Neil Yeates retired in the fall of 2013 from a 32-year career in the public service with the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan. During this period, he worked for ten federal and provincial departments and served as deputy minister for four departments and as associate or assistant deputy minister for six. Yeates has a wide range of knowledge and experience in health, social services, Indigenous affairs, education, regulatory systems, and industry. He has mentored many people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
From 2009 to 2013, Yeates served as the deputy minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada at a time of extensive policy and program changes across the spectrum of immigration, refugee, and citizenship programs.
Today, Yeates works as a consultant on public policy and management issues and is involved in a number of advisory and volunteer activities, including serving as co-chair of the newly formed C.D. Howe Institute's Human Capital Council, which was created to develop a research agenda focused on the rapidly changing world of work. Yeates is also the chair of the Board of the Trans Canada Trail, a member of the Department of Justice Audit Committee, and a member of the Treasury Board Advisory Committee on Policy Suite Renewal. In parallel, he is in the midst of leading an independent review of the asylum determination process in Canada for the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Yeates received a bachelor of arts (honours) from Queen's University in politics and history and an master of arts in political science from the University of Regina.