Advisory Board

Faculty Advisors

Drew Fagan

Drew Fagan is a professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, where he teaches a course in policy implementation and engages in other initiatives. Drew was an Ontario deputy minister, including of infrastructure and of tourism, culture and sport with responsibility for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games. He was also head of policy planning at the federal Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Before entering government, he worked at The Globe and Mail, including as Ottawa bureau chief and head of the editorial board. Drew now has his own policy consulting company, is senior counsel at NATIONAL Public Relations and is a senior fellow with university institutes and independent think tanks, including the Public Policy Forum.

Janet Mason

Janet Mason teaches at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.  She came to the school after a long career as an executive in the Ontario Public  working in a diverse range of policy fields.   Some highlights of her career include leading the policy development and implementation of a new Municipal Act for Ontario, the major expansion of graduate education in the province and devolution of social housing to the Municipal level.    Since leaving government she has remained active in policy reform, participating as a member of Mayor John Tory’s Task Force on Toronto Community Housing from January 2016 to January 2016.

External Advisors

Andrew Coyne

Andrew Coyne is a Columnist with the National Post. Andrew Coyne’s journalism career has also included positions with Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail and the Southam newspaper chain. In addition, he has contributed to a wide range of other publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Time and Saturday Night. Coyne is also a long-time member of the CBC’s popular At Issue panel on The National.

Alastair Cheng

Alastair Cheng is an editor and (recovering) publisher, who does content strategy for business and nonprofit clients. He worked for a long time at the Literary Review of Canada—which covers culture and public affairs, mainly through essays and nonfiction book reviews—starting as an editorial assistant and finishing as co-publisher. Alastair has also worked as a political staffer on Parliament Hill, and studied philosophy and history at the University of Toronto.

Jennifer Ditchburn

Jennifer Ditchburn is the editor-in-chief of Policy Options, the IRPP’s online policy forum.  An award-winning parliamentary correspondent, Jennifer began her journalism career at the Canadian Press in Montreal as a reporter-editor during the lead-up to the 1995 referendum. From 2001 and 2006 she was a national reporter with CBC Television on Parliament Hill, and in 2006 she returned to the Canadian Press, where she had previously worked. Jennifer has been a frequent contributor to television and radio public affairs programs, including CBC’s Power and Politics, the “At Issue” panel, and The Current. She holds a bachelor of arts from Concordia University, and a master of journalism from Carleton University.

Vass Bednar

Vass Bednar is the Head of Public Policy at Delphia, an artificial intelligence company that is working to empower citizens to reclaim the value of their personal data. Prior to this role, she was a Policy Associate at Airbnb where she worked with legislative bodies and government agencies on fair rules for homesharing. She previously chaired the Expert Panel on Youth Employment for the federal government. Vass earned a Master’s degree in public policy from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance and served as Associate Director of the Rotman School of Management’s Martin Prosperity Institute, where she worked with urbanist Richard Florida on a range of economic geography projects. A proud millennial wonk, Bednar has also worked as a Senior Advisor at Queen’s Park and has successfully completed the Action Canada and Civic Action DiverseCity fellowships. She was previously the co-host of Detangled, a pop-culture and public-policy radio show.

Michael Valpy

Michael Valpy is a Canadian journalist and author. He wrote for the Globe and Mail newspaper where he covered both political and human interest stories until retiring in 2012. Through a long career at the Globe, he has been a reporter, Toronto- and Ottawa-based national political columnist, member of the editorial board, deputy managing editor, and Africa-based correspondent during the last years of apartheid. He is a Senior Fellow at Massey College.

Ian Clark

Ian Clark became Professor at University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance in 2007 after nine years as President of the Council of Ontario Universities. Clark has served on the executive board of the International Monetary Fund and in six different departments in the Government of Canada, including as Deputy Secretary in the Privy Council Office, Deputy Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, and Secretary of the Treasury Board.

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