Changes atop the public service in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency


Changes are coming to the top of the civil service within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday that Chris Forbes, a veteran in federal agriculture policy circles, having served as deputy minister of the agriculture department since 2017, will be moving to the deputy minister role at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as of February 20, 2023.

Stefanie Beck, who is currently the associate deputy minister of National Defence, has been promoted to the most senior public servant role inside AAFC. She has several decades of experience in federal government roles related to foreign/global affairs and diplomacy, including serving as Deputy High Commissioner for Canada to the United Kingdom.

According to her biography on the National Defence website, Beck has held a range of senior positions related to Canada’s diplomatic missions abroad. She attended high school in Singapore and St. Catharines, Ontario, and has a Bachelor of Arts in German and Italian from McGill University

Trudeau also announced that Dr. Harpreet Kochhar, currently the president of the Public Health Agency of Canada, will become the next president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), as of February 27, 2023. Kochhar, who was previously the CFIA’s chief veterinary officer, replaces Siddika Mithani, who retired in late January.

The president of the CFIA supervises the entire agency, reporting to both the Minister of Health and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food on issues related to plant health, animal health, food safety, and international trade.

Related: CFIA president steps down

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