Practitioner in Residence (July 2023)
Co-founder of the Pendulum Group, Yaroslav Baran is an expert in political analysis and communications with an established reputation for excellence. A consultant for many years with a leading Ottawa-based government relations firm, his roles included that of managing principal, board chair, and national practice lead for communications.
He dedicates his energies to political and governmental analysis, strategic communications advice, crisis management, executive speechwriting and presentation coaching, and media relations training. He has also advised countless clients on government relations and political strategy and is a rare advisor in parliamentary procedure, building on his experience in leadership and procedural roles in the House of Commons. He served most recently in the federal government as Chief of Staff to the Government House Leader, and before that, as Chief of Staff to the Chief Government Whip. His parliamentary experience also included years as a proceduralist in Opposition, where he worked on reforms to House of Commons rules.
A senior advisor in political communication, he was the Communications chief for former prime minister Stephen Harper’s leadership campaign, and directed the Conservative Party’s communications and media relations through three national election campaigns – all of which saw the party’s electoral fortunes increase – as Senior Communications Advisor and Director of War Room Communications.
He first branched out to the private sector as a consultant in 2005 but was seconded three years later by the prime minister to serve as a ministerial chief of staff for two years, managing the parliamentary agenda and House of Commons operations for Cabinet. He returned to consulting work in 2010, where he has built a reputation as an advisor to leaders in Canadian business, academia, and politics.
In addition to his governmental and advisory work, Mr. Baran has also helped lead a number of democratic development projects, from North America to Eastern Europe to Africa to Southeast Asia. He is vice-chair of the board of directors of the Parliamentary Centre, an Ottawa-based democratic development non-governmental organization. He is also a director with the charitable Canada-Ukraine Foundation which is involved in capacity building and humanitarian projects.
He was named a Fellow with the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management at Carleton University in 2019. He has taught courses in strategic communications and government relations in the MPM program and has given several guest talks to students in the Masters of Public Administration program at Queen’s University, focusing on the relationship between political staff and the public service as it pertains to communications. He has also been a guest speaker for the federal government in workshops for visiting dignitaries.
The Hamilton native is a frequent media commentator on crisis management, geopolitics, and federal political affairs.