Richard Wex



Richard Wex is a senior executive and former Deputy Minister with the federal public service. Known for achieving results, for collaborating with partners, and for his integrity, Mr. Wex has successfully taken on increasing levels of executive responsibility across a range of legal, social, economic and security portfolios over his twenty-five year career.

Mr. Wex was appointed Associate Deputy Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, in September, 2015. In this role, along with the Deputy Minister, Mr. Wex provided leadership to the Department and advice to the Minister on the full range of issues across the Department’s mandate. Highlights include providing senior executive leadership to “Operation Syrian Refugee”, a national project that welcomed more than 25,000 Syrian Refugees to Canada; developing the first-ever multi-year immigration levels plan, representing the highest sustained level of immigration in Canada’s history; reducing immigration backlogs and improving processing times; as well as leading the department’s operational response to the unprecedented irregular migrant movement at our border. Mr. Wex also led a management agenda focussed on innovation as well as sound financial and human resource management during a time of significant departmental growth.

Prior to this appointment, he served as Vice-President of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) responsible for policy and program development, covering the full span of the Agency’s mandate, from facilitating low risk travel and trade to preventing illegal goods and people from entering the country. While at CBSA, Mr. Wex led the delivery of key priorities from the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Action Plan aimed at modernizing border approaches, and strengthened program management by driving an Agency-wide program integrity agenda, and implemented an organizational redesign to better advance Agency priorities.

From 2007 to 2013, Mr. Wex served as the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Law Enforcement and Policing Branch at Public Safety Canada, where he provided strategic leadership and policy advice to the Minister of Public Safety in carrying out his responsibilities for the RCMP and CBSA. In this capacity, he successfully negotiated a multi-billion dollar 20 year services agreement between the RCMP and contracting provinces, territories and municipalities; strengthened RCMP accountability through the establishment of a new civilian oversight body for the RCMP; and worked extensively on Canada-US cross border initiatives.

Prior to joining Public Safety Canada, Mr. Wex held a number of executive positions with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He began his public service career with the Department of Justice, practicing in the areas of Public and Aboriginal law, and providing the full range of advisory, negotiation and litigation services.

Mr. Wex has a Bachelor of Laws degree (L.L.B.) from Queen's University, and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is a graduate of the Public Service Advanced Leadership Program, and the Senior Managers in Government Program from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  He is a recipient of both the Public Service Award of Excellence as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal of recognition for his contributions to Canada.

He is married to Laila, and has two adult children, Josh and Kyra.