March 2, 2021

Pierre-Gerlier (PG) Forest concludes time as director of The School of Public Policy

A message from Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic) 
Pierre-Gerlier Forest
Pierre-Gerlier Forest

Pierre-Gerlier (PG) Forest, our current director of The School of Public Policy (SPP) and James S. and Barbara A. Palmer Chair in public policy, is leaving SPP on June 30, 2021 at which time he will commence his administrative leave.  

Forest is an internationally renowned researcher, educator and administrator in the field of public policy who has led SPP since 2016.   

Under PG’s leadership, SPP has become the number-one ranked policy school in Canada and 33rd in the world. During his tenure as director, PG led an expansion of the school’s size and influence, launched the annual Distinguished Policy Fellow awards that recognize Canadian policy leaders, and celebrated the school’s 10th anniversary. In order to connect the school to the community, PG led the creation of a new series of current affairs policy panels for the Calgary community. He also raised the international profile of the school, strengthening connections in Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Mexico. As a collective, SPP has produced influential research and publication programs that cover a full range of crucial public issues, from taxation to health care and from national security to affordable energy, expanding the influence of the School and shaping national public policy.  

PG has also positively altered the academic profile of the School by encouraging more broadly externally reviewed peer publications and grants. PG oversaw the establishment of the first Scientific Advisory Committee to the School in 2018, which included the appointment of 14 members. He also helped secure funding for key policy platforms: Northern Corridor, Alberta Fiscal Future, Urban Policy and the Simpson Centre for Agriculture and Food Innovation Public Education.  

PG was a key member of the Strategic Steering Committee of ii' taa'poh'to'p, the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy. He played a critical role in writing the Indigenous terms of reference that guided the work of the strategy, setting the stage for the development of what is a truly unique strategy in Canada. 

Forest served as the national co-chair of the federal review of the nine pan-Canadian health organizations which was delivered to the Minister of Health in 2018. This was an important review for our country and showcased his leadership in national health policy.  

Prior to joining The School of Public Policy, PG Forest was director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy at Johns Hopkins University and professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. From 2006 to 2013, he was president of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, a reputed Canadian institution that encourages innovation in policy research. He has also held the role of assistant deputy minister and chief scientist (2004-2006) with Health Canada, the federal department of health.  

Following his administrative leave, PG will be assuming his position as a professor of Community Health Science in the Cumming School of Medicine.   

We will begin the search for the next director of The School of Public Policy in the coming weeks.  

Please join me in thanking PG for his tremendous contributions to the University of Calgary and The School of Public Policy.   

Dru Marshall 
Provost and Vice President (Academic)