Professor and Coordinator, Public Relations Program
The coordinator for the Algonquin Public Relations program, Stephen Heckbert brings almost 20 years experience in strategic communications, media training, public and media relations, media analysis, marketing, writing and project management to every project.
A 2003 honouree as one of Ottawa’s “40 Under 40” by the Ottawa Business Journal, Stephen has provided strategic communications advice and counsel to many senior executives and high-ranking public servants. Recently, he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff/Director of Communications to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration as well as Director of Communications for the federal election campaign in Ontario by the Liberal Party of Canada.
Stephen began his career as a journalist, working with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Sherbrooke Record and the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal before, during and after completing his studies for a Masters in Journalism at Carleton University. He started his communications career with the New Brunswick Department of Finance as the Director of Communications to the Minister.
Stephen’s private sector experience includes more than three years as an executive with EDS Canada as Vice President of Communications. He also served as the Chief Operating Officer for NewsWatch and helped lead a significant turnaround for that subsidiary of CCL by launching a media analysis service for that company’s clients.
A graduate of the University of Prince Edward Island with a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, majors in English and philosophy, Stephen is an accredited public relations practitioner, and is a past-president of the Canadian Public Relations Society in Ottawa-Gatineau. He is also a former member of the board of directors of CODE (the Canadian Organization for Development through Education) and the International Book Bank.
He has presented on crisis communications, on public engagement strategy and practice, on corporate reputation and expectations management, and on working with political staff in a government environment.