POLITICS

Katie Telford, Justin Trudeau's Possible New Chief Of Staff, Loves Numbers

10/28/2015 07:49 EDT | Updated 10/28/2015 11:59 EDT

Incoming prime minister Justin Trudeau is expected to name Katie Telford as his chief of staff, The Globe and Mail reported Tuesday.

Telford most recently served as director of the Liberal Party's successful election campaign that saw them elected to a majority government with 184 seats.

Her possible appointment would make her only the second female chief of staff to a PM, after Jodi White served Kim Campbell in 1993. And, at 37, Telford would also be among the youngest to hold the position.

But who is Katie Telford, and what roles has she served in leading up to one of the most important positions in Canadian politics?

She worked as a page when she was 12 years old.

katie telford

Telford's engagement in politics stretches all the way back to when she was 12 years old. At that time, the Toronto-raised daughter of public servants spent weeks working as a page at Queen's Park while Bob Rae led an NDP government, The Ottawa Citizen reported.

For her, politics is a game of numbers.

katie telford

In a YouTube video from 2013, she said when she wakes up in the morning, she checks her Blackberry and looks for an Excel spreadsheet that shows how much money was raised for the party the day before. But that was not the only campaign statistic she kept a close eye on.

"I love the numbers because they don't lie," she said.

She and Trudeau confidante Gerald Butts are longtime colleagues.

gerald butts

The two met while Telford ran the debating club at the University of Ottawa, at a time when Butts had won two consecutive national debating championships. They later worked together at Queen's Park — she for former education minister Gerard Kennedy, he for ex-premier Dalton McGuinty.

She served a previous Liberal leader.

stephane dion 2006 liberal leadership

After helming Gerard Kennedy's Liberal leadership run in 2006 (in which Trudeau had endorsed him), Telford served as deputy chief of staff for Stephane Dion when he won the job.

Kennedy was instrumental in making him leader; he dropped out of the race following the first ballot results, and supported Dion. He would go on to win the leadership over Michael Ignatieff, with 54.7 per cent of the vote.

Critics have called her too young and too "Toronto." She has proven them wrong.

katie telford

Telford faced plenty of criticism when Trudeau named her to helm his campaign for the leadership of the Liberal Party, The Toronto Star reported.

"A lot of the usual suspects called up and said, 'No, no, no. You need someone 'grownup' in charge; you need someone with a steady hand,'" Trudeau told the Star in 2013. He said of those critics, "Oh, OK — one of those people who've done so well by us in the last three election cycles."

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