Clerk of the Executive Council


David McLaughlin is Manitoba’s Clerk of the Executive Council, Secretary of Cabinet and Head of Manitoba’s Public Service.




Manitoba’s Public Service

The Government of Manitoba includes departments, agencies, Crown corporations and other reporting entities. Its core government workforce of over 12,000 people makes up Manitoba’s Public Service. The public service:

  • helps the government of the day to develop and deliver policies and programs;
  • is politically neutral and remains in place through elections;
  • works in many different areas; from policy to program delivery, legal services to accounting; and
  • is governed by the rules set out in the Civil Service Act.

Learn more about our strategy for transforming Manitoba’s Public Service

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Manitoba’s Clerk of the Executive Council


Clerk of the Executive Council David McLaughlin

David McLaughlin, the Clerk of Executive Council, is the Deputy Minister to the Premier, Secretary of Cabinet and Head of Manitoba’s Public Service. He is responsible to the Premier and all ministers for the effective operation of their respective departments.

David has over 30 years of government and public policy experience at both the federal and provincial levels of government, in political and public service settings, in the private sector, and with academe. He earned a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in history and political science from Mount Allison University, a Master of Arts in international affairs from Carleton University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.

David has more than a decade of service at the deputy minister level including four years in the executive council office of the government of New Brunswick, where he served as deputy minister of policy and planning and secretary to the Cabinet Committee on Policy and Priorities. David also served as deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs during this period. 

David went on to lead the New Brunswick commission on legislative democracy as deputy minister where he directed an independent process and report on reforms to the province’s electoral system, enhancing the role of MLAs, parties, and the legislature, and building citizen engagement in the democratic system.

He was also executive director to the Council of the Federation’s independent Panel on Fiscal Imbalance reporting to premiers on improvements to Equalization and health and social transfers to provinces.

McLaughlin was president and CEO of the independent National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, a deputy-level position in the federal government. During his tenure at the NRTEE, the agency gained a reputation as a high-performing and high-profile policy advisory body producing more reports on climate change, water sustainability, and other issues than in any previous five-year period.

He is an acknowledged national public policy expert in the field of climate and sustainability policy and was awarded honorary fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Most recently, he was director of climate change at the International Institute for Sustainable Development. David has also acted as advisor on climate and sustainability to the Dean of Environment at the University of Waterloo.

David was senior advisor, climate change to the premier of Manitoba during 2016-17 developing the province’s Climate and Green Plan.

David has served as Chief of Staff to the prime minister of Canada, the federal minister of finance as well as other ministers, and the premier of New Brunswick during his extensive career.

In the private sector, he has worked in the fields of health care consulting and wireless telecommunications.

David is a published author of a book on the 1993 election and has written numerous commentaries on public policy and political topics for the Globe and Mail, CBC, Toronto Star, Maclean’s, National Observer, Huffington Post, and other media outlets.

David was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, on the recommendation of the Premier and Cabinet, as Manitoba’s Clerk of the Executive Council, Secretary of Cabinet and Deputy Minister of the Climate and Green Plan Implementation Office on May 20, 2020.




Meet the team

The Clerk of Executive Council and Secretary of Cabinet is supported in his role by a Deputy Secretary of Cabinet and leads an executive team that includes 14 deputy ministers and the secretary to Treasury Board. The Deputy Ministers:

  • are appointed as the most senior public servant in each department;
  • support their Minister who heads the department;
  • are responsible for their department’s day-to-day operations and for the successful delivery of whole-of-government initiatives; and
  • are accountable to the Premier, their Minister and the Clerk for the effective operation of their respective departments.

Contact Manitoba’s Deputy Ministers