The APEX Awards of Excellence

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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. The recognition of excellence by our peers contributes to a greater sense of community among the executive cadre. These Awards not only recognize the individual achievement of the finalists, but also shine a light on public service excellence more broadly, by highlighting the programs and initiatives that represent the talent, creativity, and commitment of the executive cadre. The APEX Awards of Excellence are open to all executives currently employed in the public service, regardless of their membership status with APEX.

APEX is seeking nominations for the following awards:

– Leadership

– Innovation

– Partnership

– Community Contribution

– Career Contribution

– Healthy Workplace

List of Awards and nomination criteria

Once nominations close, APEX will strike a selection committee and undertake the task of confirming the Award winners for each category. Each nominee will be advised in spring 2024 prior to the official announcements at the APEX Leadership Summit.

2023/2024 Deadlines

The nomination process will be launched each year at the beginning of November. The deadline for the 2024 Awards of Excellence will be February 9, 2024.

For more information, please consult the list of awards and nomination criteria.

2023 Nomination Process

A few things to note as you prepare to nominate someone:

Who can be nominated?

  • The person you wish to nominate must be a current executive member of the executive cadre.
  • They do not have to be an APEX member. All executives can be nominated.
  • Individuals acting as interim executives for at least 6 months can be put forward as a candidate.
  • Small teams of executives (2-3 individuals maximum) can be put forward together for an award if the their collaborative work is the reason for their candidacy.
  • Retired executives are eligible if they are part of the executive cadre before the closing of the nomination process.
  • Deputy Heads are not eligible.

For more information regarding eligibility of nominees, please contact

Information required:

The APEX Selection Review Committee is requesting information about the candidate beyond career history or resumes.  You must provide information that supports accomplishments in the specific award category.  For example, a letter of support from staff or colleagues can help demonstrate leadership.

For a complete nomination, you will need:

  1. Information about the executive(s) you are nominating
  2.  One nominator
    • Who: This person is an executive or interim executive in the Federal Public Service who endorses and puts the name of the candidate forward. They do not need to be an APEX member.
    • To do: They will need to submit a narrative about how the candidate meets the selection criteria for the award category chosen (1-2 pages)
  3. Three supporters
    • Who: They can be anyone from any level in the Federal Public Service who can attest to the candidate’s exceptional achievements. In some instances, they could also be external to the public service or retired.
    • To do: They will need to submit a letter of support each (1-2 pages)

Most departments go through their award coordinators to submit an application. To help with the process, feel free to download a word version of the nomination form to gather information. Please note that only submissions sent via the online portal will be evaluated.

Information about Award Winners:

Once the selection process is completed, APEX will  advise award winners of the committee’s decision. All nominators will be informed of the results. As well, APEX will advise all nominees and their deputy head that their names had been put forward as candidates.

Recipients will receive their award at the APEX Leadership Summit taking place on May 14-15, 2024.

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Photo Denis Vinette

Leadership Award


Denis Vinette

Retired Vice-President, Travellers Branch, Canada Border Services Agency

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.

Denis Vinette’s exemplary 32-year career at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has consistently showcased exceptional leadership and dedication to public service. Noteworthy is his instrumental role in shaping the foundation of the CBSA, demonstrating a passion for operational support and addressing challenges head-on.  Throughout his tenure, Denis’s leadership has been marked by his adept crisis management, exemplified during emergencies like the reopening of CBSA border services in Cornwall, Ontario, and managing the agency’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis and terrorist attacks in Europe. His leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic underscored his commitment to operational excellence and employee well-being, ensuring transparent decision-making and proactive measures for border management. Denis’s leadership extends beyond operational excellence to inclusivity and mental health support within the CBSA. His advocacy for official languages, inclusive workplace initiatives, and proactive approach to mental health support reflect his commitment to fostering a supportive and barrier-free work environment. Denis’s impact on future leaders within the CBSA is evident, as many have been empowered by his mentorship and inspired by his integrity and commitment to service.

Career Contribution Award


Anne Miller

Retired Regional Director, Incident Response, Canadian Coast Guard

The Career Contribution Award recognizes a senior executive who, through exemplary work throughout his or her career, has made a significant contribution to the Public Service. To win this award, the honoree must have a minimum of 20 years’ service in the federal public service, and at least five years as a senior executive.

Anne’s illustrious career with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) and Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) reflects her unwavering dedication to maritime safety and environmental stewardship. From navigating challenging waters like the North Atlantic and Canadian Arctic to pivotal roles onshore, Anne’s journey is marked by significant achievements. As Superintendent of Fleet Safety and Security, she spearheaded the implementation of the International Safety Management Code, shaping robust safety protocols that endure today. Her leadership cultivated a culture prioritizing safety and environmental protection. In subsequent roles, including Marine Superintendent and Regional Director, Anne demonstrated strategic vision and inclusive leadership, enhancing operational effectiveness, and promoting diversity. Notably, her tenure as Regional Director showcased her adept crisis management and proactive measures for maritime safety, highlighted during challenging events like the worst ice season in decades. Anne’s commitment to empowering personnel and fostering inclusive environments has earned her respect as a leader and mentor, leaving a profound impact on CCG operations and beyond.

Photo Anne Miller
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Photo Lauren Small

Community Contribution Award


Lauren Small

Director, Branch Planning and Management Services, Public Affairs and Communications Branch Office of the ADM, Environment and Climate Change Canada

The 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. Il s’agit d’un honneur particulier puisqu’il est décerné à la mémoire de Pierre de Blois, un dirigeant qui a fait preuve de réalisations exemplaires à l’APEX et dans la communauté.

Lauren Small, a dedicated public servant, with a career spanning almost three decades, has demonstrated exemplary commitment to the public service. As Director of Branch Planning and Management Services at ECCC, she seamlessly integrates her roles in science, innovation, and community service. Lauren’s remarkable achievements include coordinating the national directive for flying Every Child Matters Flag at Parks Canada locations, fostering awareness of Truth and Reconciliation. Lauren was elected as a Municipal Councillor for the Town of Montreal West in November 2021 and is a part time Reservist with the Royal Canadian Navy.  Lauren’s impact extends beyond her professional sphere. She passionately supports initiatives like the Moose Hide Campaign and Movement is Medicine, honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women and promoting gender equality. Additionally, her tireless efforts in fundraising for cancer research through the Terry Fox Run exemplify her dedication to community welfare. Lauren’s extensive volunteer work, including with the Vimy Foundation and Olympes de la Parole Canada, reflects her unwavering commitment to making a difference in the world.

Innovation Award


Andrew Sinkinson

Director General, Cloud Operations, Hosting Services Branch, Shared Services Canada


Katy Champagne

Director General, Digital Operations, Statistics Canada


Ian Bale

Director (sr.), Cloud Enterprise Services Division, Statistics Canada

The Innovation Award recognizes an Executive who has demonstrated outstanding performance and achievement through innovative and creative approaches, resulting in new or improved programs, products, services or initiatives. This bold and courageous leader generates new approaches, fosters smart experimentation, and finds new solutions through intelligent risk-taking that brings meaningful results to Canadians.

The team’s exceptional efforts made Statistics Canada the Government of Canada’s Cloud Pathfinder for workload migration. Their insights shaped the TBS Government of Canada’s Cloud Strategy, leading in policy and guideline development for cloud operations. They consistently introduced fresh ideas and practical solutions, adapting swiftly to change, and embracing experimentation. Their risk-taking and boundary-pushing ensured maximum value from investments. Their enthusiasm for innovation translated aspirations into reality, inspiring ongoing innovation. The leadership demonstrated by these three leaders in migrating Statistics Canada’s datacenter to the cloud reflects ground-breaking innovation, setting government-wide standards and achieving significant efficiencies and environmental benefits. Their recognition honours their exceptional impact on the public service sector, embodying the essence of innovation and leadership.

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Photo Andrew Sinkinson
Photo Katy Champagne
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Photo Daniel Roussy

Partnership Award


Daniel Roussy

Senior General Counsel and Executive Director, Department of Justice

The Partnership Award recognizes an Executive who establishes effective partnerships and collaboration with a variety of stakeholders both within and outside government, such as with other levels of government, other departments and agencies, bargaining agents, private sector, academics, industry, and Canadians.

Daniel Roussy, Head of the Legal Services Unit at the Department of National Defence (DND), excels in fostering trust-based relationships crucial to DND’s legal operations. Notably, he navigates complex inter-departmental dynamics, ensuring seamless collaboration with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (OJAG). Daniel’s meticulous attention to building trust extends to personalized interactions, evidenced by his strategic route planning to engage with clients. Moreover, his legal counsel, tailored to DND’s needs and constraints, facilitates critical decision-making, even amidst extraordinary circumstances such as justice system reforms. Daniel’s proactive approach fosters collaboration, exemplified by creating a dedicated position to implement external recommendations. His initiatives, including leadership on the Ukraine procurement file, underscore his invaluable contributions to DND’s mission and culture change endeavors. Daniel’s nomination stands as a testament to his outstanding leadership and commitment to excellence within the public service.

Healthy Workplace Award


Lisa Duncan

Director Submissions, Information Management and Business Analysis Division, Health Canada

The 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.

Lisa, a recent addition to the Executive ranks of the Public Service since January 2021, has swiftly established herself as an exemplary leader. Known for her authentic and respectful leadership style, Lisa prioritizes inclusivity and employee well-being. She champions diversity and inclusion initiatives, serving as Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) Champion for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, as well as the branch Champion for Accessibility. Lisa spearheaded the development of a comprehensive multi-year EDI Action Plan, endorsed by Senior Management, ensuring sustainable change and fostering a supportive work environment. She actively advocates for hiring persons with disabilities and supports their retention, collaborating closely with organizations like Live Work Play. Lisa’s unwavering dedication to promoting inclusivity and accessibility reflects her commitment to fostering a healthy workplace where everyone can thrive. Her impactful contributions merit recognition for her exemplary leadership practices.

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Photo Lisa Duncan
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Photo Anil Arora



Anil Arora

Deputy Retired Chief Statistician of Canada, Statistics Canada

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

Anil Arora is a distinguished public servant whose exceptional leadership and innovative approach to public service have undoubtedly earned him recognition for the APEX CEO Impact Award.  As the Chief Statistician of Canada, Arora has demonstrated a profound commitment to excellence, integrity, and transparency in his stewardship of Statistics Canada. Anil’s visionary leadership has not only elevated the standard of statistical governance but has also strengthened public trust in the reliability and relevance of Canada’s public service.

Anil’s steadfast advocacy for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the public service exemplifies the values espoused by APEX.  Anil has championed efforts to cultivate a more inclusive workplace culture, where every employee feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and talents. His unwavering commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce and his dedication to executive leadership has greatly served as a catalyst for innovation, collaboration, and organizational excellence. By recognizing Anil Arora with the APEX CEO Impact Award, we honour his outstanding contributions to advancing leadership excellence at all levels and fostering a more inclusive and equitable public service.

Public Service Citation Award


The Honourable Murray Sinclair

Senator Emeritus and Ex-Commissioner of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The APEX Public Service Citation Awards is granted to a Canadian, who was previously an outstanding public servant and has made a transformational impact on Canada and Canadian society. The APEX Citation award celebrates individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership, innovation, and impact in their respective fields, embodying the highest standards of excellence and dedication to service.

The recipient of the APEX 2024 Public Service Citation Award is the Honourable Murray Sinclair, in recognition of his career and lifetime of continuous contributions to the Public Service.

His Honour is Anishinaabe and a member of the Peguis First Nation. He is a Fourth Degree Chief of the Midewiwin Society, a traditional healing and spiritual society of the Anishinaabe Nation responsible for protecting the teachings, ceremonies, laws, and history of the Anishinaabe. His Spirit Name is Mizhana Gheezhik (The One Who Speaks of Pictures in the Sky). As a professor of law, lawyer, lecturer, Judge, Senator and Commissioner of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Honourable Mr. Sinclair is known for his remarkable influence in shaping the fabric of Canada.  He also currently serves as the 15th Chancellor of Queens University. His steadfast commitments and numerous achievements have not only inspired countless individuals but has been the catalyst for meaningful progress and positive change on a national scale.

APEX joins the Federal Government in our commitment embodied in the recognition offered by this award, not just to the Honourable Mr. Sinclair but also to the importance of awareness and change in the public service as leading and reflecting Canadian Society.  His Honour was a key figure in raising global awareness to the legacy of Canada’s residential school system and in igniting the Calls to Action to measure progress of reconciliation across Canada. His unwavering dedication to Indigenous Peoples’ taking their rightful place in Canadian society serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for all Canadians.

The work of the Honorable Mr. Sinclair is the underpinning to ensure leaders at all levels commit to re-educating themselves, to listening, and to being kind. APEX applauds and honours the Honourable Murray Sinclair for his unwavering dedication to educating leaders of today and laying the cornerstone for future generations.

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Photo Honorable Murray Sinclair
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