Brett Thalmann ‘03, Alumni of Distinction Award Recipient 2021
“I credit TFS for all of my successes. They gave me the tools for critical thinking and encouraged me to ask the right questions, to challenge the status quo, and not to take anything for granted.”
Since his years at TFS, Brett Thalmann has made it his mission to make positive societal change. It’s a trait that highly suits his present role as the executive director of planning, administration, and people in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada.
Immediately after being appointed to the PMO in 2020, Brett was involved in many change-making moments. He joined with experts from across Canada to craft Bill C-65, the federal policy on sexual harassment and violence in the workplace, which came into effect on January 1, 2021. He was also a participant when the prime minister, finance minister, and senior legislators determined a strategy to benefit Canadians and businesses during the pandemic.
Previously, he led the Liberal Party of Canada’s Ontario campaign, recruiting the diverse candidates that later allowed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to form Canada’s first gender-balanced cabinet.
“I credit TFS for all of my successes,” he says. “They gave me the tools for critical thinking and encouraged me to ask the right questions, to challenge the status quo, and not to take anything for granted.”
As TFS Student Council president Brett restarted the house system, which remains in place today. As a business student and head of the University of Pennsylvania’s student government, he worked to ensure diverse student representation on key committees and built an on-campus coalition of LGBTQI students.
Reflecting on his TFS journey, Brett offers this advice to new TFS grads:
“Get involved in something you are passionate about because you can have a big impact, more than you even realize.”