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

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

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 Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship.

In this role, Dr. Kochhar will support the Government of Canada’s ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19 through a whole-of-government, comprehensive, and coordinated approach.

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

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, Operations Sector, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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

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

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

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

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. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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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