The Centre on the Future of Government Advisory Council
Strategic advice and guidance for the development of the Centre for the Future of Government is provided by a council of senior-level advisors who offer counsel on program design and who help identify top experts and potential contributors on relevant topics.
The Advisory Council sits by invitation from the President of the University of Ottawa. Members help ensure that the strategic direction of the Centre on the Future of Government programming is looking forward and aligned with trends and issues in public policy and applied governance.
The Centre on the Future of Government Advisory Council Members:
David Zussman, University of Victoria
David Zussman has held executive positions in academia, government and the not for profit sector. In academia, he held the Jarislowsky Chair in Public Sector Management at the University of Ottawa and served as Dean of the Telfer Faculty of Management and Director of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at that university. Prior to that, he was a professor in the School of Public Administration at UVic. In addition to his illustrious teaching and research career, Mr. Zussman has held several positions related to public affairs. He has been President of the Public Policy Forum and served as Executive Vice President and COO of EKOS Research Associates Inc, a leading public opinion and public policy research firm. In the public sector, he was Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Program Review and Machinery of Government in the Privy Council Office. He was also asked by Jean Chrétien to help in the transition of his newly elected governments in 1993 and 1997. Mr. Zussman holds a PhD in psychology from McGill University.
Linda Lizotte-MacPherson, Former Government CEO, CIO, COO and Deputy Minister
Lizotte-MacPherson was President of the Canada School of Public Service from October 2012 to July 2015. From October 2009 to October 2012, she was Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Revenue Agency. She was Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Chief Operating Officer for Service Canada. She was Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board from 2005 to 2008. She was also the first Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Health Infoway Inc and Chief Information Officer for the federal government from 1998 to 2000. She is a graduate of Carleton University where she earned a Bachelor of Commerce (honours) degree and from Queen's University's Digital's Executive Development Program and finished the Board of Directors Program through the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Grant McDonald, KPMG Managing Partner and Lead Partner of Government of Canada, Ottawa
Grant McDonald is responsible for leading growth for KPMG throughout the National Capital Region. With over 35 years of experience, he has been the Ottawa Office Managing Partner since 2011, prior to which he was the Business Unit Leader for Tax in Eastern Canada. Grant is the leader of the Federal Government practice in Ottawa, as well as the national sector leader for KPMG’s Aerospace and Defence (A&D) Industry practice in Canada. He is responsible for staying informed of the current issues facing these sectors and for sharing his knowledge with our clients and KPMG team members across Canada. Grant received his CA designation in 1984 and became a Fellow in 2013. He worked with KPMG in the US in 1987-1988 and was admitted to the partnership in 1995.
Taki Sarantakis, Deputy Minister and President, Canada School of Public Service
Taki Sarantakis is the President of the Canada School of Public Service, a position he assumed in July 2018 coming from the School from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), where he was the Associate Secretary of TBS from 2016 to 2018. From 2013 to 2016, Mr. Sarantakis was Assistant Secretary, Economic Sector and prior to his tenure at the TBS, Mr. Sarantakis was the Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy and Communications at Infrastructure Canada. In 2011, Mr. Sarantakis was awarded Canada's Public Service Award of Excellence in Policy, and in 2013 he was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Prior to joining the federal government, Mr. Sarantakis was a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, and he holds a B.A. and a Master of Arts from York University in Toronto.
John Ossowski, President and Deputy Minister Canada Border Services Agency
John Ossowski was appointed President of the Canada Border Services Agency on December 7, 2016. Prior to this appointment, John was Deputy Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency from July 2015 to December 2016. He has also held senior positions as Associate Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada and also as Assistant Secretary, International Affairs, Security and Justice Sector, at the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS). He has also worked at Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) where he was Director General, Policy and Communications and then Deputy Chief, Corporate Services. Before joining CSEC, John was Assistant Director, Government Relationships and Communications at the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, which is Canada's financial intelligence unit. Prior to this, John spent a number of years at TBS in the Government Operations Sector and finally as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary. John has a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Victoria.
Allan Rock, Former President and Vice-Chancellor University of Ottawa
Allan Rock is President Emeritus of the University of Ottawa, and a Professor in its Faculty of Law, where he teaches International Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflict in International Law. He practised in civil, administrative and commercial litigation for 20 years (1973-93) before courts at all levels, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He was inducted in 1988 as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a former Treasurer (President) of the Law Society of Ontario.
Allan Rock was elected to the Canadian Parliament in 1993, and re-elected in 1997 and 2000. He served for that decade as a senior minister in the government of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in both social and economic portfolios. He was Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (1993-97), Minister of Health (1997-2002) and Minister of Industry and Infrastructure (2002-03).
He was appointed in 2003 as Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations in New York during a period that involved responding to several complex regional conflicts, including those in Sri Lanka, Democratic Republic of Congo and Darfur. He led the successful Canadian effort in New York to secure, at the 2005 World Summit, the unanimous adoption by UN member states of The Responsibility to Protect populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing and other mass atrocities. He later served as a Special Envoy for the United Nations investigating the unlawful use of child soldiers in Sri Lanka during its civil war.
In 2008, Allan Rock became the 29th President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, a comprehensive university of 50,000 students, faculty and staff. uOttawa is ranked among the Top Ten in Canada for research intensity, and is the largest bilingual university (French-English) in the world. He completed two terms as uOttawa President in 2016. Allan Rock was subsequently a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School, associated with the Program on International Law and Armed Conflict.
Jeffrey Simpson, University of Ottawa Board of Governors
One of Canada's leading journalists, Jeffrey Simpson was national affairs columnist at The Globe and Mail for nearly three decades. The author of eight books, he has won all three of Canada's leading literary prizes -- the Governor-General's award for non-fiction book writing, the National Magazine Award for political writing, and the National Newspaper Award for column writing (twice). He also won the Hyman Solomon Award for excellence in public policy journalism. His latest book, Chronic Condition : Why Canada’s Health-Care System Needs to be Dragged into the 21st Century, won the Donner Prize in 2012 for the best book on public policy by Canadians. Mr. Simpson has been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of British Columbia, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Manitoba, l'Université de Moncton and Queen's University.
Denis Desautels, University of Ottawa Board of Governors
Denis Desautels' approach to problem-solving has marked him as one of the great auditors general in Canada's history. He took the government to task over its methods of managing the national debt, hectored the minister of finance about being more transparent and forced many government departments to be more accountable. Known as a man who gets right to the root of the problem, Desautels has been nicknamed "super cop of the deficit" and "the most feared man in Ottawa."
As well as his extensive involvement with a variety of government committees, Desautels has ventured far afield to investigate what the public service is doing abroad, visiting a Zimbabwe centre for terminal AIDS patients, a literacy class for mothers in Pakistan. He has also looked at Canada's federal penitentiaries, asking inmates what they think of reintegration programs. Desautels has achieved what many considered impossible: he has made the machinery of government run more smoothly.
Born in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, he graduated with a commerce degree from McGill University and worked at Clarkson Gordon (now Caron Bélanger Ernst & Young). Before assuming the post of auditor general of Canada, he served as a consultant to Quebec's auditor general, the Parizeau Commission on the future of Quebec municipalities and the Lortie Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing.
David Luxton, Senior Strategic Advisor, Professional Development Institute
Mr. Luxton serves on the boards of international defence and security companies, including Ottawa-based Allen-Vanguard Corporation, a recognized global leader in electronic counter-measures against extremist threats. He led the strategic build-out of the company from 2011 - 2009 and has served as Chairman of the Board since 2010.
He began his career as an infantry combat officer with the Canadian Army then served for several years as a senior public servant in various policy and management roles in Canada and in the UK, where he completed post-graduate studies at Oxford University.
In 1990 Mr. Luxton founded Simunition, which remains the world leader in realistic close-quarters combat training (now owned by GD-OTS). In 2003 he founded DEFSEC Corporation, which specializes in investment and strategic advisory services for defence and security companies, with a strong focus today on intelligent tactical systems including Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (“C-UAS”).
Mr. Luxton also served for several years as a board member of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) and as Chair of Ottawa’s Defence & Security Economic Development Cluster at Invest Ottawa.
He remains President and owner of DEFSEC Corporation and is a senior strategic advisor to the University of Ottawa and its Security and Policy Institute. He resides in Ottawa, Canada, where he is also an active philanthropist, with a special interest in supporting Canada’s veterans and their legacy.