Secretary’s Biography

Ms. Ruth Onyancha


Photo of the Secretary, Ms. Ruth OnyanchaRuth Onyancha is the new Secretary, Deputy Head, and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat (CICS). Her primary role is to ensure CICS provides an unparalleled suite of conference services to all governments from coast to coast to coast. Ms. Onyancha will focus on translating the expectations of client Governments through stakeholder engagement, effective planning and directing of operations, ensuring the integrity and neutrality of the Secretariat’s services and operations, and preparing CICS to evolve and meet the growing demand from clients.

Ms. Onyancha brings to this position a deep knowledge of institutional development, corporate secretariat services, and coordination and administration of intergovernmental conferences and meetings. She has acquired this expertise within the public sector and through experience at multilateral, multinational, crown corporation, and private corporation levels. Ms. Onyancha has a profound appreciation of building partnerships for results, collaborative and transitional governance in the public sector, and law reform. She also brings a unique multicultural perspective gained by carrying out similar functions while living and working in different countries.

Prior to joining CICS, Ms. Onyancha worked with many organizations, including the International Development Research Centre as Corporate Secretary, multilateral organizations as Head of corporate governance, the Kenyan Government as Transitional Governance Advisor, and the World Bank in several capacities, including various law reform initiatives and public participation in governance and public service delivery. She has also worked as a consultant on regional infrastructure development, regional integration, and trade for developing countries. Over a period of 20 years, Ms. Onyancha led change initiatives at an institutional level focussed on transformed governance, service delivery and meeting objectives, and the needs of stakeholders.

Ms. Onyancha holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Makerere University in Uganda and has completed several courses that allow her to practice law in two countries.