Executive Council
January 11, 2019

Premier Ball Announces Senior Public Service Appointments

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, today announced a number of appointments to the senior executive of the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Service.

The following appointments have been made:

  • Linda Ross is appointed as Deputy Minister, Women’s Policy Office, within Executive Council effective January 14, 2019.
  • Fiona Langor is appointed as Deputy Minister of the Department of Advanced Education, Skills, and Labour on an acting basis effective January 14, 2019.
  • Susan Walsh is appointed as Deputy Minister of the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development on an acting basis effective January 14, 2019.
  • Karen Stone is appointed as Deputy Minister of the Department of Health and Community Services effective January 14, 2019.
  • John Abbott is appointed as Special Advisor, Health in All Policies, effective January 14, 2019.
  • Donna Ballard, QC, is appointed as Special Advisor, Legislative Review, effective January 14, 2019.
  • David Heffernan is appointed as Chief Information Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, within Executive Council effective February 18, 2019.
  • Ted Lomond is appointed as Deputy Minister of the Department of Natural Resources effective February 1, 2019.
  • Charles Bown is appointed as Deputy Minister of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, effective February 1, 2019.

Biographical information for the appointees can be found in the backgrounder that follows.

"Our public service comprises dedicated and knowledgeable professionals who positively affect the lives of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians through their efforts every day. These appointees are some of the best professionals in the public service, and I greatly appreciate their counsel as we proceed into the final year of our first mandate. I wish each appointee every success as they continue their work on behalf of the people of the province."
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

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Media contact
Jason Card
Office of the Premier


Biographical Information

Linda Ross
Linda Ross has held the position of President and CEO of the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Newfoundland and Labrador since May 2009. She has over 30 years of experience in policy development and program planning and delivery in the field of community development, women’s economic and social equality, HIV/AIDS and public health, both in Canada and internationally. As a founding member of the Gender Working Group of Oxfam Canada she collaborated on the development of the first organization wide Gender Policy as well as Gender Action Plan related to internal and external operations of Oxfam Canada. Prior to joining the Provincial Advisory Council, Ms. Ross spent 24 years in various positions working with Oxfam Canada. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Women in Resource Development Corporation since 2009 and held the position of Chair for 1.5 years. She is the immediate Past-Chair of the Coalition of Provincial and Territorial Advisory Councils on the Status of Women, past co-chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Coalition against Human Trafficking and is a member of Newfoundland and Labrador Access to Justice Committee. She is a member of the Respectful Municipalities Working Group of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador. She is a past member of the Boards of Directors of the Canadian Public Health Association and the College of Family Physicians of Canada and is currently a member of the college’s community of practice on Prison Health. She is the Co-chair of the Justice Minister’s Committee on Violence against Women and Girls.

Ms. Ross holds an Honours Baccalureate in Science from the University of Waterloo. She holds certificates in Change Management and Performance Development from the Professional Development Institute and Management for National Voluntary Sector Leaders from the Faculty of Management at McGill University. Ms. Ross was the recipient of the 2017 YWCA Women of Distinction, Lifetime Achievement Award.

Fiona Langor
Fiona Langor has been employed with the Newfoundland and Labrador public service for nearly 25 years. Ms. Langor has held several senior leadership positions in various capacities during her public service career, most recently as Assistant Deputy Minister of Workforce Development, Labour and Immigration with the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour. Ms. Langor also served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic and Corporate Services and as Director of Policy and Strategic Planning with the Department of Justice and Public Safety, and held positions with Executive Council, the former Department of Business and the former Department of Industry, Trade and Technology. Prior to her employment with the Provincial Government, Ms. Langor spent four years with the Faculty of Business at Memorial University.

Ms. Langor holds a Bachelor of Commerce (co-operative) degree from Memorial University.

Susan Walsh
Susan Walsh began her career with the Newfoundland and Labrador public service in 1991. She is currently the Assistant Deputy Minister Child and Youth Services in the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development. Throughout her career she has progressed through positions in; direct service delivery in both mental health and child welfare, frontline management, policy analysis, program development, project management, senior management and executive. She held these progressive leadership roles within the former Department of Social Services, Eastern Regional Health Authority, Department of Health and Community Services, former Department of Child, Youth and Family Services, Cabinet Secretariat, Core Mandate Office of Executive Council, the Labour Relations Agency, and Fire and Emergency Services.

She holds a Master of Social Work degree, specializing in policy and administration, from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Memorial University, and is a registered social worker with the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers.

Karen Stone
Karen Stone has served as Assistant Secretary to Cabinet (Social Policy) with the Office of the Executive Council since February 2017. Ms. Stone began her public service career in 1995 as a solicitor at the Department of Justice. She provided legal advice to numerous government departments before joining the Department of Health and Community Services in 2005 as its Legislative Consultant. She has held the positions of Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy and Planning, and Assistant Deputy Minister of Population Health at the Department of Health and Community Services.

Ms. Stone’s law degree is from Osgoode Hall Law School and she has a Bachelor of Arts and a Certificate in Public Administration from Memorial University. She holds a Certificate in Alternate Dispute Resolution from the University of Windsor.

John Abbott
John G. Abbott recently was Deputy Minister of the Department of Health and Community Services. Leading up to this point in his career, Mr. Abbott was a management consultant with the Institute for the Advancement of Public Policy, Inc. (St. John’s) where he specialized in public policy analysis and development; CEO of the Health Council of Canada (Toronto); Deputy Minister of Health and Community Services (2004-07); Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Board responsible for budget and information management; Associate Deputy Minister of Health and Community Services; Chairman and CEO of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation; Deputy Minister of Works, Services and Transportation; and Deputy Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs. He also worked in the Department of Finance (1980-82), the Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat (1982-87) and with the Senior Expenditure Review Committee (1987-89). Mr. Abbott’s distinguished work as a public sector executive earned him the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (NL Division) Lieutenant-Governor Award of Excellence in Public Administration in 1999. In 2012, CMHA-NL awarded him the Dr. Clarence Pottle Award for Outstanding Service to Furthering Mental Health in the province.

Mr. Abbott holds a B.A. in political science and economics from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a M.A. in Public Administration from Carleton University (Ottawa). He is a board member of the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Heath.

Donna Ballard, QC

Donna Ballard has been employed with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador since 1998 serving in various leadership roles including: Deputy Minister of of the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development, Deputy Minister of the Women’s Policy Office, CEO of the Labour Relations Agency, Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Courts and Legal Services, Director of the Civil Division, and Manager of the Litigation Unit. Prior to her employment with the Provincial Government, Ms. Ballard practiced six years with a private law firm. She was appointed Queen’s Council in 2014.

Ms. Ballard holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Memorial University and a Bachelor of Law degree from Dalhousie University.

David Heffernan
David Heffernan has over 20 years of experience in the Information Management & Technology (IM&T) sector, 10 of which have been in the public sector. He is currently the Government of Northwest Territories’ (GWNT) Corporate Chief Information Officer, with executive leadership responsibility for Information Management, Information Systems, and Information Technology investments and management. Prior to joining GNWT, Mr. Heffernan served as Senior Technology Consultant and Project Manager for Automatic Data Processing based out of Alpharetta, Georgia, U.S.A, serving a client base of more than 450,000 worldwide. In this position, he led several software implementation projects, including large Enterprise Resource Planning solutions and innovative executive compensation and rewards solutions for multi-national clients. Mr. Heffernan also served on the Board of the Institute for Citizen-Centered Services (ICCS) from 2012 to 2015, where he helped lead the organization through a period of turmoil, and assisted with the development of a strategic plan to guide the organization for the coming years.

Mr. Heffernan was born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador and moved to the Northwest Territories in 2008 where he currently resides with his wife and two children. He received his Diploma in Computer Studies, Management Information Systems from the College of the North Atlantic and holds professional certifications in both the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) from the ISACA Institute, and the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute.

Ted Lomond
Ted Lomond has been Deputy Minister of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation (formerly Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development) since August 2016. He has extensive experience in economic and business development having held senior management positions with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA), the Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Economic Development Association (NLREDA), and the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development at Memorial University. Mr. Lomond has served on the Atlantic Advisory Committee, Natural Science and Engineering Research Council, as a lecturer in the Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University and as a consultant to the private sector. He currently serves on the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development at Memorial University Advisory Board, as member of the Council on Higher Education, and as a member of the Oil and Gas Industry Development Council.

Mr. Lomond’s academic credentials include Master of Business Administration, Master of Philosophy in Humanities, Master Certificate in Project Management, Diploma in Applied Ethics (Environmental) and Diploma in Credit Management, Bachelor of General Studies in Arts and Sciences, executive management programs and several professional certifications. He is a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies, Memorial University, and is currently completing a Master of Arts (Geography), Memorial University.

Charles Bown
Charles Bown has served as the Chief Executive, Major Projects and Initiatives Unit, within Executive Council since 2016. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Bown served as the Deputy Minister, Department of Natural Resources. He has also served as Associate Deputy Minister (Energy) with the Department of Natural Resources and was Assistant Deputy Minister (Energy Policy) with the department. His career with the Provincial Government has also included positions as Director of Mineral Development and Director of the Voisey’s Bay Project. Mr. Bown has also served with the Advisory Council on the Economy, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and the Department of Finance.

Mr. Bown is a graduate of Memorial University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

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