Helen Smiley completed her PhD in Public Policy in 2012. Under the direction of Professor Leslie Pal, her thesis focused on policy instrument choice through an examination of the federal government’s use of conditional grants to independent foundations.

Helen completed her PhD on a part-time basis while employed with the Government of Canada. In 2012, she was a policy analyst at the Social Development Policy Secretariat of the Privy Council Office where she worked on a broad range of social policy issues, including immigration and employment policy. Since that time, she has held Director level positions in employment insurance legislation and regulations, multiculturalism policy and strategic policy. She is currently the Director of Strategic Policy at Infrastructure Canada where she is responsible for the development of integrated departmental advice on key policy priorities, including the management of federal-provincial relations, Cabinet Affairs and medium-term planning.

Building on her background in economics, the PhD in Public Policy provided Helen with a theoretic framework for policy development in the federal government. Through her thesis, she gained insights into the factors influencing instrument choice and decision-making that have been particularly relevant when working on program design issues such as the renewal of the Court Challenges Program.

In her spare time, Helen is an avid cyclist and enjoys cooking. She has three grown children.