Biography of Michael Wernick

Photo of Michael Wernick

Michael Wernick was appointed Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet on January 22, 2016.

He was Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet from October 6, 2014 to January 21, 2016.  Prior to this appointment, Mr. Wernick was Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada from May 2006 to July 2014, and Senior Advisor to the Privy Council Office from July to September 2014.

Since joining the federal public service in 1981, Mr. Wernick has worked at the Social Policy Division of the Department of Finance, Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada, the Economic and Regional Development Policy Secretariat of the Privy Council Office, and the Constitutional Affairs Secretariat of the Federal-Provincial Relations Office.  From 1996 to 2003, he served as Assistant Deputy Minister and then as Associate Deputy Minister at the Department of Canadian Heritage.  From 2003 to 2006, he served three Prime Ministers as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Plans and Consultations, at the Privy Council Office.

In an eight-year tenure at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development from 2006 to 2014, Mr. Wernick assisted four Ministers in advancing the Government’s Aboriginal and Northern agendas.

Mr. Wernick has the unique distinction of having been deeply involved in the transition process and start up of three new governments, and attending the swearing in and first Cabinet meeting of three Prime Ministers (Martin in 2003, Harper in 2006, Trudeau in 2015).

Mr. Wernick has developed many of today’s public service leaders.  Prior to becoming Clerk, fifteen members of his management teams had been promoted to or within the Deputy Minister community.

Mr. Wernick received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics from the University of Toronto.  Mr. Wernick is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Carleton University.

In November 2012, Mr. Wernick was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.