Public Health Agency of Canada president resigns as COVID-19 cases spike
2020-09-18 from cbc.ca
The president of the Public Health Agency of Canada is stepping down only 18 months into the job, leaving the federal agency tasked with coordinating the country's COVID-19 response without a leader, CBC News has learned.
In a letter to staff, Tina Namiesniowski said she needs to "take a break" and "step aside so someone else can step up" to lead the agency as caseloads spike and testing times creep up in some parts of the country.
Namiesniowski said she would be stepping aside for a new president, who could be named as early as next week.
"You really need someone who will have the energy and the stamina to take the agency and our response to the next level," she said in internal correspondence announcing her departure. CBC News has seen a copy of her letter to staff.
"While responding to this crisis, we've done many things since then to add capacity, improve processes, take on new roles and really build up the competence that had diminished in recent years. All of this work has taken a personal toll on so many people ... I put myself in that category."
Before her appointment to the top job at PHAC in May 2019, Namiesniowski held a number of senior postings within government. She served as the executive vice-president of the Canada Border Services Agency and was an assistant deputy minister at Agriculture Canada and Public Safety Canada.
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