President, Mastercard Canada
Rachel Curran is a lawyer by training, and has nearly 15 years of experience in public affairs, including extensive experience providing strategic and policy advice to the Prime Minister of Canada and federal and provincial Cabinet ministers.
As Director of Policy to the Prime Minister, Rachel was closely engaged in all matters involving the federal government, including foreign and defence policy, trade negotiations, economic affairs, immigration, transportation, energy and the environment, indigenous affairs, social development and intergovernmental relations. She was directly responsible for setting and implementing the government’s policy agenda over the course of four years, and oversaw all major governmental initiatives including the preparation of the annual federal budget.
At the provincial level, as Chief of Staff and advisor to two senior Cabinet ministers, Rachel provided advice on a range of political, policy and legislative issues related to public safety, including law enforcement, residential tenancy, consumer protection, automobile insurance, road safety, gaming, liquor licensing and distribution, and provincial emergency management.
Rachel currently works for Meta Canada as Head of Public Policy. Over the last six years, Rachel has worked as a senior associate with Harper & Associates Ltd., an international consulting firm led by former Prime Minister Harper, and as an instructor at Carleton University’s Riddell Program in Political Management. She also appeared as a regular panelist and commentator on CBC’s Power & Politics, and was a recurring contributor to the Institute for Research on Public Policy’s Policy Options magazine.
Executive Vice- President and Chief Strategic Officer, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
Laura Jones is the Executive Vice-President and Chief Strategic Officer of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), a non-profit association that advocates for 95,000 independent businesses across Canada on topics of importance to them, including taxes and regulation. Laura is also responsible for the CFIB’s legislative, communications, research, and IT functions.
Since joining CFIB in 2003, Laura has spearheaded several high-profile campaigns on behalf of small businesses, including CFIB’s annual Red Tape Awareness WeekTM. Laura is passionate about red tape and other issues that don’t get the attention they deserve. She has led groundbreaking research on the costs of regulation in Canada and in the United States. Laura has also served on several federal and provincial committees that advise governments on reducing regulatory burden.
Jones has been providing advice to Canadian governments on effective regulatory reform for more than a decade, serving on a number of advisory committees including the Red Tape Advisory Committee for the government of Canada. She has also authored a number of studies estimating the cost and impact of regulation, including studies for the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Mercatus Centre and CFIB. She created Canada’s annual Red Tape Awareness Week, a successful initiative to focus government attention on the red tape problem.
Jones is currently on the board of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and CFIB.
Prior to joining CFIB, Jones taught economics at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and worked for the Fraser Institute where she created a Centre for Studies in Risk and Regulation and published several policy studies on resource use and regulation.
Jones received her B.A. in Economics from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and her M.A. in Economics from Simon Fraser University.
Laura and her husband live in Vancouver with their three spirited children.
Tanya O’ Callaghan
Vice-President Community Investment, Policy and Advocacy, Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)
Tanya leads CIRA’s community investment, policy and advocacy group to help the organization build a trusted internet for Canadians. For more than a decade, she has helped CIRA fulfill its mission in a variety of roles—from member engagement to communications. Most recently, Tanya has been an integral member of the team that has led efforts to refresh CIRA’s culture and its focus on building a diverse and inclusive workplace. She is also a founding member of the multistakeholder committee behind the Canadian Internet Governance Forum, and a frequent speaker and moderator on a range of communications, digital and cybersecurity issues.
A former journalist, Tanya has worked in the not-for-profit sector for nearly 20 years, helping purpose-driven organizations find their voice and share their message. She has a Bachelor of Journalism and Political Science from Carleton University.
President and CEO, Insurance Bureau of Canada
As President and CEO of IBC, Celyeste works with Canadian governments and key stakeholders to build a strong, stable P&C industry and a stronger and safer Canada.
Previously, Celyeste served as Executive Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives and Advocacy, where she advanced IBC’s national advocacy priorities through foresight for and strategic management of issues affecting Canada’s property
and casualty insurance industry. She has held progressively senior positions at IBC, developing strong relationships with the executive leadership team, members, insurance stakeholders and consumers. Her previous IBC roles include National Corporate Spokesperson; Executive Director, Strategy and Member Engagement; Vice-President, Western; and Chief Strategy Officer. Prior to joining IBC, Celyeste honed her political and strategic acumen with the Government of Canada where she held a number of senior roles, including Issues Manager to the Prime Minister.
As a consumer advocate, Celyeste works toward maintaining affordable insurance across Canada. As IBC’s Vice-President for Western Canada, she led several successful advocacy initiatives, including improvements to the auto insurance system for Alberta’s 3 million drivers.
Celyeste is a people-first leader with a passion for mentorship, diversity and inclusion. She is an active member of The Insurance Supper Club Canada, an organization that supports the advancement of women to senior positions across the insurance industry. Celyeste was honoured with The Steamatic Canada Award for Woman of Distinction at the 2022 Insurance Business Canada Awards. Celyeste earned a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Ottawa and a master of business administration certificate at the University of Toronto. She is now working toward her Chartered Insurance Professional designation. In her spare time, Celyeste enjoys running, reading and discovering new podcasts.