Melissa MacKinnon

Melissa MacKinnon was appointed Public Service Commissioner of the Public Service Commission in May 2024.


Melissa is a champion for inclusive, healthy communities. She has a background in communications, public service, and community services and development.

She was Deputy Minister of Community Services and the Status of Women where she helped secure additional funding and coordinated support for supportive housing, income assistance, food security and transition houses.

As Associate Deputy Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage, she led a team to support arts and culture organizations and museums across the province. She helped improve access to community grants and regional services. She has also held a variety of communications positions throughout government and as Associate Deputy Minister of Communications Nova Scotia.

Melissa's passionate about helping young people live healthy and fulfilling lives. She has experience building relationships with non-profit and private sectors, as well as municipal, federal and post-secondary partners on complex programs and services related to housing, accessibility, engagement and equity.

Melissa is a community volunteer and coaches sports. She’s also served as a board member for a number of community organizations, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Halifax and the Canada Games Centre.

She has a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Master of Adult Education (Community Development) from St Francis Xavier University.

Current role

Public Service Commissioner, Public Service Commission

The public service commissioner is responsible for making sure the Government of Nova Scotia has the human resources needed to manage, create and provide programs and services for citizens.

Responsibilities include:

  • overseeing the development, implementation and evaluation of corporate human resources policies, programs, services and standards
  • overseeing collective bargaining with unions that represent direct government employees
  • providing advice to government on collective bargaining in the broader public service
  • helping create respectful workplaces, corporate diversity and inclusion, organizational effectiveness, psychological health and safety, employee engagement and employee learning and development

Previous roles

  • Deputy Minister, Department of Community Services
  • Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage
  • Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage
  • Associate Deputy Minister, Communications Nova Scotia
  • Managing Director, Corporate Communications, Communications Nova Scotia