Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister (Canada)

The Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister in Canada's Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is the top official of the office.[1] The position was created in 1987 to head the PMO.[2]

Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister
Katie Telford

since November 4, 2015
Office of the Prime Minister
SeatLangevin Block
AppointerPrime Minister of Canada
First holderDerek Burney

Prior to the creation of the chief of staff position, the office was headed by the Prime Minister's Principal Secretary, a position which is now secondary to the chief of staff.[2] People who held the position of principal secretary prior to 1987 were essentially de facto chiefs of staff, and may sometimes be informally referred to as chiefs of staff in some sources, but did not hold the formal title chief of staff.

Bernard Roy, Brian Mulroney's principal secretary from 1984 to 1988, was the last principal secretary to act as head of the PMO before the creation of the chief of staff position.[2]

List of Chiefs of Staff

No. Name Term of office Political party Ministry Reference
1 Derek Burney 19871989 Progressive Conservative 24 (Mulroney) [2]
2 Stanley Hartt 19891990 Progressive Conservative [3]
3 Norman Spector 19901992 Progressive Conservative [4]
4 Hugh Segal 19921993 Progressive Conservative [5]
5 David McLaughlin 19931993 Progressive Conservative [6]
6 Jodi White 19931993 Progressive Conservative 25 (Campbell) [7]
7 Jean Pelletier 19932001 Liberal 26 (Chrétien) [8]
8 Percy Downe 20012003 Liberal [9]
9 Edward Goldenberg 20032003 Liberal [10]
10 Tim Murphy 20032006 Liberal 27 (Martin) [11]
11 Ian Brodie 20062008 Conservative 28 (Harper) [12]
12 Guy Giorno 20082010 Conservative [13]
13 Nigel Wright 20112013 Conservative [14]
14 Ray Novak 20132015 Conservative [15]
15 Katie Telford 2015Incumbent Liberal 29 (J. Trudeau) [16]


  1. "In Defense of Political Staff". Canadian Parliamentary Review (Vol. 35, No. 3), 2012.
  2. "Another change by PM". Windsor Star, March 13, 1987.
  3. "Montrealer Hartt named PM's chief of staff". Montreal Gazette, December 15, 1988.
  4. "PM picks top bureaucrat to be new chief of staff". Financial Post, August 16, 1990.
  5. "PM appoints political pro chief of staff; Meech architect becomes envoy". Edmonton Journal, January 8, 1992.
  6. "Tories' 'happy warrior' quits Mulroney's office". Toronto Star, April 29, 1993.
  7. "Campbell's new cabinet to be leaner and meaner". Montreal Gazette, June 25, 1993.
  8. "Ex-mayor who was defeated by Bloc appointed Chretien's chief of staff". Montreal Gazette, October 30, 1993.
  9. "Percy Downe named chief of staff to Prime Minister's Office". The Guardian, May 5, 2001.
  10. "PM aide brings hammer down: Grit party boss warned to get in line". Calgary Herald, June 27, 2003.
  11. "Familiar faces round out Martin's PMO". The Globe and Mail, December 12, 2003.
  12. "Ad hoc process to grill nominee warrants caution". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, February 21, 2006.
  13. "Giorno takes the helm in PMO". The Globe and Mail, July 2, 2008.
  14. "PM's staff chief 'right man'". Edmonton Journal, January 6, 2011.
  15. "Ray Novak's long ties to Harper". The Globe and Mail, May 20, 2013.
  16. "Leadership of the Prime Minister's Office". Official website of the Parliament of Canada. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
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