Richard Webster

Richard Webster

Senior Policy Advisor, Ontario Government's   diversity office 


  • Recognized as an adaptable leader, creative problem-solver and no stranger to the demands of a fast-paced, diverse environment, I have lived, worked and studied in six countries over the past ten years
  • Educated and experienced in public policy, I fully understand the policy process and love to get my hands dirty and make great things happen
  • Part strategist and part craftsman, I can ‘think big’, while carefully managing (and speaking to) the most minute of details whether developing complex policy, ensuring its implementation or influencing policy change
  • As a skilled researcher, analyst and advisor I have been instrumental in the establishment of key partnerships across all levels of government, regulatory bodies and nongovernmental agencies, both nationally and internationally
  • I naturally build rapport with key stakeholders, parliamentarians, and all key partners to navigate complex issues; a skill crucial to breaking new and sometimes uncomfortable ground

Work History

Work History
Jul 2015 - Present

Senior Policy Advisor

Ontario Government's Diversity Office
  • Lead and coordinate corporate and strategic policy and projects concerning diversity, inclusion and accessibility within the Ontario Public Service
  • Provide analysis and decision support to senior management and support government decision-making
  • Provide analysis, recommendations and effective briefing materials for the Chief Inclusion and Accessibility Officer, Deputy Minister and other senior leadership
  • Prepare clear and compelling responses to incoming stakeholder inquiries
  • Act as Senior Manager of the Strategic Policy and Planning Unit, as required
Jul 2014 - Jul 2015

(Senior) Policy and Program Adviser

Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC)
  • Responsible for the monitoring and management of 6 of Ontario's regulatory bodies in regards to the OFC's assessment program of regulators' registration practices for internationally-educated individuals
  • Develop recommendations for changes and improvements to registration practices
  • Provide policy expertise to colleagues and stakeholders on issues related to the  regulated professions
  • Liaise with government and other stakeholders on issues related to the regulated professions
  • Prepare effective briefing materials and advise the Executive Director and Fairness Commissioner on the registration practices of regulatory bodies in my portfolio and all other relevant matters as they emerge
  • Prepare clear responses to incoming stakeholder, applicant, media and general inquiries

Oct 2014 - Present

Vice President (Volunteer, Elected)

Erasmus Mundus Association (North American Chapter)
  • Coordinate Country Representatives' (CRs) monthly conference call and support action items of CRs. Act as the liaison between the EMA-NA Directive Board and the CRs. Ensure effective communication between the CR network and the Directive Board 
  • Prepare, review, and authorize budgets for chapter activities. Liaison with EMA SC and teams, Regional Chapters Forum, and the European Commission’s provider agency for budget requests and approvals. Report monthly budget to Directive Board
  • Hold events for alumni and prospective students
  • Fulfill the duties of the President in times of her absence
  • Assist the Board with all other tasks as needed
Jul 2013 - Jul 2014

Policy Specialist

  • Led ongoing and effective communications with established stakeholders in government, civil society organizations and academic/research institutions to inform, influence and facilitate the advancement of the organization’s mandate
  • Developed key documents and resources, including policy briefs, position papers and blog entries in order to educate and influence decision-makers and members of the public
  • Devised a social media strategy for the team in order to effectively steward the team’s overall digital advocacy activities and online presence
  • Doubled parliamentarian participation in the organization's ‘Bring Your MP to School Day’ initiative, further strengthening strategic relationships and enhancing the reach of UNICEF Canada
  • Undertook a comprehensive review of the team’s administrative structures and parliamentary/media monitoring processes, leading to a sizeable increase in the team’s efficiency and effectiveness
Jul 2012 - Jul 2013

Program Adviser

Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC)
  • Held responsibility for the monitoring and management of 10 of Ontario's regulatory bodies in regards to the OFC's assessment program of regulators' registration practices for internationally-trained individuals
  • Developed recommendations for changes and improvements to registration practices
  • Developed and led the coordination of a consultation strategy with all of Ontario's regulatory bodies (40 professions), taking place over a series of 7 consultation meetings and conference calls
  • Prepared effective briefing materials and advise the Executive Director and Fairness Commissioner on the registration practices of regulatory bodies in my portfolio and all other relevant matters as they emerge
  • Prepared clear responses to incoming stakeholder, applicant, media and general inquiries
Jun 2011 - Aug 2011

Policy Analyst

Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC)
  • Developed a Consultation Plan for HPRAC's Ministerial referral concerning advice on the potential regulation of Dental Assistants. 
  • Assisted with the development and editing process of various key documents concerning other Ministerial referrals underway.
Jan 2010 - Aug 2011

Policy Analyst, Health Professions Regulatory Policy & Programs Branch

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC)
  • Conducted the research, monitoring, analysis and assessment of a broad range of issues, trends and directions which affect the development of policies and facilitate the delivery of health care in Ontario, including the evaluation of regulation proposals by the regulatory colleges
  • Prepared responses to incoming stakeholder and public correspondence
  • Represented the Ministry at regular college Council meetings for 6 of the 21 health regulatory colleges while maintaining positive stakeholder relations
  • Assisted the Branch in its role in the development of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
  • Prepared briefing materials as required
Mar 2010 - Aug 2010

Facilitator, English Conversation Circle Program (Volunteer)

Woodgreen Community Services
  • Created a comfortable and engaging space in which newcomers could collectively work on their English language skills as well as network with other newcomers
  • Assisted attendees in accessing any required information and/or community resources
Jan 2009 - Dec 2009

Policy Analyst, Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) Implementation Project

Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU)
  • Assisted in the coordination of stakeholder engagement events and inter-ministerial meetings in order to build and maintain relationships and ensure AIT compliance
  • Assisted in the drafting of provincial legislation and regulation amendment approval processes
  • Prepared responses to incoming stakeholder and public correspondence
  • Assisted in the development of communications materials
  • Prepared briefing material as required
  • Provided effective support to both team leads
Sep 2008 - Dec 2008

Researcher/Editor (Intern)

Siirtolaisuusinstituutti/Institute of Migration
  • Edited academic articles and other written bodies of work for various print projects
  • Conducted research in the field of immigration to assist current research projects
  • Conducted personal research and was published in the Institute’s journal - Siirtolaisuus-Migration Quarterly.
Aug 2006 - Jul 2007

Enrolment Advisor

Trent University
  • Recruited students during a 12 week travelling period through presentations at high schools and university fairs across Ontario
  • Assisted in shaping the university’s strategic planning policies and recruitment priorities
  • Provided prospective students with career/education counselling
  • Developed and implemented presentations for prospective students, their families and guidance counsellors
  • Assisted in the development of university publications
  • Assisted with the coordination and implementation of other conversion activities, including:

The 2007 March Break Open House events required:

  • Managing a $50,000 project budget for the university’s largest annual recruitment event with an attendance of approximately 1200 people
  • Hiring and training 40 student staff
Oct 2005 - Apr 2006

Research, Planning and Development Coordinator (Volunteer)

New Canadians Centre
  • Successfully researched and planned for a ‘Settlement Symposium’
  • Conducted numerous consultation events with newcomers
  • Researched various funding agencies and assisted in writing grant proposals
  • Conducted a province-wide calling campaign
2005 - 2006

Youth Group Facilitator (Volunteer)

AIDS Resource Network (Rainbow Youth Coalition)
  • Helped to create a comfortable, safe space by facilitating discussion groups for LGBT (and questioning) youth.
  • Raised awareness of LGBT issues in Peterborough and the Kawarthas area.
Apr 2004 - Jun 2006

Liaison Assistant

Trent University
  • Responded to admissions questions, general concerns and inquiries through campus tours, meetings, telephone, email, and written correspondence
  • Carried out administrative duties as required; including use of Microsoft Office and various database applications (including the university’s central database)


Oct 2014 - Present

Certificate in Leadership and Inclusion

Centennial College
  • Offered in partnership with the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion, designed for working professionals learning how to be inclusive leaders
Sep 2010 - May 2012

Joint European Masters in International Migration and Social Cohesion

  • M. SocSc. Migration, Race and Ethnicity, University College Dublin
  • M.A. Migration, Conflict and Social Cohesion, Universidad de Deusto
  • M.Sc. Migration and Ethnic Studies, Universiteit van Amsterdam
Sep 2002 - Jun 2006

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Trent University
  • Joint major in International Political Economy and Political Studies with an Emphasis in Global Studies

Interests & Hobbies

  • Immigration 
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • International education
  • Human rights
  • Politics and global affairs


  • English (Native proficiency)
  • French (Intermediate)
  • Spanish (Beginner)

Professional Development

  • Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC), Anti-Discrimination Training (May 2013)
  • Ontario Regulators for Access Consortium (ORAC) Learning Day (April 2013)
  • Conference Board of Canada's "Workforce One-Stop 2013: Developing People for a Cutting-Edge Workforce" Conference (April 2013)
  • 'Fleeing Homophobia: Seeking Safety in Europe' Conference (Amsterdam, Netherlands - September 2011)
  • 'Leadership at the Frontline' - Leadership Development Course (HR Ontario - June 2011)
  • International Human Rights Workshop Series (Bilbao, Spain - February 2011 - June 2011)
  • "Solutions to the Forced Displacement of People in a Global World" - 7th Human Rights Congress (San Sebastien, Spain - March/April 2011)
  • 'Justice and Migration: Paradoxes of Belonging' - International Metropolis Conference (the Hague, Netherlands - October 2010)
  • Diversity and Inclusion Awareness - Workshop (HR Ontario - June 2010)
  • Aboriginal Relations Workshop (HR Ontario - May 2010)
  • Writing Effective Briefing Materials - Writing Course (HR Ontario - March 2010)
  • Facilitation Skills Workshop (HR Ontario - March 2010)
  • 'Polivery' Conference - Ontario Public Service's Policy Innovation and Leadership Centre (October 2009)
  • 'Straight to the Point' - Writing Workshop (MTCU - April 2009)
  • CERIS (The Ontario Metropolis Centre) Graduate Student Conference (March 2009)
  • Minister's Correspondence Writing Workshop (MTCU - February 2009)