As told to David McGuffin for Raven Magazine

Yaprak Baltacioğlu’s journey toward becoming Carleton’s chancellor in 2019 contains many valuable lessons. Originally from Turkey, Baltacioğlu, in a 29-year career in Canada’s civil service, rose to become the highestranking immigrant in the federal government. She spent 15 of those years as a deputy minister at Treasury Board and the Agriculture department, among other appointments, championing efforts that advanced mental health, employee wellness and workplace diversity. The advice she gives new Canadians is to carefully study where the opportunities are. “There’s a huge commitment to diversity in the federal public service, making sure we represent Canada,” she says. “The numbers for women and minorities are much higher than in the private sector.” A master’s degree graduate from Carleton’s School of Public Policy and Administration, Baltacioğlu was born into a prominent family, the only child of one of Turkey’s top civil rights lawyers and an artist mother. “It was a tough marriage,” she recalls. “They just couldn’t ever get together.” In a way, this prepared her for the roles she played as a senior public servant: “I have capacity to mediate almost all conflict. I was very well trained in trying to make sure nobody fights.”

Read full story on page 23 of Raven Magazine, Issue 1, Winter 2020…