President, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
James Meddings was appointed President of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) on October 31, 2016.
FedDev Ontario delivers programs and services to support innovation and economic growth in Canada’s most populous region. With its headquarters in Waterloo and offices in Toronto, Peterborough and Ottawa, the Agency has a presence across southern Ontario to actively promote the region and provide regionally-tailored knowledge and expertise.
Southern Ontario is a key contributor to the Canadian economy, representing over 35 percent of Canada's population. It accounts for nearly 40 percent of Canada's gross domestic product (GDP) and domestic exports and produces half of all Canadian manufacturing exports. It is also home to key economic clusters, including automotive, finance, information communications technology (ICT) and life sciences, and is a hub for emerging clusters such as cyber-security, regenerative medicine and bio-based chemicals, among others. The region's innovation ecosystem, including an educated labour force, over 100 incubators and accelerators, 40 post-secondary education institutions and aspiring entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, provides the necessary ingredients for economic growth. The Agency plays an important role in convening key regional stakeholders to support the commercialization of new technologies, assist in community transformation, build on regional competitive advantages and spur innovation in the region. These activities are creating the jobs of the future and maintaining Canada’s competitive edge in the increasingly global economy.
James served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy and Strategic Direction at Western Economic Diversification from 2011- 2016 and Vice President, Individual Learning and later Vice President, Organizational Leadership at the Canada School of Public Service from 2006 to 2011.
In his 28 years of federal public service Mr. Meddings has also held positions as Director General, Policy and Corporate Affairs, at the Meteorological Service of Canada; Director General, Parliamentary and Corporate Affairs, Human Resources Development Canada; Policy Analyst at the Privy Council Office, and Advisor to the Chief Commissioner, at the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Prior to joining the federal public service, Mr. Meddings taught economics and political science in public and private schools in the United Kingdom and Canada.
Mr. Meddings has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economic and Social Studies from the University of East Anglia; a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Birmingham; and, a Masters in Public Policy and Public Administration from Concordia University.
He is married and lives in Almonte, Ontario with his wife Susie Quackenbush and their four children: Sam, Harry, Max and Georgia.
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