Top N.L. civil servant leaving for medical association

Robert Thompson is stepping down as clerk of the Executive Council to become executive director of the NLMA.

Robert Thompson will be the new executive director of NLMA

There will soon be a new person leading the civil service in Confederation Building.

Robert Thompson is stepping down as clerk of the Executive Council and leaving government for a job with the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association.

He begins his new position on Sept. 1.

Robert Thompson was first appointed clerk of the Executive Council in 2003. (CBC)

"On behalf of the NLMA board of directors and all physicians of the province, I would like to formally welcome Mr. Thompson to our association," NLMA president Dr. Yordan Karaivanov said in a letter posted on the association's website.

"We look forward to working with him as we continue to advance the priorities of physicians and our patients."

Thompson has been a key player in government for a decade — a government that has, at times, clashed with the medical association.

He was appointed clerk in 2003, when the Progressive Conservatives took office under then-premier Danny Williams.

Prior to that, Thompson had served seven years in deputy minister roles.

After his first appointment as clerk, Thompson was subsequently moved into key positions in Natural Resources and Health.

Williams tapped him to lead the government's review of the health-care system sparked by the breast-cancer testing scandal and the Cameron Inquiry.

He was reappointed clerk of the Executive Council in 2010, after Premier Kathy Dunderdale assumed office.

Thompson's replacement is expected to be announced in the coming days, according to the premier's office.