Keith Smith is the Acting Director of General of the Policy and Communications Branch at the Canadian Human Rights Commission. He is also currently leading the implementation of the Commission’s new mandates under the Accessible Canada Act and the Pay Equity Act. Over the past two and a half years, Keith worked for the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada as the Director of Policy, also acting as Chief of Staff. During his time there, he dealt with a wide range of justice files, including medical assistance in dying, cannabis legalization, an amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act to add the ground of “gender identity or expression”, criminal justice system reform, international human rights as well as a framework for the recognition and implementation of an Indigenous rights.
Prior to his time in the Minister’s Office, Smith was the Director of Policy, Research and International at the Canadian Human Rights Commission from 2013 to 2016. Before that, he was the Director of Intergovernmental and International Relations at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), where he also acted on several occasions as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Deputy Minister. He previously worked as a Senior Policy Analyst for the AANDC Urban Aboriginal Strategy and spent three years at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ottawa and was part of the first cohort to graduate from the Institute on Governance's Executive Leadership Program.
Keith Smith is originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and is a member of the Thessalon First Nation, a nearby Ojibway community.