NL Government: Provincial Government Announces New Commissioners to the Independent Appointments Commission
May 18, 2022
A resolution was passed today in the House of Assembly to appoint four new commissioners and reappoint two current commissioners to the Independent Appointments Commission.
The four new commissioners are:
- Karen McCarthy (Chair)
- William Mahoney
- Brendan Mitchell
- Jamie Schwartz
These new members were appointed through a merit-based process in consultation with the Public Service Commission. They will each serve a three-year term.
Current members Gerald Anderson and Peggy Bartlett have been reappointed. Both members joined the Independent Appointments Commission in June 2019, and will continue in their roles for a three-year term. Cathy Duke was reappointed for a three-year term earlier this month.
Biographies for the new appointments and those who were reappointed can be found in the backgrounder below.
In December 2017, the Provincial Government introduced amendments to the Independent Appointments Commission Act to increase the size of the Independent Appointments Commission to a maximum of seven commissioners and a minimum of five. These changes were introduced to help further improve its efficiency and manage the considerable workload of administering the province’s merit-based appointments’ process.
The Independent Appointments Commission is an independent body established by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to provide merit-based recommendations to approximately 30 Tier One Entities. These agencies, boards and commissions deliver important services including health care and K-12 and post-secondary education, and help manage our province’s natural resources.
“The Independent Appointments Commission provides an important service to the province, ensuring a fair and merit-based process is followed when appointing members to serve on our agencies, boards and commissions. With the addition of these new commissioners, the Independent Appointments Commission can continue to serve the people of this province. I’d also like to thank two former commissioners, Earl Ludlow and Philip Earle, for their service with the Commission.”
Honourable Siobhan Coady
Minister of Finance
President of Treasury Board
Minister Responsible for the Public Service Commission
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The Independent Appointments Commission
Tier One Entities
Biographies of New Members of the Independent Appointments Commission
Karen M. McCarthy is Vice President, Communications and Corporate Affairs with Fortis Inc. She joined Fortis Inc. in 2016 as Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs and was appointed to her current role in 2018. She was previously President of an Atlantic Canadian public affairs consulting firm for seven years and spent 15 years in the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial public service with senior roles in communications, cabinet operations, energy, labour relations and intergovernmental affairs. She holds a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University, a Master of Education (Leadership) from Memorial University and was awarded the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD). She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration program at Athabasca University with a research focus on corporate governance and social responsibility. Ms. McCarthy is past chair of the ICD Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter, is a Regent and Chair of the Governance Committee at Memorial University, and served on the Newfoundland Power Board of Directors.
William (Bill) Mahoney
William (Bill) Mahoney is the owner of a group of companies in Newfoundland and Labrador related to the real estate and tourism sectors. He served for 27 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force, holding a number of staff and command positions, retiring in 2004. He is national Chair of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, and the national Vice Chair of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council. He is former Chair of the Board of the Commissionaires Newfoundland and Labrador, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Historical Society, the St. John’s International Airport Authority, and the St. John’s Downtown Development Commission. Mr. Mahoney currently serves as a Director with a number of charitable organizations, including the Community Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. He has completed the Director’s Education Program in 2020 and earned a designation with the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Brendan Mitchell has held the distinction of Chief of the Qalipu First Nation for seven years, serving his third consecutive three-year term on its Council. He worked with Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited for 27 years and has extensive work experience in the areas of project management, materials management, transportation and procurement management. His organizational involvements are many having served on boards and committees locally, provincially and nationally including Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Marine Advisory Board for five years and Chair of the Corner Brook Economic Development Corporation. Mr. Mitchell holds Bachelor of Science (Biology) and Master of Business Administration degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Jamie Schwartz retired as President and CEO of the Deer Lake Regional Airport Authority after serving 20 years with the organization. He is currently a member of the 2025 Canada Summer Games Host Society Board of Directors. He served as President and Chair of the Atlantic Canada Airports Association from 2014-2016 and was a director on the Canadian Airports Council for four years. He was also chair of the Marble Mountain Development Corporation for three years. Mr. Schwartz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education and Recreation Management from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
Biographies of Reappointed Members of the Independent Appointments Commission
Gerald Anderson has over 30 years of experience working with Marine Institute, most recently as Director of Development and Engagement. Mr. Anderson was the designated lead for all work with Indigenous stakeholders in regions across Canada throughout his career with the Marine Institute, and from 2016 to 2018 was appointed as Vice-President (Indigenous) with University of the Arctic (UArctic), a network university with 180 members worldwide including Memorial University. In this position, Mr. Anderson was responsible for ensuring Indigenous inclusion in all activities undertaken by UArctic. Mr. Anderson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Memorial University in 1980.
Peggy Bartlett has over 22 years of experience as a successful owner-operator of five McDonald’s Restaurants in central Newfoundland, with stores in Grand Falls-Windsor, Lewisporte and Gander. Prior to this, she spent 15 years as a community health nurse with the Janeway Child Health Centre. In recent years Ms. Bartlett has served as a Town Councillor with the Town of Grand Falls Windsor, where she currently resides. She has significant volunteer and board experience, including current membership on the Board of the Gander International Airport Authority, the Grand Falls House Foundation and she serves as Central Director on the Board of the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs. Ms. Bartlett is a graduate of the General Hospital School of Nursing Registered Nurse program, the Memorial University Community Health Nursing program and the Small Business Management program with the College of Trades and Technology.
Cathy Duke is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Destination St. John’s, where she directs sales and marketing efforts in attracting meetings and conventions, leisure travel and sport tourism. She previously served as Deputy Minister with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, as well as, the Department of Innovation Trade and Rural Development. She serves on the Memorial University Board of Regents as interim Chair. Ms. Duke has also served as the Vice-Chair of the Stella Burry Foundation. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work in 1979 and a Masters of Business Administration in 1982 and acquired her Director designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors in 2017.