Marguarite Keeley graduated with a Master of Arts from Carleton’s School of Public Policy and Administration in 1980. She has dedicated her professional career, spanning more than 35 years, to public service in the broadest and finest sense. She has demonstrated leadership in both federal and municipal government as well as in the nonprofit sector. She has been a policy innovator and effective manager in ways that have had direct impacts on the lives of Canadians at both the national and community levels. Her breadth of experience includes health policy, primary health care, social services, human rights, First Nations government, and employment and pay equity.

In the variety of positions that she held from 1980 to 2000 in the Government of Canada, Ms. Keeley initiated national programs to meet changing policy and legislative requirements. Two of her distinctive contributions were the development of a policy framework for transferring control of community health programs to First Nations and the establishment of systems of compliance for the federal Employment Equity Act.

When she took up her position as Executive Director of the Centretown Community Health Centre (CCHC) in 2000, Marguarite continued to contribute to public service through policy analysis and development, but added a new emphasis on public education, collaboration, and advocacy. At the CCHC, Marguarite has applied her considerable skills and energies to concerted, collective and inter-sectoral efforts to address major policy issues affecting the quality of life of our community.

Marguarite is a natural and highly effective leader and a remarkable manager. The multi-faceted strategic planning process, which Marguarite oversees on behalf of the Centre, is second to none in terms of scope, strength of evidence base and breadth of community consultation. She was instrumental in garnering support for the Toronto Charter on Strengthening the Social Determinants of Health, and was one of the media spokespersons for the successful and innovative “loonie campaign” which focused on the need to preserve community investment during the 2004 City budget deliberations. She is currently taking a lead role in the development of a pandemic plan, especially in relation to vulnerable populations, that will be linked to Ottawa’s City-wide plan.

Marguarite’s dedication, compassion, sense of equity and social justice and many talents consistently shine through her work in her day-to-day management, partnership and collaborative endeavours, policy and research activities, public education and awareness efforts, fostering community capacity building and empowerment, and advocating for public services and a healthy community. She has made and continues to make an outstanding contribution to the public sector, and is exemplary of the more than 2,000 alumni of the School of Public Policy and Administration.