Premier Rachel Notley has appointed veteran public servant Marcia Nelson to serve as Deputy Minister of Executive Council.
Nelson will assume the top public servant role in Alberta on April 16, 2016, replacing Deputy Minister Richard Dicerni, who is retiring.
“In the face of the current economic shock, having an experienced leader like Marcia, who has a strong public service record of achieving results, is critical to delivering on priorities for Albertans.”
“I’m proud to lead Alberta’s strong and professional public service to deliver the quality programs and services Albertans expect and deserve. And I’m honoured and grateful for this opportunity to serve Albertans.”
Outgoing Deputy Minister Richard Dicerni is stepping down after serving in the role for the last 18 months. Dicerni’s career also includes service in the Canadian and Ontario public services. He will continue to provide advice to government and to serve on the AHS Board.
“Richard supported Alberta through a significant period of transition in Alberta’s history. His extensive experience and professionalism in service was invaluable for the province. I thank him for his dedicated work, and wish him well in his retirement.”
Marcia Nelson has been in public service for 28 years, serving in senior positions in both Alberta and Ontario. She is experienced working in partnership with business, community and government leaders to achieve positive outcomes.
“Marcia has demonstrated a strong commitment to support economic diversification. She has been a champion for government to focus action on innovation and bringing new ideas and technology to market.”
“Alberta’s business community is looking for government to make balanced decisions. Marcia is responsive to community needs and she understands the role government can play to support economic growth across Alberta.”
“From leading work on Alberta’s first plan to end homelessness, to partnering on initiatives with non-profit sector leaders, Marcia is dedicated to supporting the foundations for making communities stronger.”
Deputy Minister, Executive Council
Since July 2015, Marcia has served as Associate Deputy Minister of Executive Council, providing strategic policy advice, effective operations and issues management, and support to the government decision making process. A key responsibility included providing leadership to the Alberta public service to strengthen leadership development and succession planning. Marcia also provided executive oversight on government’s public sector negotiations and labour relations activities.
Born in rural Ontario, Marcia graduated with a Masters of Arts in Public Policy and Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies and Sociology from McMaster University.
Marcia began her career in public service working for the Ontario government for 13 years, and held a variety of policy, planning, and research positions in several ministries.
In 2002, Marcia came to Alberta and joined the public service as Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Services for Alberta Human Resources and Employment. In 2005, she helped establish and served as head of the Policy Coordination Office of Executive Council. During this time she led Alberta’s Policy Capacity Initiative to strengthen policy development across Alberta’s public service.
In 2008, Marcia was appointed Deputy Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs (2008-2011). She has since served as Deputy Minister of Health (2011 to 2013); Infrastructure (2013-2014); and Innovation and Advanced Education (2014-2015).
Her key accomplishments include developing Alberta’s first 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness; implementing new models of team-based, community focused health care; developing and implementing government’s $25 billion 2014-17 Capital Plan; and leading initiatives to enhance post-secondary sustainability and economic diversification for Alberta.
She completed the Institute of Corporate Directors’ Directors Education Program in 2013, receiving the Director designation and has served on national, provincial and community and non-profit boards.