This release was issued under a previous government.

These senior staff members will join the previously announced Chief of Staff Mike Percy and Principal Secretary Patricia Misutka:

  • Bartek Kienc, Special Advisor to the Premier, Market Access
  • George Samoil, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations
  • Zoe Addington, Deputy Chief of Staff, Policy Coordination
  • Catherine Keill, Director, Caucus and Community Outreach
  • Craig Loewen, Deputy Director, Communications
  • Emily Woods, Press Secretary, Communications

“Today I am proud to introduce a finely-tuned and talented group of professionals who join my office with the highest standards of integrity and accountability. My new team has the energy and experience to mobilize quickly to address the priorities of Albertans.”

Premier Jim Prentice

Premier Prentice also announced that political staff in the Alberta legislature will be subject to a new Accountability Act that will be introduced this fall. This Act would put an end to government contracts for political staff, cap severance and guarantee that political appointments are based on qualifications, not connections.

“The Government of Alberta will be governed by tough new rules that will put an end to entitlement and repair the bond between the people and those who represent them. Political staff will now be held to the highest standard of excellence and accountability.”

Premier Jim Prentice

The appointments of the Premier’s senior staff take effect immediately. All senior staff in the Premier’s office will also make voluntary disclosures to the Ethics Commissioner by the end of this week. Senior staff in ministers’ offices will also provide voluntary disclosures in the coming weeks. 

Backgrounder

Bios: Premier's office senior staff

Bartek Kienc, Special Advisor to the Premier, Market Access

Bartek Kienc started his career with the Government of Alberta 12 years ago. In 2008, he joined the Department of Energy where he held a number of key roles in the Deputy Minister’s Office, including Executive Director of International Energy Policy, responsible for developing market access strategies focused on Asia. Most recently, Mr. Kienc served as Executive Director of Energy Infrastructure in the Office of the Vice-President, CIBC World Markets Inc. Mr. Kienc has  B.A. in Economics and a Masters of Business Administration.

George Samoil, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations

George Samoil has 18 years of management experience in the public sector with an emphasis on Government administration, public policy development, regulatory reform and parliamentary process and procedures. Mr. Samoil also has 10 years of private industry experience in the Information and Communications Technology and Pharmaceutical sectors. He has previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Premiers Klein, Stelmach, and Hancock. Mr. Samoil has degrees from the University of Alberta and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

Zoe Addington, Deputy Chief of Staff, Policy Coordination

Zoe Addington recently worked on energy and environment issues with the University of Calgary at the Canada School of Energy and Environment and Canadian Natural Resources Limited, working with government, industry, and stakeholders on policy and regulatory issues. Previously, Ms. Addington served Jim Prentice in his roles as Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and Tony Clement as Minister of Industry, in progressively senior positions, including Director of Policy. Ms. Addington holds two B.As, one in Political Science and one in History, as well as a Masters in Business Administration.

Catherine Keill, Director, Caucus and Community Outreach

Catherine Keill has nearly 20 years in strategic communications, public relations, government relations and public policy in government, not-for-profit, and corporate sectors. In recent years, she held public office positions in both Mayor Stephen Mandel’s office as Deputy Chief of Staff, and in Minister Jim Prentice's Regional Office as Communications and Community Relations Advisor. Most recently, she held the position of Group Leader of Public Affairs for Alberta and Senior Account Director at Hill+Knowlton Strategies in the Edmonton office. Ms. Keill has a B.A. in English and Communications and an M.A. in Communications and Technology.

Craig Loewen, Deputy Director, Communications

Craig Loewen is a strategic communications and public relations professional with eight-years of public service experience. Mr. Loewen’s public service includes work at the Manitoba Legislature, Alberta Health, Alberta Employment and Immigration, and the Alberta Legislature. Most recently he served as the Director of Communications to Premier Dave Hancock following assignments as Press Secretary in the departments of Human Services and Innovation and Advanced Education.

Emily Woods, Press Secretary

Emily Woods brings nine years of experience in communications, public relations and public engagement in the public and non-profit sector in eastern, western and northern Canada. Ms. Woods served as Press Secretary and spokesperson to the Premier of Nunavut for four years before serving as Press Secretary to the Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs. Ms. Woods holds a B.A. from the College of the Humanities at Carleton University in Ottawa.


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