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Scott Serson – Senior Advisor

Scott Serson Scott began his career as a guidance counselor in the not-for-profit sector and joined the federal Public Service as a Manpower counselor in 1973. During his first ten years in the Public Service, he held various positions focused on social policy and northern and Indigenous issues.

From 1985 to 1987, as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Office of Aboriginal Constitutional Affairs in the Federal-Provincial Relations Office, Scott was responsible for federal participation in the Aboriginal constitutional process. In 1987 he moved to the Department of Finance, initially as General Director, Social Policy and Federal-Provincial Relations, and later as General Director, Fiscal Policy and Economic Analysis.

Returning to the Federal-Provincial Relations Office as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs in 1989, he provided strategic advice on federal-provincial relations and Aboriginal constitutional issues. He also co-chaired the Working Group on Indigenous Peoples Rights in the process that led to the Charlottetown Constitutional Accord.

Scott became Associate Deputy Minister at Health Canada in February 1993, and in July 1994 assumed the position of Associate Deputy Minister, Human Resources Development Canada, where he played a leadership role in finalizing new Employment Insurance legislation.

In September 1995, Scott was appointed Deputy Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. In that role he was instrumental in the development of the Government’s response to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. He also provided public service leadership in the final stage of the creation of Nunavut. In May 1999, Scott received the Public Service Outstanding Achievement Award for his efforts in the field of social justice and his commitment to public service leadership.

Scott was appointed President of the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) in July 1999. He led the Commission through a period of human resource modernization and defended the principles of merit and a non-partisan Public Service. During this time, he was also one of two Champions for Values and Ethics in the Public Service.

After retiring from the public service, Scott served as a policy advisor to the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine for four years. During that time he helped conceptualize and negotiate the Kelowna Accord, which would have transformed federal financing of services for First Nations.

Scott has a BA with a major in Sociology from Carleton University. For nearly ten years he was a member of the Auditor General’s Advisory Committee on First Nation Issues. For four years he was an external member of the Audit Committee of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Scott also served for nine years on the Board of the Institute on Governance, including two years as Chair. He continues to serve as Co-chair of their Indigenous Advisory Circle.