Maytree Policy School

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

Karim Bardeesy, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ryerson Leadership Lab

Karim BardeesyKarim Bardeesy is a public service leader who has worked in progressively senior roles in public policy, politics, journalism and academia in Toronto and the United States since 2001. He is the Co-Founder and current Executive Director of the Ryerson Leadership Lab at Ryerson University. He is also a board member of The Atmospheric Fund and Corporate Knights, Inc., a member of the Banff Forum, and a founding faculty member of Maytree Policy School. Karim was previously Deputy Principal Secretary for the Premier of Ontario, the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, and served as Executive Director of Policy for Premiers Wynne and Dalton McGuinty. He has worked as a journalist, an editorial writer at The Globe and Mail, and as an editorial assistant at Slate magazine. He has also taught narrative and leadership at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance and was a DiverseCity Fellow with the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance. Karim holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He grew up in Bathurst, New Brunswick and is the son of immigrants from Egypt and England. He and his wife Rachel Pulfer are raising their children in Toronto’s west end.

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.
Juliette Nicolet, Policy Director, Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres

photo: Juliette NicoletJuliette Nicolet is the Policy Director at the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, a position she has held for thirteen years.  Prior to that she articled then served as counsel at the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario.

Juliette’s expertise and interests are in Indigenous praxis as it relates to policy and intersects with the Canadian political landscape. She also explores international policy trends and their impacts on Indigenous populations. Always strategic in her approaches, she looks beyond postmodern socio-political concepts to understand intricate interactions between precolonial, colonial and colonist conditions that determined the development of policies impacting Indigenous peoples.

Juliette is an imaginative thinker with passion for history, philosophy and law, who brings curiosity, sharp analytical skills, and clearly articulated ideas to a variety of contexts. Known for her engaging presentations, she is a persuasive communicator, clearly articulating complex social policy to diverse audiences and distilling large volumes of information from the field into coherent and sustainable policy proposals.

Projects Juliette has worked on include the Boyd Review of Sharia in Family Law Arbitration (2004), the Urban Aboriginal Task Force Report (2007), the Ontario Indigenous Children and Youth Strategy (2015), the Urban Indigenous Action Plan (2018), as well as multiple submissions annually to the provincial and federal governments in the areas of governance, justice, education, housing, employment and training, children and youth, and health.

Juliette holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Toronto and obtained both her LLB and her BCL from McGill 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)