Secretary to the Governor General and Herald Chancellor

Ken MacKillop joined the Government of Canada in 1988, as a naval officer in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). He served for 20 years in postings across Canada and in operations globally, including in the Arabian Gulf Region and in Afghanistan, both in naval operations and as a public affairs officer. Since leaving the CAF, he has held many different roles in the public service executive cadre.

As a leader in the field of communications, Ken was instrumental in the renewal of branding and communication efforts at the Canada Border Services Agency, using innovative approaches such as the production of the popular television documentary, Border Security: Canada’s Front Line.

In 2014, Ken joined the Global Affairs Canada team as the first assistant deputy minister, Public Affairs, and was responsible for directing the communications of the department in support of the ministers of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and International Development, and La Francophonie. In June 2017, he joined the Privy Council Office (PCO) as the assistant secretary to the Cabinet, Communications and Consultations, where he advised on critical and horizontal initiatives in support of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, the Clerk and PCO. At PCO, Ken led the renewal of the Communications Community Office, resulting in a vital network of federal communications professionals across the country.

In July 2022, he was named associate deputy minister at Veterans Affairs Canada. And in November 2023, he joined the OSGG as secretary to the governor general.

Ken is a graduate of the University of Ottawa, a native of Hull, Quebec, and a son of Cape Bretoners.