I am Professor of Public Management Emeritus at the University of Toronto, having retired in July 2020. Though no longer teaching, I continue to be engaged in research and writing: working on a book about political narratives in Canada, the UK, and the US and posting blogs about politics, narrative, and my personal life. I also serve as chair of the independent review committees for two mutual fund companies, am a member of the Board of the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (an academic organization of which I once served as President), and give online presentations about my research in narrative and public sector innovation. I had hoped retirement would provide more opportunity for travel and culture, but the pandemic has put much of that on hold. Nonetheless, I have been studying Spanish online, reading widely, and doing a lot of cycling and walking.
Looking back on a lengthy academic career, I take considerable satisfaction in my achievements, which include eleven books and some seventy articles or book chapters; a Google Scholar count over 5000; a strong teaching record, particularly in my last 10 years; and service as the founding chair of the Department of Management at the University of Toronto at Scarborough.
The two passions I have pursued in my research are narrative and public sector innovation. My books about narrative include Negotiating Business Narratives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) and Governing Fables: Learning from Public Sector Narratives (Information Age Publishing, 2011), both co-authored with Beth Herst. My books about public sector innovation include The Persistence of Innovation in Government (Brookings, 2014) and Innovating with Integrity: How Local Heroes are Transforming American Government (Georgetown University Press, 1998).
I have had a wide range of professional experience. I am a frequent speaker at conferences, either online or in person, with presentations in Brazil, Norway, Taiwan, Peru, Australia, Mexico, Denmark, and at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). I was a member of the board of directors of the Ontario Transportation Capital Corporation, responsible for developing Highway 407, Ontario’s electronic toll road (1995-98) and I was the President of the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA) from 2003 to 2007.
I did my undergraduate studies at Harvard, where I graduated magna cum laude, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. I then took a master’s degree in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and received my Ph.D. in Economics at Harvard.