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Sean Boots

Public Servant-in-Residence

Sean Boots is a policy advisor with the Canadian Digital Service (CDS). He previously worked as a product designer with VOTO Mobile, a Ghana-based social enterprise focused on empowering under-heard communities, and as a developer at Global Affairs Canada working on the website redesign. He rejoined the federal government in fall 2016 to help launch CDS as a new digital service delivery initiative. Sean has played a core role in building the culture of CDS, equipping colleagues with modern equipment and software, and launching and scaling services including GC Notify and COVID Alert. His work on COVID Alert through 2020 and 2021 included a number of federal government firsts related to security, privacy, and working in the open. He led the development and writing of CDS’s two major strategic publications, Beginning the Conversation and Roadmap 2025. Sean is a co-founder of Ottawa Civic Tech, studied Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, and enjoys working at the intersection of technology and public policy. He writes about government technology efforts at

Project description

Sean will be working with Prof. Amanda Clarke and her team of research assistants and data scientists studying Trustworthy Digital Government. This research spans digital service teams in government, public service effectiveness and modernization, open government and transparency, and accountability and public confidence in the public sector. It provides an in-depth look at Canadian public sector capacity in the digital space, the role and influence of private sector firms, and the potential outcomes and consequences for public trust and Canadian society. As a component of this research, Sean will be analyzing the use of IT vendors across Government of Canada departments, building on previous open data efforts. Sean will be collaborating with Prof. Clarke and her team to produce empirically innovative, policy-relevant research that will both advance the literature on government-vendor relations and improve government practice.