November 3, 2014 | By Public Policy Admin |
Senior Policy Analyst, Pharmaceutical Services, Government of New Brunswick
Year of Graduation: 2009
Prior Education: BA from McGill University
Prior Experience: Evaluation Officer, Audit and Evaluation Division & Strategic Outcomes Analyst, Policy and Strategic Direction Division, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Government of Canada; Workforce Analyst, Workforce Policy and Planning Branch, Ministry of Health, Government of Alberta
MPP Summer Internship: Policy and Evaluation Intern, Audit and Evaluation Division, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
What influenced your decision to attend SPPG?
The opportunity to participate in a small program within a big university campus. While the MPP program allowed me to get to create a close network of friends and peers, SPPG’s location within the greater UofT community meant there was always an opportunity to hear a speaker in a different faculty or on a different campus.
What is your favourite memory of SPPG?
At the very end of my first year, in April 2008, I was finalizing a paper for the Strategic Implementation course (PPG 1007) on the modern treaty process between the Federal Government and First Nations in British Columbia. I had just come from the 3rd floor office where I had dropped off the paper, and my phone rang. The woman on the phone said she was calling from the office of Paul Martin, the Member of Parliament, and asked if she could put me through to him. I had emailed him a few weeks before regarding comments he had made to the media about the treaty process. I ended up spending an hour on the phone with him discussing treaties, law and policies related to treaties. After hanging up with him, it hit me just how passionate he was about politics and policy, and how optimistic he was that policy making could achieve some positive outcomes. That conversation reaffirmed for me that I had made the right decision to pursue a Master’s in Public Policy, that SPPG was the right place for me since the courses and the SPPG community were enabling me to ask the right questions and engage in incredible conversations, and that a career in public service was truly what I wanted for myself. (Of course, I raced upstairs to the 3rd floor, grabbed my paper out of the inbox and rewrote a few sections to include pieces of my conversation with Paul Martin!).
What is a typical day like at your current job?
I alternate between quiet time at a my desk, where I try to ignore the never-ending emails about the issues du jour in order to focus on longer-term policy briefings and documents, and meetings during which I connect with colleagues in other areas of the department or the Government of Albert. These meetings most often consist of trying to work out solutions so that all our respective policy areas can achieve the policy mandates we’ve been giving without causing conflicts or barriers with each other’s policy mandates. The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that the public service often gets handed down conflicting policy goals (i.e. goals that may in fact work against each other, or between which there is some friction or very little alignment). The intellectual challenge of finding the best way to achieve all our policy goals with the least conflict or negative repercussions is what I love most about my job.
Who inspires you?
My dad. He had a long career in public service (in both government and in NGOs) in a field he was (and is still) passionate about. I can’t think of a better role model for building a career and a family you love. He still inspires with the best advice I could possibly ask for.
What are your favorite Toronto activities, places or restaurants?
Victory Café (581 Markham St.). A beer and a grilled cheese sandwich on a Sunday night with my good friend Karen was always the best way to break up a marathon of paper writing. The trip on the streetcar and the ferry to get to Toronto Islands.
What aspects of your MPP program did you most appreciate?
The broad exposure to multiple fields of study. The philosophy at SPPG is absolutely correct: policy making in government is definitely not done from a single lens or by looking at a problem from a single point of view. The breadth of exposure SPPG provided me with allowed me to better recognize, now that I’m actually in government, when I’m missing some important aspects of the problem and when different lenses might provide a better (or more creative or more wholistic) solution.
What book are you reading now?
Canada by Richard Ford
The Dogs Are Eating Them Now by Graeme Smith
Moon Travel Handbook for Croatia and Slovenia by Shann Fountain Culo