Michael Wernick was appointed Deputy Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in May 2006. His previous position was Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Plans and Consultations, at the Privy Council Office.
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.
Mr. Wernick received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics from the University of Toronto.
Colleen Swords joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1980. Most recently she was Assistant Deputy Minister, Europe, Middle East, Maghreb. From September 2006 to August 2009, she was Assistant Deputy Minister for International Security and Political Director. Prior to that, she was Ambassador of Canada to The Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. She was Canadian High Commissioner accredited to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean from 1994-1997. She has also been posted to Washington (1997-2000), Thailand (1987-1989) and Tanzania (1981-1983).
In Ottawa, Ms. Swords has held various positions including Legal Adviser, Director of the Economic and Trade Law Division, Deputy Legal Adviser and Legal Officer responsible for human rights, humanitarian law, and peace and security issues. Prior to joining DFAIT, she worked in a legal aid clinic in Toronto.
A graduate of Brock University, Osgoode Hall Law School and the Europa Institute of the University of Amsterdam, she is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.