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Faculty member: Irwin Bess

Pronouns: he / him
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
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Irwin Bess joined the School as an executive faculty member in November 2023 and brings 27 years of experience in the federal public service.

Over the span of his career, Irwin held a variety of leadership roles in several departments, ranging from strategic policy and program delivery to communications, innovation and digital transformation at Transport Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, the Privy Council Office, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the Canada School of Public Service. Most recently, Irwin served as the Chief Information Officer at the Immigration and Refugee Board, leading tribunal-wide operational and strategic digital priorities.

Irwin attributes his progression and success in these areas to following his curiosity and passions with a strong willingness to collaborate with colleagues and learn new ways of thinking and working from employees at all levels.

His areas of interest include leadership development, policy and service innovation, responsible applications of technology and the intersection of these areas with the future of work and best practices for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Irwin has rejoined the School with the goal of helping all employees reach their full potential through teaching, facilitation, coaching and sharing of experiences and possibilities


  • Regulatory and program policy leadership
  • Human-centred digital service transformation
  • Innovation, experimentation and adaptation


  • Master of Arts, Queen's University
  • Bachelor of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo
  • Certified Executive Coach, Canada Coach Academy
  • Certificate in Regulatory Leadership, University of Ottawa
  • Digital Executive Leadership Program, Institute on Governance

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