This profile was part of the Faculty of Public Affairs’ 75 for the 75th series, which highlighted 75 notable alumni in FPA in honour of Carleton University’s 75th anniversary. These stories were published in 2016 and 2017.
Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, World Bank Group
Bachelor of Arts, Public Administration (’87)
Growing up, Christine Hogan saw the possibilities of a career in the public service. Her father was a pilot and a public servant who worked in Canada’s North, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. By the time she graduated from high school in Edmonton, she knew she wanted to be in Canada’s capital.
“Most of my classmates stayed in Alberta, but I had seen a lot of the country, so it didn’t scare me to move across Canada for university,” she recalls. “I also loved the idea of being in Ottawa near the federal government.”
Ms. Hogan says she was attracted to Carleton because of the interdisciplinary nature of the School of Public Administration, which is now known as the School of Public Policy and Administration.
“We studied economics, political science, administrative law and accounting and explored how government works,” she says. “I never pursued a graduate degree; it’s incredible how well my undergraduate studies have served me.”
That strong educational foundation also prepared Ms. Hogan for one of the realities of the public service: moving from one portfolio to the next, and from a domestic to an international focus. After joining the federal public service in 1988, she held positions at Environment Canada, Industry Canada, the Privy Council Office and the Canadian International Development Agency.
While at the Privy Council Office, Ms. Hogan was promoted to become Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In 2015, she became Deputy Minister for International Trade at Global Affairs Canada.
“As a Deputy Minister, you have a real sense of duty and responsibility for the long-term stewardship of the institution. You are the custodian,” says Ms. Hogan, who was at the helm during the final stages of the negotiations for the Canada-EU trade agreement. “It was a real privilege for me to work alongside what I consider to be the world’s best team of trade negotiators and trade commissioners.”
During her public service career, Ms. Hogan has also had the opportunity to undertake assignments with the United Nations and in the private sector, all with the support of the Government of Canada. She adds that Carleton, and the School of Public Policy and Administration, are a familiar presence in the Government of Canada.
“There have been opportunities for collaboration with faculty who have contributed to policy dialogues. That cross-fertilization is invaluable when you take on a management post,” she explains. “At the same time, I know many colleagues who have moved on to second careers teaching at the School. They are wonderful mentors and offer a sense of what a public sector career might look like.”
Ms. Hogan’s relationship with the School of Public Policy and Administration took on special meaning in 2017 when she was awarded the Bissett Distinguished Alumni Award for Distinctive Contributions to the Public Sector. The award is named after James Bissett, another member of the 75 for the 75th.
Today, Ms. Hogan represents Canada, Ireland and 11 Caribbean countries as an Executive Director at the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. The Bank is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It has 189 member countries with 25 Executive Directors overseeing the Bank’s business.
“It’s an honour to serve such a diverse constituency of donor and borrowing governments. I love the diversity of issues and perspectives that come from working in an international institution.” she says of her role.
But the more work she does internationally, the more she appreciates Canada.
“I’ve come to realize how fortunate we are and how vital our public service is to Canada’s success,” says Ms. Hogan. “It doesn’t happen magically. A lot of people over many decades have worked hard to shape Canada as we know it.”
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