|Politics||Liberal Party of Canada|
Katie Telford (born 1978) is a Canadian political strategist who is the current Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She served as Trudeau’s chief campaign advisor during his successful campaign in the 2015 election. Following the resignation of Gerald Butts, Telford has now been acknowledged as holding the highest ranking position within the office of the Prime Minister.
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Telford, born in 1978, was raised in Toronto. Her parents were public servants; her father was Australian and her mother was from Hamilton, Ontario.
When Telford was 12, she worked as a page for several weeks in the Ontario legislature. She studied political science at the University of Ottawa, where she joined the debate club and ultimately became the club’s President. She was a two time national semi-finalist. She was also a semi-finalist at the North American competition and finished high at the world championship event in Glasgow, Scotland.
From 2004 to 2006, Telford was chief of staff to Ontario Education Minister Gerard Kennedy and headed his campaign in the 2006 Liberal Party of Canada leadership election. She later served as deputy chief of staff for Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, and worked as a consultant for StrategyCorp in Toronto between her positions with Dion and Trudeau.
On September 21, 2016, it was reported by The Globe and Mail that Telford had charged moving expenses to Canadian taxpayers in the amount of $80,382.55 to relocate her residence from Toronto to Ottawa. These expenses included a personalized cash payout of $23,373.71. After it was revealed publicly, Telford agreed to repay a portion of the $80,382.55.
Telford is married to Rob Silver, a consultant for a public affairs agency and former regular Power & Politics panelist, with whom she has one child, George.