Students from the Munk School’s Master of Global Affairs (MGA) and Master of Public Policy (MPP) programs came together – virtually, of course – on November 6, 2020 to compete in the annual Policy-at-Munk Fall Case Competition. Thirty-eight students formed eight teams to tackle a major policy issue of our time: systemic racism in Canada’s justice system.

The Munk School’s case competition program offers students the chance to address policy challenges in real-world simulations, and to apply their growing policy knowledge, creativity and teamwork skills to complex public sector challenges. Teams had a week to prepare their presentations to a panel of judges from the Canadian, Ontario and Regional of Peel Public Services. The presentations were to define the central challenge, outline the risks, opportunities and complexities; highlight any implementation issues and fiscal implications; and include a communication strategy and stakeholder analysis.

The judging panel, which included two deputy ministers, an assistant deputy minister and a commissioner of Human Services, were all “extremely impressed” with the quality of proposals submitted by the teams. Munk School professors and senior fellows coached the teams. Several MPP alum, all of whom were past case competition competitors themselves, also offered their guidance.

The winning team was made up of Joshua Marando (MPP1), Alex Johnston (MGA1), Amber Chan (MPP1), and Eric Gu (MPP1) and was coached by Professor Mel Cappe and MPP alum Jason Apostolopoulos. Their challenge? To simulate an inter-ministerial team of federal policy analysts tasked with providing strategies to the federal government on how to tackle systemic racism in the justice system. Their winning proposal was a strategy that would tackle both acute and long-term manifestations of systemic racism. The judges commended the team for “their comprehensive approach and strong analysis.”

“The Policy-at-Munk Case Competition was an excellent experience!” confirmed winning team member and MGA student Alexandrea Johnston. “It was amazing to work across programs with my MPP colleagues. I learned to break down large policy issues to make them more manageable, as well as a lot about the policy generation process.” MPP student and fellow team member Eric Gu agrees. “My first policy case competition experience was great. Tackling such an overarching issue as systemic racism pushed us to think beyond the immediate problems that we observe every day. Systemic problems require long-term multilateral investments and efforts.”

For full details of the competition, including copies of the decks and video of the two finalist teams making their presentations, visit