Melissa Cotton serves as the Senior Manager of Government Affairs at CN Rail, focusing on Federal Government and stakeholder engagement and advocacy, community funding and social responsibility. Melissa has been working in the political sphere for two decades. She has spent time working on Parliament Hill in Ottawa for Senators and MP's and most recently served six years as the Managing Director of the Liberal Research Bureau where she provided advice to the Prime Minister, Cabinet and Liberal MP's while managing a team of over 40 staff. Prior to joining this team in 2015, she served as Director of Operations to two Cabinet Ministers in the Ontario government. She began her career in Student Services and Human Resource Management at the University of Saskatchewan.
Melissa has always had a love of public service and politics. She is the first woman to run a parliamentary Research Bureau, and on what she refers to as her second tour of duty on the Hill, placed a specific emphasis on the development of tools, resources and supports to offer political staff a way to navigate a unique HR environment.
Outside of work, Melissa is involved in a variety of organizations in support of women and youth, amongst others. She is also a guest lecturer at the Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management and is a frequent speaker at a variety of conferences.
A proud prairie girl at heart, Melissa hails from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.