A first-hand view of public policy
“There’s nowhere else where you can interact so closely with the policy and decision-makers and observe first-hand how government works. The University of Ottawa’s access to national institutions and its contacts with international organizations make it an excellent place to study national and global issues.”
Studying public policy is one thing; immersing oneself in the policy making process is quite another. First-year master’s student Ian Anderson managed to do both last year, working part-time as a research assistant for a senator, while completing his first year at the University of Ottawa’s recently established Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
The new school’s rigorous multidisciplinary program and dynamic approach to national and global issues were key selling points for the Montreal native, whose academic interests include public policy, international governance, democratic development, conflict resolution and Track Two or alternative diplomacy (private citizens or groups using unofficial channels to de-escalate conflict or negotiate topics that are usually reserved for official diplomats). Combining these academic pursuits with day-to-day work in Parliament’s upper house has allowed him to explore both the theoretical and practical aspects of the public policy-making and legislative processes, he says.
Anderson, who travelled to Guatemala last fall as an election observer and to Israel this past winter on a policy-issues and fact-finding tour, says he’d like to pursue more academic work in conflict resolution and Track Two diplomacy. These interests will most likely bring him to the Middle East after he graduates from the School of Public and International Affairs in the spring of 2009.