McGill Global Health Programs is pleased to welcome Ms. Sarah Lawley, Director General, Office of International Affairs for the Health Portfolio at the Public Health Agency of Canada!
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About our speaker:
In her current role Ms. Lawley is responsible for advancing Canada’s health priorities internationally, and ensuring that domestic health interests are reflected in Canada’s foreign policy and international development programs. She is the Portfolio’s chief negotiator with other countries and international organizations on such critical issues as health security, trade-related health impacts, health promotion, disease prevention and health and human rights. She leads the Health Portfolio’s bilateral engagement with foreign governments and is responsible for health engagement at the G7 and G20. Ms. Lawley currently serves as Canada’s representative on the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board, and is the senior official for Canada to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Health Working Group, the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Technical Advisory Committee.
Prior to her current position, Ms. Lawley has held executive level positions in the Health Portfolio in both international affairs and communications functions.
As the Director General of Strategic Communications at Health Canada, she led a comprehensive strategic communications agenda for the department. In this role she was also responsible for the development of the Department’s first Regulatory Transparency and Openness Framework, a significant step forward in Health Canada’s commitment to share more regulatory health and safety information proactively with Canadians.
As the Director, Bilateral and Regional Relations in the Office of International Affairs for the Health Portfolio, and prior to that, as the Director of International Affairs at the Public Health Agency of Canada, Ms. Lawley led a robust engagement strategy with both multilateral and bilateral partners, and implemented a number of major policy milestones, including the development of the Agency's first Global Health Framework.
During her tenure as a Director within the Agency’s Communications Directorate, Ms. Lawley implemented the Agency's Strategic Risk Communications Framework, which included a significant training component, and led the development of the Agency's first-ever Public Involvement Framework. She led crisis communications responses during the Listeriosis outbreak in 2008 and the H1N1 pandemic of 2009.
Prior to her work with the Health Portfolio, Ms. Lawley worked at Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation and the Ottawa Economic Development Corporation.
Ms. Lawley holds a B.A. with Highest Honours in Journalism from Carleton University. She lives in Ottawa with her husband and their three teenage boys.