After his career at Ridley, Michael Sabia attended the University of Toronto for his undergraduate studies and earned his graduate degree from Yale University. He held a number of senior positions in Canada's federal public service during the 1980s and early 1990s, including Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet of the Privy Council Office. His supervisor, Clerk of the Privy Council Paul Tellier, left the public service to assume the presidency of Crown corporation Canadian National Railway in the early 1990s and subsequently persuaded Michael to follow him to help in privatizing the company. He held a number of executive positions at Canadian National Railway during the 1990s, including the position of chief financial officer. Michael left Canadian National to join Bell Canada Enterprises in 1999 and became chief executive in 2002.
He was named chief executive of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and held that position until February, 2020 when he became the director of the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. In 2016, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2019, he was awarded the Maple Leaf Award of Distinction for his career accomplishments and philanthropic contributions in Canada, the United States and around the world.
In the spring of 2020, he was named chair of the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and, in December 2020, he was appointed by the Liberal federal government as deputy minister of finance, the department’s top public-service role.