Dr. Harpreet Singh Kochhar has been appointed as Deputy Minister of IRCC

Deputy Minister of IRCC

Changes in the senior levels of the public service, as revealed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday, include:

Appointment of Dr. Harpreet S. Kochhar

On January 27, 2024, Dr. Harpreet S. Kochhar, who is presently the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, will be appointed Deputy Minister of IRCC Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship.

Roles and Responsibility

In this role, Dr. Kochhar will assist the Canadian government in its continued efforts to combat COVID-19 by implementing a comprehensive, coordinated, and all-encompassing strategy across the government.


Kochhar was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of IRCC the Operations Sector for Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in July 2017.

Experience at Canadian Food Inspection Agency

He joined IRCC from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), where, as Associate Vice-President of Operations, he was responsible for delivering inspection services across the country as well as the management of over 4,000 employees.

Dr. Kocchar’s degrees include Ph.D., Animal Biotechnology, University of Guelph; Master of Veterinary Science, Punjab Agricultural University (India); and Bachelor of Veterinary Science, Punjab Agricultural University (India)

Dr. Kochhar’s professional experience:

Since February 2023
President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

2021 – 2023
President of the Public Health Agency of Canada

2020 – 2021
Associate Deputy Minister of Health

2017 – 2020
Assistant Deputy Minister of IRCC, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Operations Sector

2015 – 2017
Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Associate Vice-President of Operations, and Canada’s Delegate to the World Organization for Animal Health 

2014 – 2015
Animal Health Directorate Executive Director; Canadian Food Inspection Agency Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada

2012 – 2014
Executive Director, Western Area Operations, Canadian Food Inspection Agency

2010 – 2012
Executive Director, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Operations Strategy and Delivery

2008 – 2010
Director, Program Delivery, Canadian Food Inspection Agency

He is an expert on animal biotechnology for the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and has worked internationally with such organizations as the U.N. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

His achievements have been well acknowledged through the presentation of various public service awards and he is also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012.

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