Our Meeting with Derek Lett, Director at the Ministry of Transportation
On our first OLIP Friday, we met with Derek Lett, Director of the Transportation Safety Division at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Derek has worked in the Ontario Public Service for almost 30 years, beginning as a recent graduate in an internship role. Although his career journey has taken him into many different policy areas, he found himself back at the same ministry many years later.
Derek was able to provide us with valuable insights from his work in the OPS, his experience in an oversight role at the Office of the Integrity Commissioner, and his work on the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission. He told us that as long as you have an interest and a passion in your topic area, transferrable skills such as analytical and communication skills, a willingness to be challenged, and a desire to learn, you can find success in most positions. This was great news to us, as we have already had the chance to work on some of these skills in our first week in our placements in MPPs’ offices.
There are a few projects from his career of which Derek is especially proud. For example, his work on transit planning for Northern Ontario, his work with Indigenous groups to install bilingual road signs on reserves, and his role as a Senior Advisor on Diversity, in which he helped to develop the diversity and inclusion strategy for the OPS.
It was fascinating to hear just how much things have changed in the public service in the last 30 years. Many of us have considered a career in the OPS, so hearing from someone with such breadth of knowledge and experience was enlightening. We want to thank Derek for taking the time to speak with us and for his honest advice!