EVENTS / LEADERSHIP / 2022 Awards of Excellence

2022 Award Recipients

2022 Award RecipientsAPEX Awards of Excellence 2022

Each year, APEX highlights management excellence and leadership of federal public service executives. The Association’s awards are presented to the people who have made uniquely important contributions.

Picture of Donna Achimov
APEX logo


Donna Achimov

Deputy Director, Chief Compliance Officer, Compliance Sector, FINTRAC

The APEX CEO Impact Award celebrates and honours an individual who works with the Association of Professional Executives to deliver an outstanding contribution to the achievement of APEX’s vision and mandate in Advocacy, National Engagement, Service Excellence and Business Sustainability. The Award is conferred to an individual with distinction who leverages their leadership and influence to deliver significant impact to the executive community aligned to APEX’s strategic direction.  It also aims to recognize executives for demonstrable, sustained impacts that may result from a single influential contribution or from an ongoing commitment to the APEX mandate

Donna Achimov is an inclusive leader and has made an impact inside and outside the Government of Canada. She has been integral in helping to shape the public service innovation agenda and culture of openness, transparency, and integrity.  Respected as a credible voice in decision-making, she has a reputation for collaborating with strategic partners, federal, provincial, municipal, and territorial counterparts, as well as industry to support the public service’s goals.

In her past role as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX), Donna was and remains a strong advocate for respectful workplaces, and actively promotes health and well-being across the federal public service. Donna’s support and dedication to the executive community is an inspiration and this Award is meant to be for leaders like Donna who continue to support APEX, the community, and individuals as a mentor, coach, and authentic leader.

Career Contribution

Roger Girouard

Former Assistant Commissioner, Western Region, Canadian Coast Guard

The APEX Career Contribution award recognizes an Executive who is a leader in their field and who, through exemplary work over the course of their career, has made a significant contribution to the Public Service. A minimum of 20 years in the federal public service, with at least five years as an Executive, is required for this award.

Roger Girouard has devoted his entire life and very distinguished career serving Canadians. Starting his service in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1973, Roger served multiple missions domestically and internationally.   Roger joined the Canadian Coast Guard as Assistant Commissioner, Western Region in 2013. He successfully led his region through some of the most significant events in the agency’s history.  Roger is the definition of an executive who demonstrates and promotes the stewardship of resources and leads based on values and ethics. Roger leads with a “if you put people first, the mission will serve itself” approach. He is an inclusive leader, developer of talented staff and an active listener who believes that unity of effort is the only true path to success.  Roger has not only achieved concrete results and service excellence for Canadians throughout his entire career but has demonstrated a high level of commitment to public-service values and ethics.

Picture of Roger Girouard
NAFR logo
Picture of Ayesha Rekhi
Logo of Sunlife

Healthy Workplace Award

Ayesha Rekhi

Ambassador of Canada to the Czech Republic, Embassy of Canada, Global Affairs Canada

The APEX healthy workplace award recognizes an Executive who led and actively participated in the implementation of initiatives to foster a healthy, respectful workplace. This individual leads with empathy and is committed to creating an inclusive work environment for the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of all.

Ayesha Rekhi has exemplified the leadership recognized by the Healthy Workplace Award throughout her career, and notably in her present capacity as Ambassador of Canada to the Czech Republic where her efforts and her leadership has directly fostered an inclusive work environment, conducive to the empowerment, engagement, and commitment of staff.  Ayesha’s leadership extends across Canada’s network of missions in Europe, where she supports other Heads of Mission, managers, and diversity and inclusion representatives by sharing her own experiences and identifying tools. Ayesha has actively contributed to changing the culture of stigmatization, with a particular focus on mental health and workplace well-being. During the particularly difficult pandemic period, Ayesha focussed on staff resilience with particular attention to wellness initiatives and virtual team building. With the added complexity of operating from within a socially conservative country, Ayesha took a hands-on and directly personal leadership approach to establishing diversity, a sense of belonging, and trust within the Embassy.

Community Contribution

Leanne Pelley

General Manager of Housing Operations, Canadian Forces Housing Agency, National Defense

The APEX community contribution award is awarded to an Executive who has made exceptional contributions to their community, as a volunteer, while continuing to excel within the Public Service. It is a special honour as it is bestowed in the memory of Pierre de Blois, a leader who has demonstrated exemplary achievements at APEX and in the community.

Leanne Pelley has been actively volunteering to provide support to individuals requiring assistance with the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OCAPDD). As a Director on their Board of Directors, Leanne has demonstrated, through multiple initiatives, a sense of care for the community and to positively affect and support individuals requiring assistance.  Leanne has also been volunteering since 2019 with the Royal Canadian Legion’s “Operation: Leave the Streets Behind” helping homeless Veterans as well as volunteering with Earthub’s Ottawa Chapter of since 2019, as part of a network of people committed to collecting and reusing items otherwise destined for landfills. Leanne leads by example, never shying away from an opportunity to get others involved. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and she can always be counted upon to be the first to volunteer and it is almost guaranteed that others around her will follow her enthusiasm.

Picture of Leanne Pelley
Raven Law logo
Picture of Claudia Sanmartin
Logo Deloitte


Claudia Sanmartin

Director, Strategic Analysis, Publications and Training Division, Statistics Canada

The APEX Innovation Award recognizes an Executive who has demonstrated that outstanding performance and achievement through innovative and creative approaches, resulting in new or improved programs, products, services, or initiatives.

Claudia Sanmartin’s transformational leadership has further advanced the Federal Data Strategy and Statistics Canada’s modernization agenda through forward looking steps that she took to inspire her teams and colleagues to develop a comprehensive data literacy program.   Claudia’s innovation and creation of a comprehensive and well-designed data literacy curricula allowed decision-makers across the country to take advantage of knowledge to make evidence-based choices that have positive impact on the health, quality of life and economic future of Canadians. Claudia’s collaborative approach has empowered her team of world-class data experts to share their knowledge in a cost-effective way with Canadians. Claudia’s has displayed dedication to innovation and has emulated the best qualities of an innovative public service leader such as imagination, creativity, humility, and drive.


Gail Johnson

Chief Human Resources Officer, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The APEX Leadership Award recognizes an Executive who continuously strives for excellence, adopts best management practices, and improves the workplace. The award recognizes outstanding leadership and presents a role model for the Public Service, resulting in improved programs, services, or initiatives.

Gail Johnson has been recognized as a beacon of authenticity and progress in the public service people management community. She is visionary and deliberate in the execution of her ideas to modernize people management and system-wide transformation and empowers those around her to act with confidence when taking new strategic risks. Whether when at ESDC, around the RCMP leadership table, as the ADM Champion for the Black Executives Network (BEN) or as the Chair of the Human Resources Council (HRC), Gail brings leaders together, helps them to rally toward a shared purpose and to act. Gail’s nomination highlighted her extensive dedication to leadership, to inclusion, and advocacy to exploring new approaches to recruitment to achieve greater representation.

Picture of Gail Johnson
Picture of Corinne Prince


Corinne Prince

Director General, Afghanistan Settlement Branch

The APEX Partnership Award recognizes an executive who establishes powerful and effective partnerships to achieve meaningful results for Canadians and for the betterment of the executive community. This executive works in close collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders in Canada and outside of our borders. The winner of this award creates and maintains trust-based relationships and is mindful of partners’ needs and constraints when seeking solutions.

Corinne Prince has demonstrated the dedication to increase collaboration and to establish partnerships in her role at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.  Corinne has shown excellence in building enduring and innovative professional relationships with traditional newcomer settlement organizations, civil society, and the private sector to lay the groundwork for welcoming at least 40,000 Afghan refugees to Canada. Corinne connected with large corporations, veterans’ groups, resettlement service providers, landlords, elected officials, government partners at multiple levels, media, clients, and other partners to solicit support while truly understanding their requirements and their unique constraints. She brought these groups together to translate these needs into actions. Corinne’s successful efforts have not only been premised on working with numerous partners, but also by listening to the very Afghan refugee community that she supports. Her results have equally been a product of her compassionate team leadership.

Public Service Citation

The Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine P.C., C.M., O.Ont., C.B.E.

The APEX Public Service Citation Award is a very prestigious award, and it is granted to a great Canadian, who was previously an outstanding public servant and has made a transformational impact on Canada and Canadian society.

The Honourable Jean Augustine served four consecutive terms from 1993-2006 in the Parliament of Canada and is a trailblazer who has worked to improve human conditions for girls and women, diversity, civic participation, and economic empowerment.  Jean Augustine made history as the first Black Woman elected to Canada’s Parliament and served from 1993-2006.

Her tenure included distinguished service as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister; Minister of State for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women; Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Deputy Speaker of Parliament.  Her legislative successes include the historic Black History Month Motion; and the ground-breaking Famous Five Motion, which authorized the first and still the only statues on Parliament Hill depicting women – – other than Queen Elizabeth.

The Honourable Jean Augustine legislative successes include the historic Black History Month Motion, and she has been on the forefront of the government and community’s focus on diversity and inclusion.  The Honourable Jean Augustine has been recognized as a stellar Canadian nationally and internationally has been recognized by Canada’s top 7 Universities with Honorary Doctorates for her dedication to education.

Picture of the Hon. Jean Augustine
Desjardins Caisse de l'Administration et des Services publics
Follow by Email