Premier Caroline Cochrane has announced that Ms. Shaleen Woodward has been appointed to the position of Principal Secretary effective October 25.
Ms. Woodward is a long-term employee of the Government of the Northwest Territories who was most recently the Deputy Secretary of Indigenous and Intergovernmental Affairs. She has extensive experience in self-government and land claim negotiations, collective bargaining and led the implementation of the historic 2014 devolution of responsibilities around lands and natural resources from the Government of Canada to the Government of the Northwest Territories.
Woodward spent many of her early years with the Government of the Northwest Territories focused on labour relations and equal pay. Shaleen received her first Premier’s Award of Excellence for work on the Equal Pay Team, including the negotiation of a resolution to a human rights complaint and overseeing payments. Woodward has extensive experience in labour negotiations, acting as chief negotiator for the Union of Northern Workers and physician negotiations for a number of years.
Recognized as an effective change leader, Shaleen was recruited to lead System Reform and Innovation at the Department of Health and Social Services in 2009. In 2011, Woodward was recruited to lead the GNWT wide implementation of the historic 2014 devolution of responsibilities around land and resources, resulting in a second Premier’s Award.
Following devolution implementation, Woodward moved to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations (DAAIR) in 2014 where she took on the role of Assistant Deputy Minister.
In 2015, Woodward became acting Deputy Minister. Woodward was most recently the Deputy Secretary of Indigenous and Intergovernmental Affairs, spanning the same responsibilities as the Deputy Minister
Woodward has been an active volunteer who has spent many years with Hockey Canada, including the development and delivery of Hockey Canada’s groundbreaking harassment, abuse and bullying prevention program Speak Out.
Premier Cochrane thanks outgoing Principal Secretary Gary Bohnet for his many years of service to the people of the Northwest Territories, both in that role and his work as a Deputy Minister and senior manager in the GNWT.