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Speaker: Erika-Kirsten Easton

Erika-Kirsten Easton

Chief Data Officer and Director General, Enterprise Service, Data and Architecture Directorate, Transport Canada

Erika-Kirsten Easton joined Transport Canada in August 2023 as the Chief Data Officer and Director General (DG) of Enterprise Service, Data and Architecture. She and her team are responsible for data asset management, establishing digital service delivery standards, and enterprise architecture and security assessments for the Department. 

Prior to that, she was the DG of Strategic Policy, and DG of Communications at Shared Services Canada (SSC) 2020 to 2023. She has worked on issues such as cyber security and the digitization of government services. 

Erika has extensive experience in policy, communications and data analysis with the private sector and the federal public service, including 12 years as an executive in government. Throughout her public service career, Erika has been focused on implementing data-driven and user-centric decision-making, and managing change. 

At the beginning of her career, Erika was a Research Associate at the Public Policy Forum, a national, non-partisan think tank.  

Erika then worked at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) leading their public opinion research and strategic risk and crisis communications. She had the opportunity to work on issues such as behavioural research on infection prevention among Indigenous and the general population, as well as the H1N1 and listeriosis outbreaks. 

She has also worked at Citizenship and Immigration Canada from 2010 to 2013 as the Manager of Public Opinion Research and Consultations, and the Director of Regions, Ministerial Services and Media Relations, where she led consultations and communications on the annual immigration plan, changes to interim federal health, refugee reform, cracking down on crooked consultants, changes to the family and economic class immigration processes, and new citizenship requirements. 

While at Health Canada and PHAC from 2013 to 2016 as the Director of Media Relations and Regional Communications, as well as the Director General of Public Health Strategic Communications, she oversaw communications on issues such as avian flu, Zika, Ebola and many food-borne illness outbreaks. 

From 2016 to 2020, she was the Director General of Communications at Canada Border Services Agency where she led public affairs and communications activities on issues such as travel and trade facilitation and enforcement, the increased irregular arrival of asylum seekers, and the implementation of border measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining Canada’s supply chain. 

Erika has a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in Political Science with a minor in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Ottawa. She is a proud Franco-Ontarian from Northern Ontario. She lives in Ottawa with her husband and their three kids. 

Participating in: Day 1 – Conference opening and Day 2 – Opening plenary

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