Government & public services

Mayor Dean Fortin - Mayor of the City of Victoria
Dean Fortin, Former Mayor of the City of Victoria
Geography showed me how to view the world as a complex system - and for the need for generalists to pull all the disciplines together to understand all the impacts. Today we call it a Sustainability Framework.

Dean Fortin
Former Mayor of the City of Victoria

What are grads doing?

Diana CooperDiana Cooper - Inventory Officer, Inventory Section in the Archaeology Branch at the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Government of British Columbia
Degree: Anthropology, B.A. (1991)
Subsequent Education: Diploma in Archaeology (Simon Fraser University), Graduate studies in Marine Archaeology (James Cook University)

Diana has worked in the field of archaeology in a variety of locations in BC, California, Australia and the Northern Marianas Islands.

Quote: “My degree gave me a variety of skills including analytical thinking, map reading and writing. My studies provided a thorough background in the prehistory of the province of British Columbia, and of other peoples and cultures of the world, which has been useful in my career. In addition, experience learning archaeological measurement, reporting and methodology during my degree helped to familiarize the many aspects of archaeological investigations.”

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Harry NeufeldHarry Neufeld - Electoral Management Consultant
Degree: Political Science, M.A. (1987)

Harry is an election administration professional with more than 30 years of management experience across the spectrum of legislation, policy, process, technology and logistics issues associated with the delivery of electoral democracy. He currently works as an independent electoral management consultant and is based in Calgary, Alberta. In June 2010, Harry completed an eight-year statutory term as Chief Electoral Officer for the province of British Columbia.

He had previously held senior management positions with BC Systems Corporation, EDS Canada, Elections BC, Elections Canada, and the United Nations. In addition to working directly for electoral management bodies, an international organization, a crown corporation, and the corporate private sector, Harry has nine years of experience working as an independent electoral consultant. He has advised international electoral assistance agencies and electoral commissions around the globe.

Quote: “Studying for my graduate degree in political science at UVic taught me the importance of finding disciplined methods that allow quality thinking and decision work to be completed quickly. There is never enough time for perfection, but a structured approach helps lead to good outcomes and can help make work in any high demand environment pleasurable. Everyone seems to have their own unique ways of structuring analytical work — mine were developed while dealing with what initially seemed like a totally impossible academic workload. Those skills served me extremely well, and led to a diverse and rewarding management career within the scope of electoral democracy administration.”

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Katie ShawKatie Shaw - Government Relations Consultant, Global Public Affairs
Degree: Sociology B.A. (2005)
Subsequent Education: M.A. Education: Leadership Studies, University of Victoria

At Global Public Affairs, Katie works with a variety of stakeholders and businesses in developing strategies to engage government and understand current and emerging policies. Prior to joining Global, she worked for twelve years in the not-for-profit and community development sectors, managing and developing a variety of development and capacity-building initiatives with a focus on youth and citizen engagement. She has also worked as a legislative assistant. In 2010 Katie received the VanCity Youth Leadership Award.

Quote: “My bachelor in Sociology provided me with fundamental critical thinking skills and the necessary analytical and contextual knowledge to work in an increasingly diverse and dynamic society.”

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Donald DrummondDonald Drummond - Matthews Fellow on Global Public Policy, Queen’s University, formerly Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at TD Bank
Degree: Economics, B.A. (1976)
Subsequent Education: M.A, Economics, Queen’s University, (1977)

Don Drummond is an Adjunct Professor and  the Matthews Fellow on Global Public Policy at Queen’s University. Prior to taking this position, Mr. Drummond was the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist with the TD Bank (2000-2010). Mr. Drummond has also held a series of senior positions with the federal Department of Finance, as Assistant Deputy Minister of Fiscal Policy and Economic Analysis, Assistant Deputy Minister of Tax Policy & Legislation and Associate Deputy Minister.

Quote: "I was fearful when I arrived at Queen’s University for a Masters in Economics that having obtained a B.A. from a smaller university I would be at a disadvantage relative to other students from larger institutions. I was pleasantly surprised to discover exactly the opposite. The B.A. program in Economics at UVic provided me with a very solid background. And this proved to be the case throughout my career. The professors at UVic had unique abilities to apply economic concepts to real life issues. It was from their teachings that I developed a lifelong love of public policy."

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Jennifer DavisonJennifer Davison - Senior Economist, BC Government
Degree: Economics, B.A.  M.A. (2003)

My current position with the BC government involves developing and implementing standards for renewable energy and reduced carbon emissions from transportation fuels.

Quote: "After graduating high school and attending the University of Toronto for one year, I decided academic life wasn't for me. Ten years later, I started at UVic in the Economics program and never looked back. I completed both my undergraduate and graduate degrees there, as well as 8 co-op terms (2.5 years) of federal and provincial government employment. Co-op terms gave me the skills and confidence to work with senior government and industry officials on such challenging and high profile public policy issues as offshore oil and gas, low carbon transportation, the Canada-US softwood lumber dispute and industry competitiveness."

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Jeff McConnellJeff McConnell - Acting Senior Manager, Infrastructure Development North, Pacific Gateway Branch, Ministry of Transportation, B.C. Government
Degree: Economics, B.A. (2003)
Subsequent Education: M.P.A, UVic (2008)

Nawin ChirapantNawin Chirapant - Diplomatic Officer (Third Secretary) with the Peace, Security, and Disarmament Division, Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom Of Thailand
Degree: Economics B.Sc. (Hons.) (2008), M.A. (2012)

I am responsible for policy analysis and implementation of Thailand’s engagements with United Nations disarmament framework of conventional weapons.

Quote: "Economics helps simplify your thoughts and disciplines your approach to a complex issue. This has got to be the one must useful way to tackle issues in many fields including international relations and diplomacy."

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Tom VincentTom Vincent - Vice President, Public Sector Employer’s Council, Government of British Columbia
Degree: Economics B.A. (1980)
Subsequent Education: MBA Finance, UBC (1982)

Government partner for the four public sector pension plans (Public Service, Teachers' College, Municipal), member of Board of Trustees of the Public Sector Pension Plan, Chair of the Medical Services Commission.

Quote: "The most satisfying and meaningful jobs I've had involved allocating scarce resources to meet unlimited possible applications, reconciling fiscal policy and social policy, and generating return on capital to meet future needs. That is pretty much the definition of economics. Economics, combined with a strong dose of mathematics, history, classics, English and French, have influenced how I perceive issues, motives, options and consequences. If you can think and communicate what you think, you'll be in demand; and that's what the social sciences have to offer anyone who pursues them with an open mind and a willingness to work hard."

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Kevin CreeryKevin Creery - Planning Analyst, Resort Municipality of Whistler
Degree: Environmental Studies and Geography B.Sc. (1999)

As a Planning Analyst, I review process development and rezoning applications and prepare related reports and recommendations. Other responsibilities include conducting research, negotiating changes with owners and architects, liaising with developers and the public, and presenting applications at Council meetings, open houses and public hearings.

Quote: "Geography and Environmental Studies is a great background for land use planning and policy development. I get to use my degree everyday looking at surveys, maps, aerial photos and development studies. My Geography degree is also useful for not getting lost snowboarding and mountain biking in Whistler, B.C."

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Elle BardolElle Bardol - Manager of Crown Sales and GIS Services, British Columbia Ministry of Natural Gas Development
Degree: Geography B.Sc. (2010)

“As a Spatial Analyst, I lead technical projects to support research planning activities by conceptualizing, designing, developing and executing advanced spatial analysis and presentation that integrates data from diverse sources.”

Quote: "At the University of Victoria, I was introduced to important geographic theories that I put into practice every day. I also received excellent support from my professors, teaching assistants, co-op staff and support staff while developing my GIS skills in the lab and in my co-op placement."

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Mayor Dean FortinMayor Dean Fortin - Mayor of the City of Victoria
Degree: Geography B.A. (1981)
Subsequent Education: L.L.B, M.Ed. (Counselling) (1996)

In 2008, Dean Fortin was sworn in as the 51st Mayor of Victoria. Prior to being elected as Mayor, he served as Victoria City Councillor from 2002 to 2008. Mayor Fortin is the chair of the Victoria Police Board, the director on the Capital Regional Board, the Vice Chair of the Planning and Protective Services Committee and the Co-Chair of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. Mayor Fortin has a long list of work and volunteer accomplishments, including practicing as a family and criminal lawyer. For more information about the Mayor, see his website.

Keith HolmesKeith Holmes - GIS Specialist, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Iraq Marshlands Initiative (2007-2010)
Degree: Geography B.Sc. (2007), M.A. (in progress)

Keith was hired onto the CIDA project just as he was finishing his undergraduate degree. He was employed to map and monitor the health of Iraqi marshes. Keith worked with Iraqi universities, government officials and various UN and international organizations, to detail past, present and model future changes in the region. Keith monitored a number of issues including: water quality, infrastructure projects and social issues. He has the opportunity to travel to the Middle East a number of times to work directly with CIDA's partners in the region. At the end of the project, Keith created "Atlas of the Iraqi Marshes." Keith continues to make maps of Iraq and work closely with his Iraqi partners to monitor the ever changing situation while he continues his graduate studies at UVic.  Check out Keith's website.

Quote: "UVic Geography gave me the skills to turn a four month contract into a two and half year career that has allowed me to travel the world, make a difference, and do something that I am passionate about."

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Santo DormosumartoSanto Darmosumarto - Assistant Special Staff of the President, Office of the President of the Republic of Indonesia
Degree: Political Science M.A. (1999)
Subsequent Education: PhD., Monash University Australia (2004)

Santo Darmosumarto joined the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs after completing his M.A. in 1999. In 2001, he began his PhD at Monash University, Australia and returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2004. He has held his current position since 2010.

Quote: "Social Science has opened doors for me to pursue a higher academic degree and it has provided a solid foundation for my career in public service...Although UVic is a small campus, it is big in stature, both in Canada and abroad. The friendships, academic experience, and teaching opportunity provided me with a solid footing to pursue a career in diplomacy and public policy later."

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Tanner OscapellaTanner Oscapella - (former) Parliamentary Monitor, Alpheus Group
Degree: Political Science B.A. (2011)
Subsequent Education: L.L.B, University of Ottawa (in progress)

As a Parliamentary Monitor, Tanner was responsible for writing reports on parliamentary committees. As Tanner explains it, “The publicly kept notes of parliamentary committees aren’t released until the day after the committee meeting. There is an industry need for quick reporting on parliamentary business, so I was responsible for attending meetings, taking notes and writing a report within two hours of committee adjournment. Through this work, I got to know how parliament operated and all the insider issues that never seem to make it out to the rest of Canada.” Tanner began Law School at the University of Ottawa in September 2012.

Quote: "My degree in Political Science prepared me by giving me writing skills. Writing simple, concise sentences is an invaluable skill to have. Time and time again, my writing has impressed my employers."

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Lindsay Chase

Lindsay Chase - Urban Planner; Registered Professional Planner (RPP) and Member of Canadian Institute of Planners
Degree: B.A. Geography (1997)
Subsequent Education: Master of City Planning (MCP), University of Manitoba (2000), Ph.D University of Victoria (in progress)

Lindsay Chase is the Director of Development Services for the Town of View Royal. She manages and regulates land use through the review of development applications and the creation of long-term planning policy.

Quote: "My degree in urban geography allowed me to understand the relationship between people and the built environment. [The UVic Geography Department] was a supportive environment where I could interact with professors to explore questions about the historic and current influences that shape the communities that we live in."

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Erich Nahser-RingerErich Nahser-Ringer - Legislative Assistant, British Columbia NDP Caucasus
Degree: Political Science and Environmental Studies, B.A. (2010)

Quote: "My time spent at UVic was a great launching pad into the government sector. It gave me the building blocks to start a career. My employers have been impressed with my knowledge of the political climate in B.C. even though I had not done any prior work in this field.” Erich will be returning to UVic to pursue a Master’s degree in September 2012."

Heather BauerHeather Bauer - Climate Action Analyst,Climate Action Secretariat, Ministry of Environment, Province of British Columbia
Degree: Geography BSc. (2009)
Subsequent Education: After graduation, Heather Bauer received additional training in facilitation, web design, online community management, writing and leadership.

“I am involved in outreach and citizen engagement at the Climate Action Secretariat, which is an agency that works across government and with stakeholders (including industry and communities) to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for climate change. Open government and citizen engagement is a fairly new approach to governance, which respects the need for citizens to be active in helping government make good decisions about providing services and ensuring sustainable prosperity.”

Quote: "As a geographer, I am trained to see the world as a whole. Climate change requires a holistic and inclusive approach to seeking solutions. It is a very scientific field in many respects, but it is even more about human behaviour. I was trained to think critically about reality, and beyond that, how different people perceive reality. I also have a skill set that includes spatial and temporal analysis, which helps me to understand problems and opportunities in a strategic way. Of course, digital tools have a significant role in nearly every discipline and I find I am highly valued for my advanced knowledge in online communications, networking and facilitation."

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