Nov. 23, 2023

Martha Hall Findlay to lead School of Public Policy

Lawyer, senior business executive and former MP begins five-year term in January 2024
Martha Hall Findlay
Martha Hall Findlay

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to share that Martha Hall Findlay has been appointed as the new director of the School of Public Policy (SPP). She will begin her five-year term starting Jan. 8, 2024.

Throughout her career, Martha Hall Findlay has been dedicated to shaping public policy for Canadians. Having been a lawyer, senior business executive and former Member of Parliament, she brings a diverse set of skills and experience to the helm of Canada’s leading policy school.

Most recently she served as chief sustainability officer and chief climate officer for Suncor Energy, and before that was president and CEO of the Canada West Foundation, where she developed a reputation for being non-partisan, objective, and pragmatic by advocating for public policy solutions based on thorough research. She was also an executive fellow at the School of Public Policy in its early years.

As MP for Willowdale from 2008 to 2011, she was a member of the Official Opposition shadow cabinet and served on several House of Commons committees as the critic for International Trade, Finance, Government Works and Public Services, and Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities.

As a corporate lawyer and executive, she developed extensive experience in energy, telecommunications, sustainability, trade (international and internal) and global markets.

Hall Findlay holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, and completed the Directors Education Program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

The School of Public Policy is dedicated to developing Canada’s future policy leaders through practical and focused policy research, insightful educational opportunities including graduate programs in public policy (MPP) and sustainable energy development (SEDV) and meaningful debate. Hall Findlay is an experienced leader poised to help SPP researchers address some of Canada’s biggest challenges.

There was strong interest from qualified candidates in becoming the next leader of the School of Public Policy, given its impact through high-quality research and commentary.

An international search led by Janet Soles and Associates was conducted to find the best possible candidate to serve as the next director of the School of Public Policy. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the members of the advisory selection committee, that I chaired, for the time they dedicated to this important search. They are: Katrina Milaney (vice-president research representative), Myles Leslie (tenured academic staff representative), Blake Shaffer (tenured academic staff representative), Sarah Hastings-Simon (tenured academic staff representative), Jennifer Zwicker (tenured academic staff representative), Ian Holloway (decanal representative), Kyle Breckenridge (MaPS representative), Crystal Hickey (AUPE representative), Faith Stewart (student representative), Amy Burns (GFC representative), Tanvir Turin Chowdhury (GFC representative), and Darrell Beaulieu (community representative).

“This has been a thorough process with a number of excellent candidates and I’m very happy with the final recommendation made by the committee in support of Martha Hall Findlay’s appointment,” said Darrell Beaulieu, CEO of Denendeh Investments and member of the School of Public Policy Advisory Council.

I would also like to acknowledge Dr. Jackie Sieppert for his leadership as interim director over the last 18 months. An accomplished researcher and leader who served two terms as dean of the Faculty of Social Work, Jackie has led SPP for the last 18 months. He oversaw a refresh of the school’s brand and guided the school as it emerged from COVID-19. Under his leadership the School is also positioned for growth and curriculum innovation with the exciting new funding from the Government of Alberta.

Please join me in welcoming Martha Hall Findlay to her new role at the School of Public Policy and in thanking Jackie Sieppert for his work in supporting SPP over the last year and a half.

Penny Werthner, PhD
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
University of Calgary

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