Deputy Minister and Chief Executive Officer

Ava Czapalay

Ava Czapalay was appointed Deputy Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration on August, 2021. Ms. Czapalay leads the effort to help Nova Scotia increase the number of immigrants and newcomers to the province and works with partners, stakeholders, and businesses to identify labour needs. Supporting immigration and retention is a key government priority and plays an important role in the province’s economic growth.

Prior to this appointment, Ms. Czapalay was the Associate Deputy Minister of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education following her role as Senior Executive Director of the Higher Education Branch of NS Labour and Advanced Education.

As the Associate Deputy Minister for Labour and Advanced Education, Ms. Czapalay oversaw the development and implementation of the business plan, budget, and strategic planning priorities ensuring a strong focus on human resource management, organizational health, and equity, diversity and inclusion. In her role, Ms. Czapalay provided oversight of the Department’s operations, working closely with the Deputy Minister and senior management to advance key initiatives.

Ms. Czapalay believes in fostering strong relationships with partners and stakeholders. While at LAE, she served as Co-chair of the Deputy Ministers’ Skills and Digitalization Action Group and the Provincial Sexual Violence Prevention Committee. She was also a member of the Board of Research Nova Scotia, the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, the Labour Market Information Council (LMIC), and past-chair of the ADM Post-Secondary Education Committee of the Council of Ministers of Education and Training, Canada (CMEC). Ms. Czapalay has also represented Nova Scotia at numerous federal/provincial/territorial ADM tables. From 2005-2012, Ms. Czapalay served as founding President and CEO of EduNova, a co-operative organization focused on the global marketing and promotion of Nova Scotia’s education and training sector. During this period, Ms. Czapalay established an office, EduNova Gulf, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Prior to EduNova, Ms. Czapalay worked as a corporate strategist for the Province with expertise in higher education, research, and international trade.

Prior to joining the Nova Scotia Government in 1997, Ms. Czapalay was the Assistant Registrar at Dalhousie University. Ms. Czapalay is the Vice-Chair of the International Women’s Forum - Atlantic Chapter and sits on the Board of Discovery Centre International. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English, a Bachelor of Education, and a Master of Education degree – all from Dalhousie University. In June 2020, Ms. Czapalay completed the Graduate Certificate program in Workplace Innovation (Royal Roads University).

Phone: 902-424-5230