Board of Directors
A distinguished panel
The membership of SRDC’s board of directors comprises a distinguished panel of experts with interest in public policy.
Richard A. Wagner
Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Mr. Wagner is a partner in the law firm Norton Rose. His practice focuses on Canadian federal administrative and regulatory laws that affect business, including competition/antitrust law, government procurement law and particularly international trade law, where his expertise has been recognized by several independent organizations. Mr. Wagner regularly advises and represents Canadian and foreign clients in relation to customs, trade, competition and procurement issues before government departments and agencies, tribunals and the courts.
Immediate Past President, MDRC
From 1990 to 2019, Gordon Berlin was the President of MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization based in New York City and Oakland, California, that is dedicated to learning what works to improve the lives of low-income people. Before joining MDRC in 1990, he was Executive Deputy Administrator for Management, Budget, and Policy at the New York City Human Resources Administration. He also was Deputy Director of the Ford Foundation’s Urban Poverty program and worked as a program analyst and project officer in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. Berlin was the founding Executive Director of the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation.
Berlin has authored and coauthored numerous publications, including Poverty and Philanthropy: Strategies for Change; Rewarding the Work of Individuals: A Counterintuitive Approach to Reducing Poverty and Strengthening Families; and What Works in Welfare Reform: Evidence and Lessons to Guide TANF Reauthorization. He has served on a number of boards and advisory committees, including for the National Academy of Sciences, the MacArthur Foundation-funded Network on Transitions to Adulthood, the National Poverty Center, and Youth Service America.
IPAC Immediate Past President and Former Deputy Minister, Government of Alberta
Maria David-Evans, former Deputy Minister with the Government of Alberta retired in 2011 after 45 years of public service. Her 14 years as Deputy included the Ministries of: Family and Social Services; Learning; Infrastructure; Children’s Services; and Aboriginal Relations. She also served for 30 years with the City of Edmonton in the Departments of: Planning; Community and Family Services; and completed her career as General Manager of Edmonton Parks and Recreation, the largest municipal department in Canada at that time.
Ms. David-Evans is a sessional instructor with the Faculty of Business at the University of Alberta. Her education includes: under graduate work in Biology, Recreation Administration, Math and Economics. She holds two Masters degrees: MBA and MA (Sociology). She has completed all her course work towards a PhD in Criminology. She is also a Registered Social Worker and was awarded a Fellowship at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business: Center for Social Innovation.
Ms. David-Evans has received numerous awards for her leadership and community work, and presently serves on six boards, from national to local, including IPAC.
Erica Di Ruggiero, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Global Public Health Education and Training
Director, Collaborative Specialization in Global Health
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Erica Di Ruggiero, PhD, is Director, Office of Global Public Health Education & Training, Director of the Collaborative Specialization in Global Health, and Assistant Professor, Social and Behavioural Health Sciences Division at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (University of Toronto). Prior to joining the university in 2016, she was the inaugural Deputy Scientific Director with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Institute of Population and Public Health, where she led the design, implementation, and evaluation of research, partnership, and knowledge translation initiatives to address priorities including global health, health equity, environments and health, and population health intervention research. She previously worked in health policy at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and was a nutrition and public health research consultant for such organizations as Cancer Care Ontario, Health Canada, and Ottawa Public Health. She has served as Honorary Vice President, American Public Health Association and chair, Canadian Public Health Association. She has previously held adjunct and status faculty appointments at the University of Toronto. Erica received a Masters of Health Science (community nutrition) and a PhD in public health sciences from the University of Toronto. She is also a registered dietitian. Her research and teaching interests include the study of population health interventions (e.g., health and health equity effects of work policies), global agenda setting processes in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, evaluation of global health research capacity building initiatives, and partnership, governance, and knowledge exchange strategies that influence public health decision-making at national and global levels.
Robert Flynn, Ph.D.
Emeritus professor, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa
Robert Flynn is an emeritus professor in the School of Psychology and a senior researcher at the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services at the University of Ottawa. He continues to teach graduate courses in program evaluation and experimental psychology. He is the principal investigator of the Ontario Looking after Children (OnLAC) project, in partnership with the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies and some 45 local Children’s Aid Societies. His current research also includes a study of the transitions made by young people in care in Ontario towards university, college, or apprenticeships.
Pierre-Gerlier Forest, Ph.D., FCAHS
Director and Palmer Chair, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary
Pierre-Gerlier (PG) Forest, PhD is the director and Palmer Chair for the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. Prior to joining the University of Calgary in 2016, PG Forest was the director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Health and Social Policy at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Before that, he was the president of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, a Canadian institution supporting policy innovation and the dissemination of actionable research results. After an academic career at Université Laval, where he taught public policy and public management, PG Forest was appointed in 2002 to the G.D.W. Cameron Visiting Chair with Health Canada, the federal department of health, before becoming Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Scientist (2004-2006). As the principal scientific advisor to the Minister of Health, PG Forest was accountable for the quality and integrity of the scientific and regulatory research conducted by the department. Dr. Forest is author or co-author of more than 150 scientific papers and books, including Changing Health Care in Canada and Paradigm Freeze. PG Forest holds adjunct professorships with the School of Public Health, Université de Montréal, and the National School for Public Administration (Quebec). He was elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2008. Dr. Forest received his MA from Université Laval and PhD from Université de Montréal.
Deputy Minister – Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility
Deputy Minister – Ministry of Francophone Affairs
Marie-Lison has been a Deputy Minister with the Ontario government since 2015. In June 2018, she was appointed Deputy Minister for the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility, as well as for the Ministry of Francophone Affairs.
Ms. Fougère has more than 25 years of experience in the Ontario Public Service. Her prior positions include Interim Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; Assistant Deputy Minister of the Strategic Policy and Programs Division at the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; Assistant Deputy Minister at the Office of Francophone Affairs; and a variety of senior management roles at the Ministry of Education.
Ms. Fougère studied Political Science and German Literature at Dalhousie University in Halifax and Heidelberg University in Germany. She also holds a Master’s degree from York University in Toronto, and is fluent in French, English, and German.
Renée F. Lyons, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Dalhousie University
Founding Chair and Scientific Director Emeritus, Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation, University of Toronto
Dr. Lyons is the Founding Chair and Scientific Director Emeritus of the Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and Bridgepoint Health. She has been developing a new research and research training program in health systems re-engineering and chronic disease. She was also Adjunct Professor, a former Tier One Canada Research Chair in Health Promotion and former Scientific Director of the Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre (AHPRC), Dalhousie University. She was Special Advisor to the President of CIHR for three years.
The focus of her work has been the social context of chronic disease with emphasis on knowledge translation (KT) and health policy. She has been principal investigator for over $30 M in health research funding for large health promotion, chronic disease and knowledge translation projects, including work on stroke, health and human relationships, rural health, and physical and social environments and health.
In 2008 Dr. Lyons was elected Fellow to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Dr. Lyons received her university education at Dalhousie University, Xavier University (Cincinnati), the University of Oregon, and UCLA.
James R. Mitchell, Ph.D.
Founding partner, Sussex Circle
Jim Mitchell is a founding partner of the Ottawa policy-consulting firm Sussex Circle. Jim has provided policy and organizational advice to ministers and senior officials in virtually every area of federal responsibility, from foreign and defence policy to public sector reform. Prior to founding Sussex Circle, Jim was Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Machinery of Government), where he was responsible for advising the Secretary to the Cabinet and the Prime Minister on the organization of government, the reform and renewal of the Public Service, and other public management issues. Earlier, he served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Board and held positions in the Privy Council Office and Department of Foreign Affairs.
Well-known as an author and lecturer on public administration and policy, Jim holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Colorado.
Andrew Parkin, Ph.D.
Executive Director of the Environics Institute
Andrew Parkin is the Executive Director of the Environics Institute for Survey Research, a not-for-profit agency created in 2006 to promote relevant and original public opinion and social research on important issues of public policy and social change.
Prior to joining the Institute, Andrew served as the Director of the Mowat Centre (2007-19), Director General of the Council of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC) (2010-14), Associate Executive Director and Director of Research and Program Development at the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation (2004-10), and Co-Director of the Centre for Research and Information on Canada (2000-04). He has also worked as an independent public policy analyst and consultant, providing strategic advice, issue analysis, and policy research to a variety of national and international clients in the areas of education and skills development, social and economic policy, and public opinion research. Andrew has convened, informed, and led national and international discussions on a wide range of public policy issues and acted as an authoritative public spokesperson on education, federalism, and the Canadian political community in both official languages.
A political sociologist by background, he completed his post-doctorate at Dalhousie University, his Ph.D. at the University of Bradford (U.K.), and his B.A. (Honours) at Queen’s University. He has received several academic honours, including a Commonwealth Scholarship and a Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship, and has authored or co-authored numerous publications on Canadian public policy.