The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Roberts Named Visiting Scholar at the Canada School of Public Service

Professor Alasdair Roberts in his office

Alasdair Roberts, director and professor at the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy, has been named the 2022-23 Jocelyne Bourgon Visiting Scholar at the Canada School of Public Service.

The visiting scholar initiative was created to “recognize academic knowledge and expertise, foster fresh ideas, and offer an external perspective on priority issues within the Government of Canada.” It honors the contributions of Jocelyne Bourgon, president emeritus of the Canada School of Public Service, who served as clerk of the Canadian Privy Council Office from 1994 to 1999.

"I'm honored by this opportunity to contribute to the work of the CSPS,” Roberts said. “It's a wonderful venue for discussing critical questions about the role of government and public service."

As visiting scholar, Roberts will work on research on the theme of democratic resilience — namely, how governments can respond to major shocks without compromising their commitment to democracy and human rights, a topic he has explored in several recent books, including Strategies for Governing: Reinventing Public Administration for a Dangerous Century. Roberts will also give talks and participate in other events at CSPS during his tenure as visiting scholar.

“The themes explored in Dr. Roberts’ research and writings are of critical importance to Canada today and into the future,” added Taki Sarantakis, president of the CSPS. “We look forward to welcoming him to the public service as a visiting scholar and providing a platform to share his work and insights with policy and decision-makers across the Government of Canada.”

Roberts is the second CSPS Jocelyne Bourgon Visiting Scholar, following Rachel Zellars, a lawyer and assistant professor in the Department of Social Justice and Community Studies at Saint Mary’s University.

The Canada School of Public Service was created in 2004 with a mandate to lead the government's enterprise-wide approach to learning by providing a common, standardized curriculum that supports public servants through key career transitions.

About the School of Public Policy: Established in 2016, the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy prepares students for leadership in public service. The program’s focuses include social change and public policy related to science and technology.

Contact: Maureen Turner, associate director for marketing and communications, School of Public Policy

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