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Queen's University

Photo of David C. ElderDavid C. Elder

Adjunct Professor and Fellow

Robert Sutherland Hall 330
613.533.6000 ext. 77167


Research/Teaching: public policy analysis.

David C. Elder has been teaching in the Master of Public Administration program since September 2001, when he was named a Fellow in the School of Policy Studies.

As an Adjunct Professor, he now teaches, with Professor Robert Wolfe, the core course on Approaches to Policy Analysis (MPA 802), which all students in the full-time program and the part-time (Professional) program take. He focuses his teaching on Policy Analysis, but he has also taught other courses in the School’s teaching program on public sector issues, policies, and institutions, both Canadian and international.

Before joining the faculty at Queen’s, he was a member of the Public Service of Canada for over 30 years.

He served in the Privy Council Office more than 10 years and was the Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Machinery of Government, from 1998 to 2001. He had the responsibility of advising and supporting the Prime Minister on matters related to Canada's system of responsible, representative constitutional government, including advice on the structure and operation of executive government, the organization of the collective decision-making system in the Cabinet and its committees, the mandates and responsibilities of Ministers, the continuity of government and planning for transitions, ethics and accountability issues, and the relationship of the elected executive to Parliament and to the Crown.

David Elder began his career in the Public Service of Canada in 1973, when he joined the Department of External Affairs, now the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. His assignments in the Department's headquarters in Ottawa included the Department's Senior Assistant to the Minister and Director of International Economic Relations in the Economic Policy Bureau.

He had foreign assignments in the Canadian Embassy in Dakar, Sénégal, the Canadian High Commission in Harare, Zimbabwe, and as Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, from 1989 to 1993.

As a consultant on public policy and public administration, he has provided advice to governments, including Indonesia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Bénin. He was Senior Advisor in Canada’s Public Administration Reform Program with Russia from 2003 to 2010; in the program, implemented by the Canada School of Public Service on behalf of the Canadian International Development Agency, he oversaw the application of Canadian public sector expertise and experience to the issues and problems identified by the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation. 

School of Policy Studies, Robert Sutherland Hall
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.3020