guidance to help strengthen the relationship between the Public Service of Canada and Memorial.

“I’m also excited about letting students know about the vast array of meaningful career opportunities they have, particularly with the federal public service,” she said. “I am delighted to be the deputy minister champion for Memorial. Reflecting on my time there, and how it influenced my career path, has been rewarding.”

Food security

Her insight into the work being done in the agricultural sector can provide students with some perspective on the most important issues in Canada and the work being done to ensure food security well into the future.

“Now more than ever, Canadians are realizing the great importance of farms and the food system in our lives,” she said. “Over the last months especially, we have been working very hard to ensure Canada’s food system is functioning for all Canadians to have access to safe, quality food.”

Some of the innovative policy responses include the $50 million Surplus Food Rescue Program, to help redirect existing food surpluses to organizations addressing food insecurity.

Another $100 million was distributed to food banks through the Local Food Infrastructure Fund.

Another initiative has mitigated labour shortages by connecting workers in the food service industry to rewarding jobs in agriculture that require a range of skillsets.

“While we have been faced with serious challenges, we’ve also been able to seize opportunities that will support the sector and strengthen it over the long-term, and that is very reassuring,” said Ms. Gibbons.

Let’s Talk Government sessions take place on Tuesday, March 2, and Wednesday, March 3, virtually. Registration is required. Learn more here.

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