WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government has a new top civil servant.

In a news release Thursday morning, Premier Brian Pallister announced David McLaughlin has been appointed as clerk of the executive council and secretary to cabinet.

McLaughlin replaces Fred Meier, who took over as president of Red River College.

“Mr. McLaughlin is more than qualified to take on this new leadership role for Manitoba,” said Pallister. “His vast experience in government at both the provincial and federal levels and knowledge of the Manitoba government’s needs and priorities, make him the right choice and fit to serve as clerk at this time.”

McLaughlin has more than 30 years of government experience at both the provincial and federal levels. The province noted he served more than four years in the executive council in the government of New Brunswick.

McLaughlin was president and CEO of the independent National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, a deputy position in the federal government. He has also served in the Prime Minister’s Office, the office of the federal minister of finance, and the office of the premier of Manitoba.

In his new position, McLaughlin is also deputy minister for the Climate and Green Plan Implementation Office.

During a news conference on Thursday, Pallister noted McLaughlin is already in the province, but self-isolating for 14 days.

McLaughlin begins his new role on May 20.