Dear students and members of the Munk School community,

A warm welcome to you as we begin another academic year as the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Our first-year Master of Global Affairs and Master of Public Policy students have completed rigorous quantitative boot camps; our second-year students have returned from completing their internships in multiple sectors, both here in Canada and abroad. Through Student Leadership Initiatives like the Public Good Initiative, Beyond the Headlines, Spectrum and Global Conversations, our students are employing their considerable talents in service of the community at large.

We have just welcomed several new faculty members to the School, including Stephan Heblich, Munk Chair in Economics, and Phillip Lipscy, Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Japan. I’d also like to extend my sincere thanks to Louis Pauly for his leadership and vision during his tenure as Interim Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Japan. Earlier this year, Ariana Bradford joined as the school’s administrative Executive Director.

Our dual degree with Sciences Po in Paris is thriving, with a new cohort beginning here at the Munk School this fall. This year, we will also begin recruiting students for our new dual degree program with the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. We have established a formal partnership, based on exchange and faculty cooperation, with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, and continue to expand our partnerships with other leading institutions around the world. Our global footprint is expanding year-by-year.

The Munk School’s outstanding faculty continue to generate important research through labs and initiatives — from the Citizen Lab’s exposure of vulnerabilities in WhatsApp’s platform and the Global Justice Lab’s work on guns and gangs, to the Urban Policy Lab’s work on the Council Scorecard and Future Skills’ research on the changing world of work.Innovation Policy Lab co-director Dan Breznitz is now leading a new CIFAR program on “Innovation, Equity and the Future of Prosperity.”

For my part, I am just back from a month’s research in Berlin and Hamburg on supply chains, migration, and human trafficking. As ever, the Munk School opened doors, and the research was greatly assisted by our Global Migration Lab.

As we head into the federal election, Munk School experts are helping Canadians to understand the issues at play. Whether it is Drew Fagan in the New York Times, Sean Speer in The Globe and Mail, Peter Loewen in Maclean’s or Janice Stein in The Toronto Star, we are shaping the conversations on the issues that matter.

Last year’s Munk School Distinguished Lectures featured great thinkers such as Timothy Garton Ash, Sir Lawrence Freedman, Ignacio Sanchez-Cuenca, Shalini Randeria and former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves. The David Peterson Public Leadership Speaker Series included former Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, former B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Cindy Blackstock, among others. Harvard’s Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy Dani Rodrik delivered the Cadario Lecture on “Globalization’s Wrong Turn,” which later appeared as a piece in Foreign Affairs.

This year is already shaping up to be one of the best yet: Dr. Ramachandra Guha, Alan Harding and Michael Ignatieff will give Munk Distinguished Lectures. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is slated to return to the Munk School as part of the David Peterson Public Leadership Speaker Series. Just this past week, several faculty took part in the 8th annual Toronto International Film Festival Speaker Series, which features Munk School experts and filmmakers in conversation on films with global themes.

The Munk School has a reputation as a leader in interdisciplinary research, teaching and public engagement. As we begin this new academic year, I look forward to engaging with all of the members of this extraordinary community.

Warm regards,

Randall Hansen

September 17, 2019