Executive Council
August 28, 2018

Premier Ball Announces Two Senior Public Service Appointments

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, today announced two senior public service appointments. Robert Simmons has been appointed as Deputy Minister for the Human Resource Secretariat, effective September 10, and Jennifer Mercer, QC, has been appointed as Deputy Minister (Acting) with the Department of Justice and Public Safety and also as Deputy Attorney General (Acting), effective October 1.

Mr. Simmons has considerable experience in human resources, particularly in the natural resources sector, and previously worked with the Provincial Government from 2000 to 2006. Until recently, he was the General Manager of Human Resources & Sustainability with Vale.

Ms. Mercer has approximately 20 years of legal experience in Newfoundland and Labrador and currently serves as the Assistant Deputy Minister and Director of Public Prosecutions with the Department of Justice and Public Safety.

Additional biographical information for Mr. Simmons and Ms. Mercer can be found in the backgrounder below.

Quote:
“I welcome and congratulate Mr. Simmons in his return to the public sector and also congratulate Ms. Mercer in her new role with Justice and Public Safety. Both appointees have considerable experience in their respective fields and I am confident they have much to contribute to the Provincial Government on behalf of the residents of the province.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Media contact
Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
michellecannizzaro@gov.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER

Biographical Information

Robert Simmons
Robert Simmons’ career started with the Provincial Government’s Collective Bargaining Division, Human Resource Secretariat, in 2000 and he continued working in a number of human resources and labour relations roles before leaving government in 2006 to work in the province’s offshore oil and gas industry. In 2012, Mr. Simmons left his role as Human Resources Manager with Suncor Energy to pursue opportunities in the mining sector, spending the majority of the past six years in the role of General Manager of Human Resources & Sustainability with Vale, supporting their operations at Voisey’s Bay and Long Harbour. Mr. Simmons is a graduate of Memorial University where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts (French).

Jennifer Mercer, QC
Jennifer L. Mercer, QC, attended Université Ste-Anne, where she completed intensive French Immersion and her Bachelier ès Arts (français). Her studies continued at Dalhousie Law School from where she graduated in 1997. She articled with Miller & Hearn in Labrador City and was admitted to the Bar in 1998, winning both the Hunt and Penny Awards. Ms. Mercer settled in Labrador working first as a private practitioner with Miller & Hearn, and subsequently with the Department of Justice and Public Safety as a Crown Attorney. Since joining the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Ms. Mercer has assumed additional management duties including those as Senior Crown Attorney (Labrador). In early 2017, she moved to the northeast Avalon to assume the position of Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions (Acting) and was subsequently appointed Assistant Deputy Minister and Director of Public Prosecutions in 2018. Ms. Mercer was named Queen’s Counsel in March 2017.

2018 08 28                              2:30 p.m.