A former Toronto newspaper columnist who served briefly as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's director of communications has been appointed as a citizenship judge.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says Angelo Persichilli will take on the role of citizenship judge for the Greater Toronto Area.

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Angelo Persichilli, a former Toronto newspaper columnist who served briefly as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's director of communications has been appointed as a citizenship judge. (Twitter)

Persichilli was hired as communications director in the Prime Minister's Office in August 2011, but resigned in March 2012 after less than a year in the job.

He cited the demands of the job and his age — he was 64 at the time — as reasons for leaving the post.

Born in Italy, Persichilli emigrated to Canada in 1975 and worked for Corriere Canadese, CFMT television and RAI-TV.

He also wrote columns for The Hill Times newspaper, the Toronto Sun and the Toronto Star.