Students in Carleton University’s Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management – the country’s first rigorous intellectual training ground for political staff, strategists, tacticians and advocates – will be taught by an accomplished team of faculty who combine research and teaching qualifications with political experience at every level, from constituency work to the Prime Minister’s Office, in government and in opposition.
There are four core faculty members of the Riddell program:
Paul Wilson joins Carleton from the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, where he served as director of policy from 2009-2011, and also served as acting chief of staff during the 2011 election campaign. He has been director of policy to Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, senior special adviser to Monte Solberg, Minister of HRSDC, senior policy adviser to Vic Toews, both as President of Treasury Board and Minister of Justice. From 1997 to 2001 he was director of research in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition.
From 2002 until 2006, Dr. Wilson (PhD, Queen’s) taught “Canadian Governmental Leadership” and “Ethics and Public Policy” in the Laurentian Leadership Centre of Trinity Western University, where he was executive director, overseeing an internship program in which students were placed with a variety of agencies (parliamentary, governmental, embassies, NGOs, media) in Ottawa. A capstone element of the Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management is a 10-week internship placement with a political office, party or campaign.
Jennifer Robson, who has taught “Social Power in Canadian Politics” in Carleton’s Department of Political Science, is a skilled and prolific researcher who has served as senior policy research officer for the Policy Research Initiative, was director of policy for the non-profit Social and Enterprise Development Innovations, and senior adviser to the Task Force on Financial Literacy for the federal Department of Finance. She has been a Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen’s University.
She was chair of the Task Force on Family and Social Policy for the Liberal Party of Canada’s Renewal Commission, and has served as a political assistant to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and as a policy assistant in the Office of the Prime Minister. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton. She brings particular expertise in social policy to the Riddell Program.
Stephen Azzi (PhD, Waterloo) brings to the program a decade of teaching and research experience at Carleton and Laurentian universities, where he specialized in Canadian political history and leadership. He is the author of Walter Gordon and the Rise of Canadian Nationalism (McGill-Queen’s University Press). His weighing of prime ministerial success was recently featured in the June 20, 2011 issue of Maclean’s.
Dr. Azzi has extensive political experience, including positions as executive or special assistant to four federal MPs, campaign work for Stéphane Dion in his bid for the leadership of the Liberal Party, and membership on the executive board of the Ontario wing of the Liberal Party of Canada. He also spent three years as a policy officer and intelligence analyst with the Department of National Defence, which included speech writing for the minister.
These three new appointments are joined by André Turcotte, associate professor in Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication and Graduate Supervisor for the Riddell Program. Dr. Turcotte (PhD, University of Toronto) is co-author of Dynasties and Interludes: Past and Present in Canadian Electoral Politics (Dundurn Press). Between 1992 and 1993, he was co-editor of the Gallup Poll. He was part of the polling team for the Chrétien Liberals in the 1993 federal election. Between 1994 and 2000, he was the official pollster for the Reform Party of Canada and its leader, Preston Manning, and over his career has provided advice to several political leaders and corporations. He is also the academic director for the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, through which he has delivered short courses in practical political skills.