Chairs in Public Policy

To bring a research focus to important public policy areas in Ontario, eight Chairs were selected as part of the $25 million Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy program, funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (formerly the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities). After a selection process administered by COU, the following scholars are now in place at Ontario’s universities:

Chair in Educational Achievement and At-Risk Youth, McMaster University – Dr. Karen Robson, PhD Applied Social and Economic Research

Dr. Karen Robson is an Associate Professor of Sociology at McMaster University. She works together with the Toronto District School Board to look at issues around the transition of high school students to postsecondary education in Ontario. She leads a large research team, which includes members in Chicago, New York City, London, Vancouver, and Toronto. With a strong commitment to longitudinal and comparative research, Dr. Robson examines the educational pathways of young people in major cities around the world, using policy contexts to understand major differences in where young people end up after high school.

For more information on Dr. Robson’s work, visit her profile on McMaster University’s website here.

Chair in Bioethics, Queen’s University – Dr. Udo Schüklenk, PhD Philosophy/Bioethics

Dr. Udo Schüklenk works within Queen’s University’s Philosophy Department on issues of philosophy and health care. Recruited from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, he is a world leader in Bioethics, conducting research on HIV/AIDS, research ethics, gay rights and the ethics of biomedical research and clinical medicine in the developing world. As Chair, Dr. Schüklenk is further developing the scholarship on medical resources, multiculturalism and health care, and the social impacts of medical research. He is also adding his voice to the Institute of Population and Public Health. Dr. Schüklenk has a Ph.D. in Bioethics from Monash University in Australia.

For more information on Dr. Udo Schuklenk’s work, visit his research blog here.

Chair in Health Policy and System Design, University of Toronto – Dr. Gregory Marchildon, PhD Economic History

Dr. Gregory P. Marchildon currently works within the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Prior to this, he served as a Canada Research Chair in Public Policy and Economic History, and professor in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina.  He is also a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, a founding member of the Pan-Canadian Health Reform Analysis Network (PHRAN) and associate editor of PHRAN’s journal, the Health Reform Observer. He has written extensively on subjects ranging from public policy and administration to Canadian history and trade relations. Dr. Marchildon has a Ph.D in economic history from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

For more information on Dr. Gregory Marchildon’s work, visit his website here.

Chair in Biomarkers in Disease Management, University of Toronto – Dr. Andrew Emili, PhD Economics

Dr. Andrew Emili is a recognized leader in the proteomics field internationally and has attracted major funding from Genome Canada, the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, the McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine and the CIHR to help establish a first-rate research laboratory. Dr. Emili will continue to work in the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. His laboratory features advanced training opportunities in technology development, proteomics screening, biomarker evaluations, genetics, molecular biology and computational biology. Dr. Emili has a Ph.D. in Molecular and Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto.

For more information on Dr. Andrew Emili’s work, visit his profile on the Donnelly Centre’s website here.

Chair in Postsecondary Education Policy and Measurement, University of Toronto – Dr. Glen Jones, PhD Higher Education

Dr. Glen Jones is a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and will conduct his work within the Higher Education graduate program at OISE. Dr. Jones has a strong international reputation in Canadian and Ontarian higher education policy, including research that focuses on the structure and organization of provincial higher education and higher education policy, and the unique nature of the Canadian federal structure in relation to higher education policy. He has also conducted research in specific policy areas, such as accessibility, governance, internationalization and funding. Dr. Jones has a PhD in Higher Education from the University of Toronto.

For more information on Dr. Glen Jones’ work, visit his research page on the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education’s website.

NOTE: Dr. Jones’ term as Chair ends on June 30. Dr. Ruth Childs has been appointed to the Chair effective July 1, 2017. You can visit the announcement on the University of Toronto’s OISE Website here.

Chair in Public Policy for Sustainable Energy Management, University of Waterloo – Dr. Jatin Nathwani, PhD Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry

Dr. Jatin Nathwani is the Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, which brings the knowledge and expertise of 70 UW faculty members to help shape directions for the future development of Ontario’s energy resources and manage complex environmental policy issues. Dr. Nathwani has worked in a leadership capacity in the energy sector, focusing on strategy, policy developments, management of risk and strategic R&D activities. He is a member of the Ontario Smart Grid Forum and serves as a board member of the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Energy. Dr. Nathwani has a Ph.D. in Engineering and Environment from the University of Toronto.

For more information on Dr. Jatin Nathwani’s work, visit the Water Institute for Sustainable Energy website here.

Chair in Cross-Border Transportation, University of Windsor – Dr. William Anderson, PhD Geography

Dr. William P. Anderson is a Professor of Political Science and the Director of a new interdisciplinary Institute of Cross-Border Transportation Studies at the University of Windsor. Dr. Anderson has an international reputation as a scholar in transportation studies and has a strong research and public policy record. He has served as Acting Director of the Boston University Center for Transportation Studies and Director of the McMaster Institute for Energy Studies. Dr. Anderson has a PhD in Geography from Boston University.

For more information on Dr. William Anderson’s work, visit his profile on the University of Windsor website.

Chair in Economics and Cross Cultural Studies, York University – Dr. Douglas Cumming, Phd Economics and Finance

Dr. Douglas Cumming was appointed to the Schulich School of Business to work with faculty members and students, business leaders and policy makers to determine how to adapt and implement promising new policies in Ontario. His research has focused on identifying policies that either promote or inhibit competitiveness, and much of his work has involved international comparisons. Dr. Cumming has a Ph.D. in Economics and Finance from the University of Toronto.

For more information on Dr. Douglas Cumming’s work, visit his profile on the Schulich School of Business’ website here.


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