Environment Minister John Baird has hired a new senior exempt staffer in his ministerial political office.
Alykhan Velshi, former director of communications and director of Parliamentary affairs to Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, Alta.) who in turn is secretary of state for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity, is moving over to Mr. Baird’s office as director of Parliamentary affairs and will start his new job on Aug. 11.
In his new position, Mr. Velshi, 24, who was also voted a “Terrific 25 Staffer” in this year’s survey conducted by The Hill Times, will be responsible for advising and briefing the minister on legislative issues, overseeing the legislative approval process, from development within the department to royal assent, and liaising with MPs, Cabinet ministers, Parliamentary secretaries, and the Prime Minister’s Office to coordinate legislative issues.
Mr. Velshi’s new position is of significant importance since the environment will be one of the most important files in the upcoming session of Parliament and because Liberal Party Leader Stéphane Dion released his “Green Shift” plan this summer and currently is travelling across the country explaining it to Canadians and convincing them that his plan is the most effective of all political parties.
A native of Toronto, Mr. Velshi holds a law degree from the London School of Economics in London, England, and passed his New York bar exam in 2006. He came to the Hill after the last federal election to serve as a senior political aide to Mr. Kenney, who was then Parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister.
Mr. Velshi is also distantly related to CNN’s Ali Velshi.