Oryssia Lennie, C.M.
Former Deputy Minister, Western Economic Diversification Canada

Edmonton, AB


Oryssia J. Lennie was a Canadian civil servant and former Deputy Minister of Western Economic Diversification Canada. She is also the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s 2002 Award for Excellence in Public Administration. In December 2016, she was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Oryssia was Deputy Minister for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) from 1997-2009. The department promotes the development and diversification of the western Canadian economy and advances the interests of the West in national economic policy. Activities include supporting the development of new and innovative technologies, expanding entrepreneurship, and investing in community economic development, and undertaking research and advocacy initiatives.

Prior to joining WD, Oryssia worked for the Alberta government for 26 years and was Deputy Minister of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs from 1990 to 1997. She has had extensive involvement in constitutional and aboriginal constitutional negotiations and intergovernmental negotiations on social, economic, international trade, and internal trade policy. Oryssia was a Director on the board of the Canada West Foundation from 2010-2019 and Chair of the Board from 2017-2019.

A graduate of the University of Alberta, Oryssia has received numerous awards for her accomplishments in public service and in the area of business and management, including the University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award (2015), the Peter Lougheed Award for Leadership in Public Policy (2014), the Lieutenant Governor’s Gold Medal for Excellence in Public Service (2002) and the YWCA Women of Distinction Award (1997).

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