Leadership changes in the Yukon government public service

Premier Sandy Silver has announced senior leadership changes for the Public Service Commission, the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, the Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Highways and Public Works.

Sherri Young will move from her position as Assistant Deputy Minister for transportation with Highways and Public Works to be the new Public Service Commissioner. Current Public Service Commissioner Paul Moore is retiring. Young will start on July 25.

Paul McConnell will move from his current position as Deputy Minister of Highways and Public Works to take on the role of Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. Current Deputy Minister John Bailey is retiring. McConnell will start on July 29.

Ed van Randen has been appointed as permanent Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services with responsibility for Social Services, effective July 25. van Randen has been acting Deputy Minister for the department since March 2022.

Catherine Harwood will move from her position as Assistant Deputy Minister for corporate services with Highways and Public Works to take on the role of Deputy Minister of Highways and Public Works. Harwood will officially start on January 3. Scott Milton, Chief Service Officer with Highways and Public Works, will be acting Deputy Minister from July 29 to January 2.

Sherri Young, Catherine Harwood, Paul McConnell, Ed van Randen and Scott Milton are all highly effective and strong leaders who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to public service. Their experience and expertise will be valuable as we advance the government’s priorities and commitments. I would like to express my immense gratitude to Paul Moore and John Bailey for their years of leadership across many departments and portfolios in the Yukon government. Their retirements are well deserved. 

Premier Sandy Silver

Quick facts 
  • Deputy ministers, including presidents of government corporations, are the most senior public servants in the Government of Yukon. They are responsible for the department or corporation’s budget, day-to-day operations and program development.

  • Deputy ministers serve at the pleasure of the Premier.

  • The Public Service Commissioner is the head of the Government of Yukon’s Public Service Commission and is appointed under the Public Service Act for up to 10 years.

  • The Public Service Commission develops, maintains, administers and supervises the public service of the Government of Yukon and can delegate these responsibilities to departments.

  • See backgrounder for biographies.

Backgrounder 

Biography – Sherri Young


Sherri Young began her public service career in 2004 with the Government of Canada. Young worked for five years in the Northwest Territories for the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada before moving to the Yukon in 2008 to work with the federal Department of Environment’s Canadian Wildlife Service. Young started with the Yukon government in 2014 as the Director of Environmental Programs with the Department of Environment and then moved into the role of Assistant Deputy Minister of Corporate Services and Climate Change where she was part of the initial development of Our Clean Future. Since 2019, Young has been the Assistant Deputy Minister for transportation at the Department of Highways and Public Works. Young holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Science in Planning from the University of Toronto.


Biography – Catherine Harwood


Originally from Mayo, Catherine Harwood started with the Yukon government in 1995 as a casual engineer-in-training before becoming a bridge engineer in the transportation engineering branch. In 2004 she moved to the transportation maintenance branch, as the Superintendent of Maintenance and Planning, and in 2008 she took on responsibility for special projects, including the Dawson wastewater treatment plant. In 2013, based on her experience with tendering law and procurement, Harwood was tasked with the creation of the Yukon government’s procurement support centre and led the team at the centre before moving into the role of Assistant Deputy Minister for Corporate Services for the Department of Highways and Public Works in 2018. In this leadership role she collaborated with Yukon First Nation partners to write and implement the new Yukon First Nations procurement policy. Harwood is an active volunteer, serving as President with Engineers Yukon and as a Director for Engineers Canada. Harwood has a Bachelor of Engineering degree with First Class Honours from Monash University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in French.


Biography – Paul McConnell


Paul McConnell has many years of leadership experience in law enforcement and the Government of Yukon public service. During his 25-year RCMP career, McConnell performed a wide range of roles throughout western and northern Canada and was the Criminal Operations Officer for Yukon from 2010 to 2015. Since August 2015, he has held multiple senior leadership positions in the Yukon government, including Assistant Deputy Minister for the property management division and Assistant Deputy Minister for the transportation division in the Department of Highways and Public Works. In January 2019, McConnell was appointed as the President of the Yukon Liquor Corporation and in July 2020 moved into the role of Deputy Minister for the Department of Highways and Public Works. McConnell has a Criminology degree from Simon Fraser University.


Biography – Scott Milton


Scott Milton has served in the Yukon government for over 31 years, working as an economist in the Department of Economic Development before serving in various roles in the Department of Highways and Public Works, including the Assistant Deputy Minister for the property management division and the Assistant Deputy Minister for the capital planning office.  Milton has been working to support leaders and leadership development in Department of Highways and Public Works and across the Yukon government though mentoring and coaching for a number of years. Milton holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University, a Master of Science in Finance degree from the University of London, and is currently completing the Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching program at Royal Roads University.


Biography – Ed van Randen


Ed van Randen was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C. before moving to the Yukon in 1997 to work in forest management. He joined the Yukon government in 2001, where he helped create the new Forest Resources Act and was a lead negotiator for resource management agreements with Yukon First Nations. Beginning in 2017, Ed has taken a series of assignments including Assistant Deputy Minister with the Executive Council Office, Deputy Minister at the Department of Environment and Assistant Deputy Minister with the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. Most recently he has been the acting Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services focusing specifically on the delivery of social services. Van Randen is a graduate of the Yukon Government Leadership Forum and holds a Bachelor of Psychology degree and a Master of Biology degree. 

 

Contact 

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications
867-334-9194
renee.francoeur@yukon.ca

News release #: 
22-244