May 21, 2021
Peter MacKinnon appointed interim director of The School of Public Policy
I am pleased to share the news that Peter MacKinnon has been appointed interim director of The School of Public Policy (SPP) from Sept. 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
Originally from Prince Edward Island, Peter’s working life has primarily been in Western Canada. In 2012, he stepped down after serving 13 years as president of the University of Saskatchewan where he had previously served 10 years as dean of law. Starting in 2012, he served for two years as the inaugural Prime Ministers of Canada Fellow at the Public Policy Forum in Ottawa. Then from 2014 to 2016, he served as interim president of Athabasca University, where he gained deep knowledge of the post-secondary system here in Alberta.
Following service as interim president of Dalhousie University in 2019, he was appointed to the Applicant Board charged with setting up the new digital research infrastructure organization (NDRIO) that, along with CANARIE, will be responsible for digital research infrastructure support in Canada. He now serves as vice-chair of the inaugural NDRIO board.
MacKinnon holds a BA from Dalhousie University, an LLB from Queen’s University, and an LLM from the University of Saskatchewan. He has authored numerous scholarly legal articles, commentaries and reports. He is co-editor of three books, and the author of two recent volumes on universities published by the University of Toronto Press. His latest manuscript: Canada in Question: Exploring Our Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century has been approved for publication by University of Toronto Press.
He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2011, was named Queen's Counsel in 1990, and has received many other honours including honorary degrees from six Canadian post-secondary institutions. Attracting a leader like Peter to our institution is a sign of the prominence of UCalgary and our School of Public Policy in the Canadian post-secondary landscape.
As previously announced, Pierre-Gerlier (PG) Forest, who has led SPP since 2016, commences his earned administrative leave on July 1, 2021 and following that leave PG will be assuming his position as a professor of community health sciences in the Cumming School of Medicine. During his impressive tenure as director, PG led an expansion of the school’s size and influence and enhanced the academic profile of the school. In accordance with university policy, I have asked our Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Teri Balser to commence the search for the next director and Palmer Chair of The School of Public Policy in the coming months.
Additionally, to bridge between the end of Forest’s term and when MacKinnon joins us in September, Kevin McQuillan, who currently holds the position of academic director in The School of Public Policy, will serve as acting director over the summer months before he begins his administrative leave at the end of August. Kevin has been an exemplary university citizen and we appreciate him stepping into this role while also working closely with the next academic director to ensure continuity for the SPP. The search for the next academic director is being commenced immediately by our provost and vice-president (academic) to ensure a smooth transition prior to Kevin’s leave.
Please join me in welcoming Peter to the University of Calgary and The School of Public Policy and in thanking PG Forest and Kevin McQuillan for the work they have done and continue to do to ensure the future success of the SPP.
President and Vice-Chancellor