Maytree Policy School

The faculty of Maytree Policy School are active public policy leaders with a diverse range of policy experience; they include:

Pedro Barata, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Public Affairs, United Way Greater Toronto
Pedro BarataPedro Barata is Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Public Affairs at United Way. Pedro’s work and extensive volunteer activities over two decades in the non-profit sector have focused on advancing public policy while building a strong base of community leadership and engagement. He’s contributed to significant community-led efforts, that have created alliances with governments, business, labour and academia to find a way forward on issues like poverty reduction, income security reform, affordable housing and homelessness, as well as economic opportunities for disadvantaged populations. At United Way, Pedro is responsible for guiding strategic communications, organizational strategy development and implementation, research and evaluation, as well as policy and public affairs. Pedro first joined United Way in 2011 as Director, Public Affairs, with responsibility for strengthening the organization’s voice on systemic issues.
Karim Bardeesy, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Special Advisor to the President, Ryerson University, and Co-founder, Ryerson Leadership Lab
Karim BardeesyKarim Bardeesy is a public service leader who has worked at the intersection of public policy, politics, journalism and academia for the last 15 years. He is a Distinguished Visiting Professor and Special Adviser to the President at Ryerson University in Toronto, where he is launching a new Leadership Lab. He was previously Deputy Principal Secretary for the Premier of Ontario, the Hon. Kathleen Wynne, and served as Executive Director of Policy for Premiers Wynne and Dalton McGuinty. He has worked as a journalist, as an editorial writer at The Globe and Mail and as an editorial assistant at Slate magazine, and was a DiverseCity fellow with the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance. He has taught narrative and leadership at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance, and has a B.A. from McGill University, and an M.P.P. from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Sunil Johal, Policy Director, Mowat Centre
Sunil JohalSunil Johal is Policy Director at the University of Toronto’s Mowat Centre. He leads the Centre’s research activities and teaches a variety of executive education courses.  Previously, he spent close to a decade in senior executive and policy roles in the civil service. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics, Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Western Ontario. He is frequently invited to speak about technology and policy issues at conferences and in a variety of media outlets.
Elizabeth Mulholland, CEO, Prosper Canada
Elizabeth MulhollandElizabeth Mulholland is the CEO of Prosper Canada, a national charity dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for Canadians living in poverty through program and policy innovation, As Canada’s leading champion of financial empowerment, Prosper Canada works with government, business and community partners to develop and promote financial policies, programs and resources that transform lives and foster the prosperity of all Canadians. Ms. Mulholland joined Prosper Canada in 2011, after a decade of independent public policy consulting and 5 years as the Senior Advisor on Social Development in the Office of the Prime Minister, providing strategic direction on national social and health policy issues.  She has held senior policy positions in the non-profit and private sectors, working throughout her career to strengthen the relationship between Canada’s voluntary, public and private sectors and to develop the capacity of non-profit organizations to participate effectively in public policy making.
Karen Myers, President and CEO, Blueprint
Karen MyersKaren Myers is the president and CEO of Blueprint, a research organization dedicated to improving social and economic well-being by working together with its partners to solve complex policy challenges. She has expertise in a range of policy domains including workforce development, poverty reduction, income security, housing affordability and government transformation. Over the past twenty years, Karen has built a solid reputation for her ability to lead complex research and policy projects. She has extensive experience as a researcher, policy analyst, performance consultant and program evaluator that spans the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Immediately, prior to founding Blueprint, Dr. Myers was a research director at SRDC. Prior to SRDC she was a senior policy advisor with the Ontario Government. She began her career with Benchmark Performance, a private sector consulting firm focused on helping people and organizations perform. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Public Administration from Queen’s University.
Robert Steiner, Director, Fellowships in Global Journalism at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
Rob SteinerRobert Steiner is Director of the Fellowships in Global Journalism at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. The Fellowships are the first journalism program designed specifically to teach outstanding specialists with graduate degrees or professional experience in a field how to cover their own disciplines as freelance reporters for media around the world. Robert began his career as a global finance correspondent for The Wall Street Journal with postings in New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo, where he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, won two Overseas Press Club awards and the Inter-American Press Association Award. After leaving The Wall Street Journal he received his MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and then worked as a business strategy executive, first at The Boston Consulting Group and later as Group Vice President in charge of Strategic Planning for Bell Globemedia, parent of the Globe and Mail and CTV. From 2006 to 2010, he served as Assistant Vice President of the University of Toronto in charge of Strategic Communications. Robert has also held a number of senior campaign positions in Canadian politics. In 2003 and 2002, he served as health policy advisor and principal speechwriter for Hon. Paul Martin, during his candidacy for the premiership of Canada and during his subsequent tenure as Prime Minister-designate. In 2000, he managed the Liberal Party of Canada’s new media campaign in the period leading to and during the federal general election, working for Prime Minister Jean Chretien. Outside of work, Robert is engaged in independent writing projects focused on the role of religion in secular society. He lives in Toronto with his wife, daughter and son.

The program will also feature guest speakers and contributors from across sectors with a variety of experiences in public policy.

Participant testimonial

“Through the learning opportunities and practical experience provided through the Maytree Policy School, Raising the Roof has transformed from a passive to strategic player in the housing and homelessness public policy space.”

Elisa Traficante, Director of Community Initiatives, Raising the Roof (MPS ’19)

Participant testimonial

“Maytree Policy School completely surpassed my expectations. It's a course anyone should take who strives to be a strategic influencer at any level of government and regardless of who's in power.”

Brian Davis, Executive Director, Houselink Community Homes (MPS ’19)

Participant testimonial

"Maytree Policy School brought together a highly skilled and generous group of instructors. My organization has gained new tools and resources, and connections to fabulous peers and organizations."

Shelagh Pizey-Allen, Executive Director, TTCRiders (MPS ’19)

Participant testimonial

“Maytree Policy School provided us with practical insights into the policy process and the tools we need to engage as policy leaders. We also walked away from the course with a clear plan for implementing what we had learned and new connections across the sector.”

Jamie Stuckless, Executive Director, Share the Road Cycling Coalition (MPS ’18)

Participant testimonial

“Attending Maytree Policy School has helped me raise my game as a policy professional, helped refine my approach to my advocacy work, and created an impact across my organization as I share my learnings with colleagues across the country.”

Kat Clarke, Manager, Advocacy and Government Affairs, CNIB (MPS ’18)

Participant testimonial

“Maytree Policy School was invaluable. It helped me systematize and move forward our policy work. The faculty were knowledgeable and engaging, and the other participants have now become a close network I can call on.”

Sasha McNicoll, Policy Manager, Community Food Centres Canada (MPS ’19)

Participant testimonial

“Having the focused time along with the incredible depth of knowledge from the presenters and other participants made this program worth every minute. The shifts in our approach and development of a policy strategy will have long-term impact for our organization and our mission at Pillar.”

Michelle Baldwin, Executive Director, Pillar Nonprofit Network (MPS ’19)

Participant testimonial

“Maytree Policy School brought together an expert faculty team who generously shared their wealth of knowledge and experiences. I really appreciated how each session was meticulously planned and specifically tailored for us in the non-profit sector.”

Tesfai Mengesha, Executive Director, Success Beyond Limits (MPS ’18)

Participant testimonial

“Maytree Policy School helped us identify where we need to focus our energies to make the most of our limited resources in order to make a real impact in our policy work. It gave me access to what felt like “insider knowledge” and to so many incredible leaders with decades of experience in the policy world. I never would have been able to make those connections on my own.”
Katie German, Director of Programs, Foodshare (MPS ’18)