Policy Fellows

Jennifer Adams, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Joe Blomeley

Claude Brule, Algonquin College

Claude Brulé has been at Algonquin College for the past 17 years, the last four of which he has spent serving as the Senior Vice President Academic. In that capacity, he is responsible to ensure high quality for the academic development and delivery of all programs offered by the academic Institutes, Schools, and Faculties of Algonquin College. Part of these responsibilities includes the development of an entrepreneurial culture within the academic division and the implementation of innovative solutions in the learning environment that enhance student success. Before that, he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Technology and Trades and started at the College as the Academic Chair of the Information and Communications Technology Department. Prior to joining Algonquin College, Claude was an officer in the Canadian Air Force occupational branch of Communication and Electronics Engineering for 22 years. He holds a Master’s degree of Science in Mathematics from the Royal Military College of Canada and is a graduate of the one-year Canadian Forces Command and Staff program from the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. He is also a graduate of the Management and Leadership in Education program from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Stephen Childs, University of Calgary

Stephen Childs is an Institutional Analyst at the University of Calgary where he is applying predictive modeling to university data. A former Senior Researcher and Project Manager at EPRI, Stephen has an interest in education policy, specifically access to PSE, student retention and labour market outcomes. Stephen completed a Master's Degree in Business Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. Stephen is the founder and one of the organizers of PyData Calgary, which promotes of the use of Python and other Open Source tools for data analysis and is a co-organizer of the Text Analysis Interest Group at the University of Calgary.

David Corcoran, Colleges Ontario

David Corcoran is the Research Officer at Colleges Ontario. In this role he provides research and analysis to support evidence-based advocacy and policy development. His current work seeks to inform policy in such areas as post-secondary access and success, graduate outcomes, skill development, indigenous education, and institutional performance metrics. Prior to working at Colleges Ontario, David was a post-doctoral fellow at Ryerson University and he holds a PhD in Social Psychology from Stony Brook University.

Fiona Dellar, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

Tim Fricker, Mohawk College

Tim Fricker is the Director of Student Success Initiatives at Mohawk College, where he is responsible for a variety of programs aimed at improving student learning and success. Programs include student success advising, peer tutoring, supplemental instruction, and facilitating campus wide retention planning, research and reporting. He has worked with EPRI since 2012 on a variety of projects, including the Statistics Canada and ESDC funded Tax Linkage Project and three HEQCO funded studies – two as part of the Access and Retention Consortium, and one focused on assessing the development of critical thinking skills from college through to the labour market. Tim is also a PhD student at OISE, focusing on the relationship between academic advising and student success in College.

Erika Goble, NorQuest College

Erika Goble, PhD, is the Manager of Research at NorQuest College where she administers all institutional and applied research projects. Goble has a doctorate in Education from the University of Alberta, with a focus on continental pedagogy. Goble’s current research explores students’ experience of Massive Open Online Courses, post-secondary faculty moral distress, and the intersection of ethics and aesthetics in practice.

Noreen Golfman, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Jason Hunter, Humber College

Corrine Johnson, Humber College

Currently the Director, Institutional Research and Strategic Planning at Humber College, Corrine provides leadership to achievement of Humber's vision and mission through rigorous analysis of institutional data and leadership in integrated strategic and business planning activities. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto in Community Health and her previous positions include Director of Health Sciences at George Brown College and Associate Director, Research Services at McMaster University. Corrine's current research interests relate to student success, retention and employment.

Gerry Kendal, University of Alberta

Natalia Kyui, Bank of Canada

Diana MacKay, Carleton University

Diana has twenty years of global education leadership experience at noteworthy international and national organizations. She is an expert on education system issues reshaping post-secondary education in Canada and around the world. She is recognized as a builder of education-business partnerships, especially in work-integrated learning that leverages underutilized talent to meet labour market demands. She previously led major education, skills, and immigration projects at The Conference Board of Canada as well as at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. She is currently the Executive Director of Carleton University’s Global Academy, which delivers professional development training, global professional networks, and special flagship initiatives. In this role, Diana is creating opportunities to leverage EPRI’s Tax Linkage project so that policy makers, educational institutions, and the employer community can address long-standing information gaps that have resulted in labour market inefficiencies and poorly informed career choices.

Scott MacDonald, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training - British Columbia

Scott MacDonald is Assistant Deputy Minister, Labour Market and Information Division at the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training for the province of British Columbia, which takes a leadership role in implementing BC’s skills plan by ensuring that skills training programs across the Province are closely aligned with BC’s labour market needs and priorities; provides detailed and accessible labour market data to improve public, private and individual workforce decisions; and is implementing the newly formed BC Center for Data Innovation. Prior to his current portfolio, Scott was the Chief Executive Officer for Pacific Carbon Trust, a crown corporation of the BC provincial government, and has also served as Assistant Deputy Minister for the BC Ministry of Education, setting provincial education policy and curriculum standards. A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Scott completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta and University of British Columbia, followed by a Masters of Business Administration from Royal Roads University. Scott lives in Victoria, BC with his wife and has two grown daughters.

Chris Mercer, College of the North Atlantic

Chris has provided leadership at local, provincial and national levels of Canadian post-secondary education in strategic enrolment management, registrarial and admissions services, student services, institutional research, student assessment, counselling, recruitment, and retention. His doctoral studies focused on succession planning and leadership development in higher education administration. Chris is Associate Vice President, Strategic Enrolment Management and Registrar (Acting) at College of the North Atlantic, as well as a registered Psychologist. His interest in EPRI’s research activities relates to education, skills, and labour market, particularly in tax linkage research that uses income tax date to track earnings of post-secondary graduates across Canada over multiple years to inform labour market outcomes.

Nancy Miyagi, George Brown College

Serge Nadeau, University of Ottawa

Andrew Parkin

Andrew Parkin is one of Canada’s leading experts on the structure and performance of Canada’s education systems. He has held a variety of senior positions including Director General of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), Associate Executive Director and Director, Research and Program Development, of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, and Co-Director of the Centre for Research and Information on Canada. A political sociologist by background, he completed his post-doctorate at Dalhousie University, his Ph.D. at the University of Bradford (U.K.), and his B.A. (Honours) at Queen’s University. From 2004 to 2010, he directed the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation’s ground-breaking research program on access to postsecondary education and the effectiveness of student financial assistance programs. In that capacity, he designed and implemented an innovative a series of research projects to evaluate the impact of student financial assistance and student information programs, and authored, co-authored or edited over 50 research publications, including the final and most comprehensive edition of The Price of Knowledge. More recently, his research has focused on the measurement of education outcomes and the skills of Canadians in international comparison. He currently works as an independent consultant on public policy issues.

Brenda Pipitone, George Brown College

Ms. Pipitone has executive experience in post-secondary education access, systems innovation, and leadership, with extensive background in organizational partnership and economic development. A seasoned administrator, she has led college-wide change initiatives, implementing sophisticated institutional evaluation and systems developments to improve student satisfaction, success and persistence. As Dean, she has both academic and corporate responsibilities in four key areas: Academic Excellence, Student Affairs, Educational Resources, and Community Partnerships. Ms. Pipitone is a recognized leader on access to post-secondary education for non-traditional students and held a dynamic teaching portfolio for 15 years. Her doctoral research focused on access, including organizational structures that impede access goals in postsecondary environments. A key interest is the efficacy of multi-systemic collaborative approaches to support the persistence and retention of non-traditional students, whose access has direct implications for labour and skills shortages, as well as for social equity.

Wayne Poirier, Mohawk College

Wayne Poirier was appointed Vice-President Student Services at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario in January 2011 and is currently the VP Student & Alumni Services. Wayne served in various student service roles for more than 17 years before joining Mohawk. Prior to joining Mohawk, Wayne served as Director Student Service & Campus Life at George Brown College. Wayne holds a PhD in Higher Education, OISE, University of Toronto. His dissertation focuses on orientation, transition and student success in Ontario. He earned his M.A.Ed. from Central Michigan University and a B.A. Political Science from York University where is served in numerous student leadership roles.

Nobina Robinson, Polytechnics Canada

Nobina Robinson is a graduate of Amherst College and of Oxford University (Commonwealth Scholar), and has pursued graduate studies at Yale. She has an extensive policy background in federal public policy issues, having worked at the Treasury Board Secretariat, and having served as a Canadian Foreign Service Officer. She has been a leader of two not-for-profit associations -- the Canadian Foundation for the Amercias (FOCAL) and currently, Polytechnics Canada. As Senior Government Relations Advisor for Seneca College from 2004 to 2009, she focused on raising the profile of one of Canada's largest colleges within the federal government. Since her 2009 appointment as CEO of Polytechnics Canada, she has become a formidable advocate for improving the quality and availability of labour market information in Canada. For Mrs. Robinson, better labour market information is the key to ensuring the success of all Canadian learners; they can better select pathways that lead to in-demand fields, and at the same time, institutions are better equipped to provide students the skills they will need to succeed in a fast evolving job market. Promoting the cause of outcomes-driven education is a key policy interest for Mrs. Robinson.

Paul Smith

Paul is a consultant working in career development and higher education, offering his extensive network and experiences. From 2010 to May 2016, he served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE). Before that, he held leadership roles at Queen’s University and Memorial University, after starting his work in the field at the College of the North Atlantic. Paul has contributed to his field through research, innovative programming and the development of best practices. Paul holds a Master’s in Education (Post-Secondary Student Services) and Bachelor’s degrees in Arts and Education, all from Memorial University. He lives in Kingston with his wife, three children and their dog.

Roger Smyth

Benoit Tessier, Employment and Social Development Canada

Benoit Tessier is the Executive Director of Employer Liaison Services within Employment and Social Development Canada. In a unique departmental role, Mr. Tessier works with industry and education representatives across Canada to support employers in recruiting domestic workers. He is also responsible for the Sectoral Initiatives Program which has the mandate to help industries identify, forecast and address their human resources and skills issues. The program funds partnership-based projects for key sectors of the Canadian economy. In addition, Benoit is leading the implementation of the recently announced Post-secondary Industry Partnership and Co-operative Placement Initiative, to create partnerships between which will support partnerships between employers and post-secondary educational institutions and support new co-op placements and work-integrated learning opportunities for young Canadians, with a focus on high-demand fields, such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and business, linking it to Canada’s Innovation Agenda. Since joining the public sector in 1997, Benoit has held various positions within the department, including Director of Strategic Planning & Accountability and Director of the Office of Labour Market Intelligence. From 2003 to 2014, Benoit served as School Board Trustee and Vice-president of one of the largest school boards in Quebec. He received the bronze medal of the “Ordre du mérite of the Féderation des commissions scolaires du Québec” for his contribution to the K-12 system in the province. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Canadian Politics from the University of Ottawa.

Paul Thompson, Employment and Social Development Canada

Mr. Paul Thompson began his career in the Public Service in 1990 with Human Resources Development Canada where he worked until 1997. He has held executive positions in various departments including the Privy Council Office and the Treasury Board Secretariat. Mr. Thompson was appointed as the Associate Assistant Deputy Minister for the Skills and Employment Branch at Human Resources and Social Development Canada in October 2007. From April 2010 to May 2014, Paul held the position of Assistant Deputy Minister of Processing and Payment Services Branch, Service Canada. He was appointed to his current position of Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of the Skills and Employment Branch at Employment and Social Development Canada in May 2014. Mr. Thompson holds a Master of Arts degree in Economics from Queen's University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Toronto.

Christine Trauttmansdorff, Colleges and Institutes Canada

Christine Trauttmansdorff is the Vice-President, Government Relations and Canadian Partnerships at Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), the national membership organization representing publicly supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics in Canada and internationally. Her responsibilities include policy and program advocacy, data and statistics and research. Prior to joining CICan in 2015, Christine served in a variety of senior positions at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and at the House of Commons. She holds an M.A. in Public Administration and a B.A. in English, both from Carleton University.