Munir Sheikh had not given much thought to his future plans before resigning from the Government of Canada on July 21. That quickly changed, though, after he received a phone call from the director of the Queen’s School of Policy Studies shortly after his announcement.
“I was first impressed with the speed with which Peter Harrison had acted,” says Dr. Sheikh, Canada’s former chief statistician. “And I was pleased the offer was to do what I really enjoy while being associated with a top-notch university.”
Dr. Sheikh has been involved in leading and developing economic policy analysis and advice in major federal organizations such as the Department of Finance and the Privy Council Office for over 30 years. His appointment to the School of Policy Studies as a distinguished fellow and adjunct professor was made possible by an endowment from the Joseph S. Stauffer Foundation.
As he adapts to life as an academic, Dr. Sheikh does not anticipate any difficulties.
“Even in government I remained at heart an academic,” says Dr. Sheikh, who holds a PhD in economics from the University of Western Ontario and has taught at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa.
He will give lectures, conduct research, attend seminars and teach during his time at the school.
“Dr. Sheikh’s background is a perfect fit with our academic role and mandate,” says Dr. Harrison. “We are pleased and excited that he has accepted to join us.”
Dr. Sheikh also welcomes opportunities at the university outside the School of Policy Studies. He has already committed to make a presentation to the Queen’s Public Executive Program on the production and use of data with special reference to the census.
Throughout his career in the public service, Dr. Sheikh researched and published in a number of areas. He also focused on developing links between the public service and academia. At the time of his resignation, he was the deputy minister champion for the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg.
As an evidence-based policymaker, he understands the important role university research plays in the art of public policy development.
“My experience in the production and use of data, policy analysis, research, and the development of policy options are useful topics for informing my work at Queen’s,” he says.