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May 07, 2009

School of Public Policy and Governance appoints founding Director of the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation

May 7, 2009

New Centre will Link Research, Public Engagement and Government Policy with a Focus on Ontario’s Interests.

TORONTO, ONTARIO – The School of Public Policy and Governance (SPPG) is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Mendelsohn as founding Director of the newly established Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation.

“We’re very fortunate to have recruited Dr. Mendelsohn to head up this new initiative,” said SPPG Director Dr. Mark Stabile. “The School is building a core group of senior researchers with strong academic credentials and executive experience in the public sector. This combination will make the SPPG Canada’s leading home for connecting public policy research and government policy making.”

The new research institute was established with seed money from the Ontario Government with a mandate to undertake applied public policy research on federal issues that impact on Ontario. These issues will include Employment Insurance, fiscal transfers, immigration, economic transformation and global city regions. The Mowat Centre also has a mandate to conduct its work through new, more open methods of collaborative policy development, bringing together government decision makers, public policy researchers and the broader community.

“Ontario has distinct interests within Canada and public policy research can influence the federal policy agenda by bringing evidence, analysis and understanding to the public debate,” said Dr. Mendelsohn.

“Canadians will be better situated to address our most pressing societal challenges if we can foster a better understanding among public policy researchers, government decision makers, and community organizations that deal with the impacts of policy decisions.”

Dr. Mendelsohn combines senior level government experience, with a track record of scholarly research, He served as a Deputy Minister in Ontario from 2004-2009 and was a tenured member of the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University from 1994-2004.

About Matthew Mendelsohn

Dr. Mendelsohn joined the Ontario Public Service in January 2004 as a Deputy Minister where he held responsibility, variously, for Intergovernmental Affairs, the Democratic Renewal Secretariat and the Office of International Relations and Protocol. He also served as Associate Secretary to Cabinet. During his time in the Ontario government, he led work on the creation of Ontario’s Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, Ontario’s intergovernmental strategy on fiscal issues, the first-ever Quebec-Ontario joint cabinet meeting, and the coordination of Ontario’s negotiating strategy on many intergovernmental agreements on issues including immigration, labour market training and infrastructure.

Prior to his work with the Ontario Government, Dr. Mendelsohn was a member of the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University from 1994-2004. He published widely on Canadian and Quebec politics, public opinion, the media, federalism, and democratic institutions and democratic reform. He also served as Director of the university’s Canadian Opinion Research Archive. From 1996-1998, he took a leave from Queen’s to work with the federal government as a Senior Advisor in Privy Council Office.

Dr. Mendelsohn received his B.A. from McGill and Ph.D. from the l’Université de Montréal, and was a SSHRC post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia.

About the School of Public Policy and Governance

A multidisciplinary hub for public policy discourse, teaching and scholarship, the School of Public Policy & Governance brings together a diverse and extensive community of academics and practitioners. Its innovative Master of Public Policy program (MPP) educates students to be effective practitioners and leaders in public policy. The MPP program is structured to cultivate a theoretical as well as a practical “real-life learning” education, where courses are taught by leading policy practitioners alongside academics. The School offers a comprehensive core curriculum that includes an internship program connecting MPP students to job opportunities in the policy community.

The School is part of Canada’s most renowned University, located in one of the most multicultural and vibrant cities in the world.

About the Mowat Centre

The Mowat Centre for Public Policy Innovation was established in 2008 and is housed in the School of Public Policy and Governance. The Centre will have a small staff and will undertake, commission, publish and publicize public policy research on federal issues that impact on Ontario’s future.

The Mowat Centre will help operationalize public policy research into government policy through innovative methods of networking, dialogue and collaboration among researchers, decision-makers, and thought leaders in Ontario. It will also work to promote better understanding between decision-makers establishing policy frameworks, scholars conducting public policy research and community organizations and the broader public.