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Margaret Biggs

Matthews Fellow in Global Public Policy School of Policy Studies


Margaret Biggs was President of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) from 2008-2013. In this role, she was accountable for policy advice, partnerships, programming and performance management related to Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance, including Canadian initiatives on maternal and child health, sustainable economic growth, and fragile and conflict-affected states. In this capacity, she also contributed to the horizontal management of major foreign policy priorities such as the whole-of-government mission in Afghanistan. Previously, Ms. Biggs served as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Plans) and Assistant Secretary, Priorities and Planning, in the Privy Council Office. As an Assistant Deputy Minister she held positions responsible for social and labour market policy and for skills, learning and social development programs.

Ms. Biggs has an extensive background in federal-provincial relations and social policy and played a key role in the creation of Canada’s National Child Benefit. She started her career at the North South Institute. Ms. Biggs has represented Canada in numerous international fora and has served as Canada’s Alternate Governor to the World Bank, as International Executive Co-chair of the China Council on International Cooperation on Environment and Development, and on the Board of Governors for the International Development Research Centre. Ms. Biggs is a graduate of the University of British Columbia and the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University.