In this episode of the EdUp Canada podcast, host Michael Sangster welcomes Marie Lemay, the CEO and president of the Royal Canadian Mint, to discuss the importance of leadership and skills development in achieving career success. They explore how good leadership doesn’t need to compromise social good or employee well-being, and how these elements can actually reinforce each other. Lemay shares insights from her diverse career path, which includes roles in government, nonprofit organizations, and now at the Royal Canadian Mint. She emphasizes the importance of building effective teams, continuous learning, and problem solving. The conversation also touches on the value of cash in a digital age, the role of courage in asking tough questions within organizations, and the impact that mentors and allies can have on one’s career. Finally, Lemay offers advice to future leaders on following their passion with compassion and the significance of embracing a multidisciplinary approach to tackle complex problems. 

About Marie Lemay

Ms. Marie Lemay was first appointed as the President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint in January 2019. With 25 years of service in senior leadership positions, she has an extensive experience in public administration. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Lemay served as Deputy Minister and Deputy Receiver General for Canada at Public Services and Procurement Canada, from 2016 to 2019. 

From 2013 to 2016, Ms. Lemay was Deputy Minister and President of the Canada Economic Development Agency for Quebec Regions, which promotes the long-term economic development of the regions of Quebec. From August 2012 to November 2013, she held the position of Associate Deputy Minister at Infrastructure Canada, the main department responsible for federal efforts to enhance Canada’s public infrastructure. 
From January 2008 to August 2012, Ms. Lemay was the CEO of the National Capital Commission, at the time of the introduction of the firsts public board meetings. 

She also served as the CEO of Engineers Canada from July 2000 to January 2008, during which Ms. Lemay led a number of international initiatives and oversaw several mutual recognition agreements. 

Ms. Lemay is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and of Professional Engineers Ontario, as well as a Fellow for both Engineers Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering. She currently serves on the boards of Richelieu Hardware Ltd. and the International Association of Currency Affairs, and as Chair of the international Mint Directors Association. 

Ms. Lemay holds a Bachelor of Applied Science with a specialization in Civil Engineering from the University of Ottawa and a diploma in public administration from École Nationale Administration Publique, and is a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Ottawa. 

Read the full transcript here⁠


  • 00:04 Welcome to the EdUp Canada Podcast: Unpacking Leadership and Skills Development 
  • 00:54 Introducing Marie Lemay: A Journey from Engineering to Leadership 
  • 04:51 Leadership Insights: Building Teams and Embracing Learning 
  • 08:19 The Importance of Giving Back and Philanthropy 
  • 11:14 Skills for Success: Listening, Languages, and Problem Solving 
  • 17:15 Strategic Planning and Courage in Leadership at the Mint 
  • 25:31 Mentorship and Its Impact on Career Paths