Tony Dean

Distinguished Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
Tony Dean


Main bio

Tony Dean was appointed to the Senate of Canada as an Independent Senator in November 2016. He was formerly a professor at the graduate School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto from 2010-2017. 

In 2002, Dean was appointed as Cabinet Secretary and head of Ontario’s provincial public service (OPS), making him the principal public service advisor to both Conservative and Liberal premiers and responsible for a workforce of 63,000 public servants. Prior positions in the OPS included Deputy Minister in the Cabinet Office with responsibility for policy coordination, and Deputy Minister of Labour. 

Dean has advised governments in Canada, and internationally, on public administration and public service reform, and relationships between elected governments and their public servants.  He has chaired several expert panels at the federal and provincial levels.  

Dean has written and speaks regularly on public sector reform and leadership in the public sector.  His book, Building Better Public Services was published in 2015. He is a member of the Order of Ontario. 

In the Senate, Dean has sponsored legislation on the reform of the Canada Pension Plan, improvements to the Canada Labour Code, adjustments to federal COVID relief programs, the legalization of recreational cannabis and expedited pardons for simple possession of cannabis. 

Updated July 2023