Donna Knox, children and family development's respected chief operations officer, has left the ministry - just eight months after being appointed to that post. In an email sent to ministry staff, Ms. Knox (who was charged with "oversight of the day-to-day running of the ministry") writes "Over the past several months a combination of personal and professional challenges have caused me to reflect on my future. While I still feel a great deal of energy and commitment to the delivery of public services, I feel that my experience and skill may be better utilized in a completely new environment" - news, which we're sure will come as something of a surprise to children and family development community members.
Ms. Knox's email goes on to state "the Ministry is currently positioned with a vision to make some significant and important changes in how service will be delivered." And she remains supportive of that vision. The following is a complete copy of that email, along with a follow-up message from deputy minister Lesley du Toit.
Dear friends and colleagues,
It is with very mixed emotions that I announce today that I will be leaving the Ministry of Children and Family Development. As many of you are aware I have spent the majority of my past 31 years of service moving through a variety of jobs in this organization. I am profoundly honoured and proud to have worked in this field and in the public service. I have worked with people at all levels in the organization both at a regional level and a provincial level, and the passion and commitment of those I have had the privilege of working with always impresses me. The lessons I have learned from the children, youth and families we serve will never leave me.
The Ministry is currently positioned with a vision to make some significant and important changes in how service will be delivered over the next number of years. I remain commited and support that vision and believe that when it is achieved children, youth, families and communities will achieve better outcomes. I wish Lesley and all of you the best as you now move forward with implementation.
Over the past several months a combination of personal and professional challenges have caused me to reflect on my future. While I still feel a great deal of energy and commitment to the delivery of public services, I feel that my experience and skill may be better utilized in a completely new environment. As a result I have asked the Deputy and the Public Service Agency to support me in pursuing other opportunities. I am grateful that both Lesley and staff in the Public Service Agency have agreed to support me to make this change.
I look forward to the opportunity to continue to make a contribution to public service in a different capactiy. I wish all of you the best in moving the change agenda forward and every success in the important work you do.
By now you will have received a message from our Chief Operations Officer, Donna Knox, indicating that she will be leaving MCFD. It is with sadness that I have accepted Donna's desire to pursue other opportunities, although I deeply respect that this is Donna's decision to make.
Donna has served this ministry and government for many years and in many ways has given a life-time of service to the children, youth and families of this province. While most of these young people will never know this, they have been blessed to have Donna act on their behalf as a strong advocate and someone who has always cared deeply for their well-being.
I know that many of you who have worked for so long with Donna will miss her dearly.
On behalf of myself and the leadership team I want to thank Donna for the courage and support she demonstrated in taking on the COO role. It has meant a lot to us all at the PO to have someone of her calibre and experience provide additional leadership in this office.
We wish Donna good things for the future and know that she will remain a friend and support to this ministry.
Lesley du Toit,
Ministry of Children and Family Development