Graduates from our Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law (MPPAL) program

Diverse career paths – let the alumni tell you about the value of our program

Jennifer Nguyen - Policy Analyst

Jennifer Nguyen_IMG_0977Present Job Title: Policy Analyst
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2016

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?
I currently work in the Intergovernmental Relations Unit, where I work closely with stakeholders in all provinces and territories on a variety of policy issues related to health care. My day to day work includes coordinating Deputy Minister and Minister teleconferences and meetings, reviewing meeting materials, developing briefing notes and briefing decks, and collaborating with program areas across the ministry on issues related to Indigenous health, the Canada Health Act, and mental health.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.
Being a part of the MPPAL network increased my connections and interactions with working professionals in the OPS. Through meeting classmates in the program, I was able to learn more about the nature of public service work from highly experienced public servants, and also receive references and job recommendations that led me to my first OPS interview.

The structure of the MPPAL program allowed me to balance my professional development and continued work experience while earning a graduate degree. This also allowed me to greatly improve my time management skills, research and writing abilities, and further my understanding of policy development.

The diversity in courses and research opportunities allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of public administration. Each professor shared a unique perspective and expertise on public policy issues which has been highly relevant and helpful for my current position.

Sadaf Syed - Business Operations Manager

Present Employer: Oracle
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2015

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I manage a team of Business Analysts covering all operational activities under the consulting/professional services in North America and Latin America for Oracle Marketing Cloud. Overall my role is to improve operational efficiency, consistency, and compliance in support of the organization's financial and tactical business objectives.

I also serve as a liaison with other divisions such as Finance, Contracts, HR, Legal, Shared Services, Accounts Receivable and Risk Management in an effort to ensure accurate and timely transaction processing. I evaluate internal policies and programs to measure key performance indicator actuals versus business objectives. One of the key functions of my role is to provide updates to management regarding budget to actual status, informing them of deviations and opportunities, including economic impact and compliance issues surrounding key business decisions and customer contracts.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

My MPPAL degree has played a vital role in where I am today. It offered a unique combination that integrates finance, policy and management skills. Not only has it helped me to develop a higher level of critical thinking, but also gave me confidence to successfully manage a team, set priorities and meet my targets.

Being in the private sector where everything is fast paced and based on deadlines, the program has trained me in both quantitative and qualitative analytical methods, thus allowing me to thoroughly analyze problems and develop effective solutions.

From a larger perspective, the MPPAL program has added more versatility to my profile and has made me marketable as a professional. The most rewarding experience was that the program provided me with the opportunity to meet the most talented and extraordinary individuals and form long-lasting connections.

Kevin Giddings - Project Policy Analyst

kevin-giddingsPresent Employer: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Government of Ontario
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2015

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I currently work with the Strategy & Communications team of the Emergency Health Services Branch which oversees ambulance services in Ontario. I work with a group of professionals that provide communications services and issues management to our branch in support of the Assistant Deputy Minister’s Office.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

Working for the Ontario Public Service (OPS) for the past 15 years, the MPPAL program has been a perfect complement to my professional career. The program has enhanced my knowledge and understanding of public policy development and implementation, public finance, public management and the importance of the rule of law and administrative law in government. I am able to apply what I have learned in the program throughout my daily work in the OPS.

The program has been an excellent avenue for networking amongst colleagues, professors and also provided exposure to elected and non-elected government officials. Having served as an executive member and president of the Graduate Students’ Association of Public Policy, Administration and Law, I continue to further enhance my networking and leadership skills and develop greater team building skills, a quality that is key in the public service. As a student leader I worked closely with faculty on several initiatives that not only helped the current student body, but future students in the program as well. The MPPAL program has truly enhanced my career and my personal academic fulfillment and achievement.

Lindsey Ushtchenko - Manager of Policing Standards

Present Employer: Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2015

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I lead a team of policy staff who are responsible for developing and revising standards that promote professional police practices, researching criminal justice trends that affect policing, addressing a broad range of issues to assist police in protecting public safety, maintaining effective relationships with a broad range of policing, municipal and civil liberties stakeholders, and leading the development of recommendations for ministry policies and programs to support effective service delivery and programming for community safety and social well-being.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

My MPPAL degree was a rewarding opportunity for me to refresh my knowledge, enhance my awareness of new trends in public policy, challenge my assumptions and overall, to round out my skills and experience in support of career development and personal growth. Completing my graduate degree while maintaining full-time employment in progressively more senior roles was an opportunity for me to stretch my limits and test my capacity to take on new challenges, all of which supported me to continue to grow personally and professionally following the completion of my studies. The professional network that I developed through connections with my MPPAL classmates has also been invaluable and an added benefit beyond the academic aspect of the program.

Tanya Waugh - Policy and Delivery Advisor

Tanya WaughPresent Employer: Cabinet Office
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2015

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?
I’ve been very fortunate in my career so far to have had opportunities in a variety of areas within the OPS, including stakeholder management, policy analysis and strategic planning. My current position is with the Cabinet Office, Strategy and Results Branch, where I work with internal Cabinet Office partners and ministry partners to ensure decision makers have the most accurate and up to date information on the progress of key government priorities (e.g., Mandate letter commitments, Throne Speech commitments, Budget commitments, etc.).

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

I started working for the OPS weeks before graduating from the Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) program and have had many opportunities that led me to where I am today in no small part because of the theoretical and professional training I received at York University.

My first opportunity in the OPS was as a business analyst for ServiceOntario within the Ministry of Government and Consumers Services, where I worked with federal and provincial partners to discuss and develop ways to make government service delivery in Ontario better. I helped to identify opportunities for collaboration as well as tried to understand and change the status quo.

My second opportunity began weeks before finishing the Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law (MPPAL) program. I accepted a position within ServiceOntario’s Strategic Planning and Policy Branch as a business advisor, where I supported the ministry with delivering its strategic and program objectives through sound evidence-based policy. Six months later, I started my new role as policy advisor within the same branch.

The timing between when I started these opportunities and when I completed my respective degrees at York were no coincidence! Both the BPA and MPPAL program helped me to think critically about policy and social issues; how decisions get made and to understand different perspectives. I frequently draw on my theoretical knowledge in policy research, analysis and critical thinking skills to solve current policy problems.

Most importantly, I have benefited from great faculty members, peer networks and strong practical and theoretical teaching in public administration, policy and law. Now, I hope to pay it forward as a proud York alumna!

Marco Giancarlo - Intergovernmental Relations Officer

Marco GiancarloPresent Employer: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2015

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

In my previous role (2013-2016), I managed major capital projects for a portfolio of First Nation communities in Ontario. The primary focus of my particular Directorate was infrastructure improvements on reserve. Some of the projects I worked on included water treatment plants, bridges, roads and wastewater treatment systems. It was a very challenging and high-profile position, but also very rewarding.

In my current role (2017-present), I work with the Indigenous Representative Organizations (IRO) of Ontario in advancing their membership needs. A few areas of influence include self-governance, education and capacity negotiations, and treaty rights. I also work as a liaison with other levels of government on files of mutual concern. It is a stark change from my previous role working on infrastructure projects, however this new role allows me to tap into other skillsets afforded me through the MPPAL program.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

I also graduated from York University's Public Policy and Management BA program in 2009 which launched my career in the public service. The professional contacts and friends I made during the program allowed me to secure a student position at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) during the summer of 2008, and I have continued to grow and advance my career ever since.

With the recent addition of the MPPAL program I am excited to see what new avenues will become open to me. I am actively engaging in policy discussion in my current environment and have applied the skills I learned through MPPAL in my daily activities.

I have recently been promoted to a new role working with the Indigenous Representative Organizations (IRO) of Ontario in advancing their membership needs. A few areas of influence include self-governance, education and capacity negotiations, and treaty rights. I attribute this recent shift in responsibilities to the skills and abilities honed through the MPPAL program.

Mercedeh Andalibi - Manager of Client Services

Present Employer: VentureLAB
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I help entrepreneurs to commercialize their ideas.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

The MPPAL program led to my early promotion from a coordinator to management level.

Stacey Berry - Strategic Advisor and Campaign Coordinator

Stacey BerryPresent Employer: Help Fight Ebola Canada (Awareness Campaign)
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I am the co-founder of the Help Fight Ebola Canada (Awareness Campaign). I volunteer as the Strategic Advisor and Campaign Coordinator to raise awareness about the Ebola Virus through radio and TV interviews. My duties involve community outreach, recruiting and mentoring volunteers; soliciting and scheduling speakers from the medical and science community as well as journalists. To foster community engagement, I organize educational forums on Ebola, deliver presentations at churches, community centres and academic institutions. I also conduct media and government relations, solicit funds for our charity of choice, Globalmedic, as well as manage and build our contact list.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

York has help me to understand the important role of governance and public policy, especially in addressing human rights, social injustices and global health matters. York has provided me with great foundation for effective advocacy and community engagement. York has also equipped me with valuable and useful skills that I can apply to real world problems. I feel very confident that I will excel my future career.

Carmine Cichella - Business Analyst

Carmine CichellaPresent Employer: Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

At its most basic level, my role is that of a simplifier - that is, using analytical skill to determine the best route to streamline business processes for RBC employees across Canada and across the world. This involves constant work with internal and (often) external stakeholders where clear communication and transparency is a sought-after trait.

The role of business analysis is inextricably linked to technology - where banks across North America aim to remain viable and competitive in a changing financial climate. It is my role to ensure that RBC technologies meet stakeholder needs and are designed to maximize employee efficiencies. In that sense, the work which I do is an important element in RBC remaining the #1 bank in Canada.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

It might seem like a far cry from public policy and administration, but the analytical and interpersonal tools that were honed while undertaking the MPPAL degree have helped in nearly every facet of my professional life. Where communication with an executive will result in a clearer understanding/estimation of work, or analysis of a problem stakeholders are facing will help in its expeditious resolution, my time at York has contributed to my professional successes.

In the time after my studies, I have been nominated for, and received, internal RBC recognition and accolades for my work - parts of which can be attributed to the skills I learned at York University. Understanding the tenants of proper analysis, clear communication, legislative analysis, and responsible management has not only allowed me to excel in the field of business analytics; they have made me a better democratic citizen. I am more aware of present issues in Canada which impact our government, and in turn affect us as the voting public. As such, I am better able to make democratic decisions and help to shape the future of Ontario and Canada as a whole.

Obaid Daud - Program Evaluator

Present Employer: Jane and Finch Community Centre
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

As a Program Evaluator, I undertake an array of activities to meet the needs of our organization. I lead various evaluation projects and a research team. My duties include assessing operation, performance and program outcome. The findings of my work are used to improve service quality in an efficient and effective manner.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

In addition to gaining theoretical and practical knowledge, York University has been the main hub of my networking. As a graduate student, I was privileged to complete many student placements and internships. The strategies and tools I use in my current position are exactly what I was introduced to during my graduate studies at York. I encourage prospective students to use every placement and internship opportunity to build your networking.

Helga Gonzalez Leyton - Service Canada Benefits Officer

Helga Gonzalez LeytonPresent Employer: Government of Canada
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I currently work for the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) as a Service Canada Benefits Officer where I review, adjudicate and process applications for the Old Age Security pension. I have been working for Service Canada, an initiative of ESDC, since 2007. The part time and evening classes of the MPPAL program allowed me to pursue this degree while continuing to work full time. At Service Canada I have held several positions, ranging from pensions call centre agent, to in-person centre service officer, to a processing officer in the payment and processing branch - all working towards the delivery of federal government services and programs to citizens.

I enjoy many aspects of my job as it's at the heart of serving Canadians and making a small but significant difference at various stages and needs in their lives. Examples of these include issuing new immigrants their first Social Insurance Number so they can start seeking employment, assessing a Canada Summer Jobs application for employers so that a student can be hired during the summer months, assisting a client with their Employment Insurance benefits application and claim, and submitting a senior citizen's claim for their pension.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

My studies at York while completing the MPPAL program have opened more doors for the types of jobs I can apply for. During my second year of studies I obtained a temporary position where I was able to learn more about a different area of my department. Shortly after I graduated, I secured my current position where I am able to apply the skills and knowledge gained from the MPPAL program, particularly those dealing with administrative law, protection of privacy and access to information, ethics, public finance and public administration.

The Leadership and Human Resources Management second year course from the MPPAL program captured my interest in human resources management. The program provided me with a strong foundation for further education in that field which I have pursued since graduating.

As an executive member and president of the Graduate Student Association of Public Policy, Administration and Law (GSAPPAL) I gained valuable insights into leadership, teamwork and being a student advocate. A fruitful aspect of taking the MPPAL program is the friendships and networks developed with colleagues who work in various fields and levels of government. You graduate with a strong network of individuals that will add value to your career advancement.

Ezra Isaacson - Team Lead - Financial Decision Support

Ezra IsaacsonPresent Employer: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I lead a team of analysts that facilitates financial decisions. This includes leading the ministry’s Audit Secretariat and facilitating certain hospital funding decisions.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

Prior to the MPPAL, as a Chartered Professional Accountant (Certified Management Accountant), my career options were more limited, primarily focused in accounting and financial management. However, through the MPPAL program, I have enhanced my management, research and writing skills in a program focused on a combination of legal, policy analysis and public management skills to broaden my career options and overall potential. For example, my current role combines both my financial background and the policy/management skills obtained in the MPPAL program.

Sikandar Jamal - Management Consultant

Sikandar JamalPresent Employer: AB Agrigrow Enterprises
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I teach and work for an agro based Co-Operative. I am trying to establish grower friendly policies and establish programs to educate the masses about green and certified agri products in the emerging markets. The MPPAL degree from York University's School of Public Policy, Administration and Law provides one with tools to be successful in career and life.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

The studies at York have helped me achieve success in my career. After completing my degree at York, I have seen gradual upward movement in my career because the experience and training that is part of the MPPAL program is one of the best, it is geared towards professional development and success.

Nyrie K - Policy Analyst

Present Employer: Ministry of Transportation
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I currently work with the Windsor Border Initiatives Implementation Group on the construction of the $1.4 billion dollar Rt. Honourable Herb Gray Parkway, an 11 kilometer parkway in Windsor, connecting Windsor to the Windsor/Detroit border. I participate in project management issues and policy initiatives as they occur along the project.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

The MPPAL degree has provided a foundational understanding of public administration and adds a competitive advantage when applying for jobs. The staff, faculty, and alumni at York have helped me get connected to the working world through a strong professional network built on trust and merit.

Bert Lauwers - President and CEO

Dr. Bert LauwersPresent Employer: Ross Memorial Hospital, Lindsay Ontario
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I am the President and CEO of a medium-sized hospital in the City of Kawartha Lakes. We have over 800 employees including unionized and non-unionized staff, with an annual budget of $85M.

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

The Master's of Public Policy, Administration and Law was remarkably relevant to my day-to-day activities, which involve all three disciplines. Writing skills are essential in today's working world, and mine were definitely refined during my studies. Researching, developing positions and communicating these both in the written form, and orally in presentations, are key and vital components of my daily work life.

The MMPAL program is a unique educational experience that provides insights into:

Public Administration: a vital area to understand in health care;
Public Policy: a driver of health care policy and linked to strategic choices; and
Law: is the administrative vehicle upon which government exercises direction and control for the health system, with such legislation as the Excellent Care for All Act.

Learners are encouraged and taught to write, develop and deliver projects, work in teams, publicly speak and deliver oral presentations, and critically analyze current events from the financial, political, and policy perspectives.

This Masters program was everything I hoped it would be, and more. The professors were outstanding. I believe the program was instrumental in providing me the necessary skill set to be successful in my administrative role.

Akeem Maginley - Senior Programs Officer

Present Employer: Transport Canada
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I conduct qualitative and quantitative research and analysis of transportation policy, socio-economic topics and trends in order to advise the implementation of various projects/policy options throughout Ontario.

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

Prior to taking the MPPAL, I had worked for the City of Toronto, the Ontario Public Service, and the Federal Public Service, at various stages in my employment career. However, before the MPPAL, I didn’t know how it [i.e. government] all worked.

Within the context of practical exercises, the MPPAL provided me with a solid foundation for understanding the intersection between public policies, government, and the law. Furthermore, the MPPAL provided strong links to theoretical sources of knowledge and a diverse faculty who are experts in their respective fields. Finally, the MPPAL opened up a diverse network of skilled, passionate, and dynamic alumni; a group that will continue to grow and strengthen.

Naji Naeemzada - Entrepreneurship Development Coordinator

Present Employer: VentureLab
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into a real product/service.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

Network. Use MPPAL to network with everyone in the program.

Jennifer Persaud - Governance Coordinator

Present Employer: Central East Local Health Integration Network
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

As a Crown Agency Corporation, the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) plan, integrate and fund local health care, improving access and patient experience. In my role, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer, I am responsible for coordinating business for our Board of Directors.

This entails arranging monthly meetings, preparing Briefing Notes and Presentations and managing Board Development and Education initiatives. It requires an acuity for the functions of the provincial government and health service providers (hospitals, long-term care homes, CHCs and CSS agencies). I work with staff to prepare a monthly CEO report to the Board which is posted on our website, along with a monthly Chair's report to the Board and Committee Reports of the Audit/Finance and Governance Committees of the Board. I also have the responsibility of Issues Management, on behalf of the CEO, which challenges my conflict resolution and health system knowledge on a daily basis.

The job requires long hours, but is vastly rewarding and has introduced me to the full continuum of public policy - starting with activities in the House and then translating to funding being issued through my organization, being allocated by the Board and then reported on by our Health Service Providers to show how we're achieving our goals of 'Community First'.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

Every day of class during the MPPAL program was relatable to my work at the LHIN. We had plenty of opportunities to conduct real-time research on health system initiatives that were unprecedented, like Funding Reform and Community Mental Health growth.

The research skills and value of discussions and lectures introduced alternative perspectives on the complexity of the health system, and the levels of government overall. I can certainly attest to the selection of courses and course work being highly assistive with a career in the public sector, one that's on track to a leadership role.

Preeya Rateja - Program Coordinator - Justice on Target

Present Employer: Ministry of the Attorney General - Government of Ontario
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I work for Justice on Target (JOT), which is Ontario's strategy to address criminal court delay by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of Ontario’s criminal justice system.

My present role is as Program Coordinator, Youth Justice Committees (YJC). The Youth Justice Committee Program is an alternative to formal court proceedings. A youth and their parent(s) or guardian will meet with a committee of community volunteers and the victim. The committee will negotiate meaningful ways or “sanctions” for the youth to repair the harm caused. I am charged with managing this program in Ontario.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

The MPPAL program helped me in achieving my current position at JOT. I also received a Graduate Diploma in Justice Administration, which has been instrumental in my work today. This program gave me a strong background in understanding policy, its intersect with public management as well as a solid foundation in research methodology and statistics. In particular, program management is an area of the MPPAL program which directly links with the work I do today.

My work requires evidence-based decision making, which is rooted in statistical analysis. This analysis provides the basis for decisions related to aspects such as funding, program development and management. I believe that I use my MPPAL degree to its maximum with the work I currently do, whether that be writing briefing notes, developing logic models, statistical analysis or fiscal planning. The Graduate Diploma has provided me with an area of expertise, one which spans beyond criminal courts. I have become a better employee, citizen and critical thinker since the program!

Jennifer Servos Jones - Executive Assistant to the Assistant Deputy Minister

Jennifer ServosPresent Employer: Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2014

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I currently work as the Executive Assistant to the Assistant Deputy Minister, Operational Support Division of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. This division supports the operations of the province's correctional institutions and community correctional services and programs, including probation and parole offices. Our core functions include: corporate support for field operations; business, resource and financial planning; correctional officer recruitment and training; development and oversight of operational policies; program evaluation, data collection and analysis; and implementation of a corrections human rights plan.

I serve as a trusted advisor and assistant to the ADM and provide executive level support to the senior management team. I coordinate the development and approval of briefing materials, communications and correspondence and provide strategic advice to the ADM and divisional staff. I am responsible for managing an array of daily issues arising in a large organization, such as labour relations and human resources management; legal matters; media and public inquiries; and policy development and implementation. I also manage the daily operations of the office, providing guidance to administrative and support staff and developing and maintaining relationships with senior executives, ministry staff and other internal and external stakeholders. Upon entering this position, I also developed and implemented several new business processes and practices to improve efficiency and accountability and ensure adherence to government legislative and policy requirements.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

The Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law program at York helped me further my knowledge and skills in various aspects of public policy and administration and to build networks to enhance my career. Prior to entering the program I had been working in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) for approximately four years, gradually progressing into positions holding increasing responsibility.

The MPPAL program allowed me to increase my training in public policy and administration without putting my career on hold. I feel that the program gave me a deeper fundamental understanding of the workings of the public sector and helped me gain the skills to make the leap to my first management role in the OPS. I am confident that the professional networks I gained throughout the program will help me to continue advancing my career in the public sector and will be a valuable resource to achieving my future career and academic goals.

Anthony Antonacci - Policy & Program Advisor

Anthony AntonacciPresent Employer: Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2013

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I currently work for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Branch with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Here, we lead the development of an integrated, multi-modal transportation plan that fulfills accessibility and mobility needs of athletes, officials, residents and visitors of the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, taking place in July/August 2015.

My position involves project management functions such as the development of project timelines and tools to ensure that key transportation planning deliverables are identified and on track. I am also responsible for risk management, oversight & delivery, and management of a multi-jurisdictional committee involving stakeholders from municipalities and transit agencies from across the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area.

My duties have recently expanded to include leading the development of operational plans for sports taking place at the downtown Toronto Pan Am/Parapan Am venues. I am also assisting with coordination of a testing and readiness schedule to determine opportunities before the Games to create and refine existing plans for many different aspects of Games transportation delivery.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

The MPPAL program at York provided valuable experience and opportunities that have both directly and indirectly helped me to successfully pursue a career in public policy.

Courses such as Public Management and Public Finance include review and discussion of case studies reflecting real-life situations in the civil service. Briefing notes are also assigned as part of a class grade, providing practical experience. Courses on statistical analysis and performance measures have also proven to be useful in providing sound policy advice to senior management, deputy ministers and ministers.

As I continue to experience more of the civil service, I frequently find myself drawing comparisons to lessons learned through the MPPAL program, which has justified my decision to enter the program in the first place.

More directly, I was able to initially enter into the civil service as a co-op student by connecting with a former York alumni who was generous enough to provide opportunities to students with the MPPAL program. From there, I was able to use the skills provided by MPPAL to secure further employment with the Ontario Public Service and begin my career in public policy.

Corey Davidson - Executive Assistant to the Assistant Deputy Minister

Corey DavidsonPresent Employer: ServiceOntario, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2013

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

In a nutshell, I coordinate activities across three branches in my division, which is led by the Assistant Deputy Minister.

My duties include: preparing and editing briefing materials, hiring and managing staff, responding directly to customer concerns, acting as the primary liaison with other executive offices, briefing senior executives, crafting speeches, planning events and managing the divisional budget.

I also must be available 24/7 to handle anything else that might come up.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

I believe that I have used something from every course in the MPPAL program in multiple positions in the Ontario Public Service.

A few examples:

The constitutional and administrative law classes have enhanced my ability to analyze current or proposed legislation and engage in conversations with policy experts and legal counsel.

The statistics and accounting classes have enhanced my ability to interpret and reconcile data, including performance measures, budgets and research reports.

The human resources management class has enhanced my ability to manage staff and understand and anticipate organizational behaviour.

Completing this program will help you get to where you want to go in your career - whether in the public, private or non-profit sector, government relations, or academia.

Yana Gravets (Olshtynskaya) - Senior Advisor (Office of the Budget)

Yana GravetsPresent Employer: Regional Municipality of York
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2013

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

In my present role, as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Budget, I am supporting the development of the operating annual and multi-year budgets for the Regional Municipality of York. Currently, the Region's gross operating budget is about $1.9 billion and it continues to grow. I work closely with the senior staff of other departments and provide strategic financial advice to them throughout the budget development process.

My work involves, but is not limited to: developing budget guidelines and templates; reviewing and analyzing budget submissions to determine Region-wide impacts; coordinating development of policy products and budget reporting processes; writing and reviewing reports; preparing briefing notes that inform decision making; preparing budget presentations for Senior Management (including presentations to Council); undertaking complex analyses and providing policy advice and recommendations to the Commissioner of Finance.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

York University has provided me with both theoretical and practical knowledge of public policy and administration. I was both an undergraduate and a graduate student at York University and I can state with certainty that I was satisfied with both. The professors are very knowledgeable and supportive and course materials are very interesting and involving. I was able to take away some of the concepts learned through various courses, especially those related to public finance and policy analysis, and apply them on the job. Additionally, the program not only broadened my theoretical and practical knowledge, but also expanded my network of contacts.

Daniel Italiano - Insurance Broker

Daniel ItalianoPresent Employer: Oracle RMS Insurance Risk Management Services Inc.
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2013

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I am an insurance broker that specializes in providing business and fleet insurance for small and mid-sized businesses. I also provide personal auto, home and travel insurance to the owners of said businesses and their families and friends.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

I was an insurance broker prior to starting the MPPAL program. I viewed the MPPAL program as an opportunity to broaden my knowledge of policy analysis, and upon completion of the program I was not disappointed. Even though I was then and still remain in the private sector, the skills I learned in the program were easily transferable to my career.

I learned to better approach and understand risk management from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives, I can now better interpret policy documents and can better analyze and apply the results in my dealings with clients.

On a similar note, I've learned to take a different approach when liaising and speaking to clients, allowing me to substantially increase my closing ratio of new client business and maintain a higher retention on renewing business. These are a few of the many ways the MPPAL program has helped me in my career. Even though this program is tailored for students who want a career in the public sector, it offers many benefits and will be a great asset for those also in the private sector.

Manivillie Kanagasabapathy - Project Manager

Manivillie KanagasabapathyPresent Employer: South Asian Women's Centre
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2013

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I work as a Project Manager and Resource Development Officer at the South Asian Women's Centre (SAWC). I currently manage a project funded by Status of Women Canada titled "There is No 'Honour' in Violence Against Women and Girls." Now, in its second year, the project is focused on building an inter-agency strategy to address violence against women, development of policy recommendations and lobbying pieces to generate systematic change in Canadian and international work on violence against women. The project findings have been taken to the House of Senate; public health agencies, such as CAMH and other non-profit agencies.

Another component of my position is continuous expansion of resources for SAWC through the development of our fundraising and social media strategy. A task completed through stakeholder analysis and the building of partnerships with government agencies and foundations. Relationship management is a key aspect of the role at SAWC and involves media, clients, stakeholders, policy makers, staff, volunteers and members of SAWC.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

The degrees that I have obtained through York have helped me to network and build connections with other like minded individuals and organizations. The MPPAL degree has helped to connect with policy makers and opened doors to conversations with elected officials and other policy leaders. The program provided me with an amazing opportunity to network with those working in the government field and/or in areas of research that I was interested in. The research that I have completed as part of my MPPAL program has been utilized in the various organizations and agencies that I partner with and/or work with.

Tina Motavalli - Account Executive

Present Employer: Sanofi
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2013

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

• Quota responsibility aligned with specific accounts (total of 140 accounts in GTA, Ontario)
• Mastery and consistent execution of internal sales
• Proficient in account planning and understanding of territory management
• Manage forecast accuracy on a monthly/quarterly/annual basis
• Maintaining competitive knowledge & focus
• Fiscal responsibility with regards to expense management
• In-depth knowledge of products and services

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

This program teaches students great amount of skills that are very important in any field students choose to be in. It focuses a lot on decision making, case analysis and judgement. Personally, I believe these skills are essential and important for succeeding in any career path.

Bonnie Granata Nunnari - Business Development Manager, Global Business & Emerging Industries

Bonnie Granata NunnariPresent Employer: Calgary Economic Development
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2013

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

As the Business Development Manager of Global Business and Emerging Industries, I am part of a team that facilitates opportunities for economic growth in Calgary.

Main responsibilities:

Identify and support business retention, expansion, and investment attraction opportunities to Calgary region;
Connect business, government, consuls, and incoming/outgoing trade missions from around the world;
Identify and develop opportunities to leverage trade in international markets;
Develop and facilitate programming and events in the Global Business Centre on industry and policy challenges.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

As an undergraduate and graduate of York University, I can confidently say the university has played a large part in shaping my success.

The Masters in Public Policy, Administration and Law opened doors to prospects in various fields, not just policy work. The program provided an opportunity to engage in and apply critical thinking to policy challenges - which is a key skill for a variety of professions.

Armed with both practical and theoretical teachings from the program, I practice much of what I learned in MPPAL. In my current role, I need to be aware of challenges, trends, and events that impact a multitude of stakeholders around the world. How I approach such challenges and act on them has been largely influenced by the program's courses and professors.

Nadine Persaud - Senior Policy Analyst

Nadine PersaudPresent Employer: Canada Border Services Agency
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2013

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

In my current position I am required to provide strategic direction, leadership, oversight and advice on my Agency's governance practices, specifically, those related to planning and performance measurement. I work on corporate strategic planning activities to support the overall decision-making process by bridging the gap between priorities (what needs to be done), long-term plans (where we are going to do), and fiscal reality (how we allocate resources); thus, identifying pressures and linkages that directly support the Agency's priorities.

I also provide meaningful performance information and analysis in support of program improvements through the development of the Agency Performance Summary, a detailed quarterly report presented to the Agency's Executive Committee that monitors the performance in achieving its strategic outcomes.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

The practicality of the executive-style program enabled me to enrich my experience in the public sector by introducing theoretical concepts related to everyday public policy issues. By having a solid understanding of the theoretical approaches made it easier to apply everyday tasks in the workplace related to public policy development, program evaluation and data analysis. As well, the diversity of students working in the public sector, non-governmental organizations and the private sector provided a wholesome network of diverse individuals to learn from during class discussions and debates.

Vasiola Bibolli - Law Student

Present Employer: n/a
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2012

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

Prior to attending law school, I was working as a Claims Administrator for TD Insurance. I primarily dealt with internal clients. I interpreted workflow for business improvements and project initiatives to enhance procedural documentation. In addition, I managed and maintained records in the Oracle computer databases in order to make the process of data retrieval easier for external clients.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

I value my experience from the MPPAL program as it has given me skills in leadership, writing and communication. I believe that what I learned during MPPAL helped me to survive in law school. Furthermore, the course in human resource and leadership was helpful during my time at TD Insurance. This led me to numerous leadership roles within the different TD committees!

Leanna Karremans - Director - Research, Policy and Communications

Leanna KarremansPresent Employer: Pathway Group
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2012

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I have eight years of experience working at Queen's Park and a wealth of knowledge in communications, issues management, and media relations.

Prior to joining Pathway Group, I worked in the Ontario Public Service as a Senior Issues and Media Relations Consultant with ServiceOntario and the Ministry of the Attorney General. As a public servant, my positions also included Senior Writer and Editor at the Ministry of the Attorney General, Policy Advisor with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and a Communications Writer in Cabinet Office.

From 2004 to 2008, I worked politically at the provincial level of government as a Legislative Assistant and Issues Manager to the Ontario Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship and a Constituency Assistant to Members of Provincial Parliament in Ottawa and Mississauga. I have also been involved in political campaigns, both federally and provincially, since 2004 and have extensive volunteer experience over several years serving the Liberal Party of Canada.

I have also successfully planned and executed lobbying activities on behalf of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, including its inaugural G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit in 2010. This annual global summit calls on G20 Leaders to focus on and agree to implement policies, legislation and incentives that support start-ups and young entrepreneurs.

I hold a Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law from York University and an Honours BA in Mass Communications from Carleton University.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

I was already working in the government prior to starting the MPPAL program, however, the program helped me to become more marketable. It is rare to find a communications professional within the government who has post-secondary education and working knowledge of public policy development and program evaluation. As a result, I was invited to participate in special projects because I was able to look at the work with a communications and a public policy lens.

The knowledge I gained through the MPPAL program also gave me an advantage in landing jobs. For example, through my previous experience working in government communications, combined with the knowledge I gained from the MPPAL courses in constitutional and administrative law, I was able to secure a position at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. I was viewed as an ideal employee because of my foundational knowledge in federal and provincial law.

Lastly, the program also helped me to broaden my knowledge of other areas of government I had less experience in, such as, public finance, accounting, and human resources management.

Shirin Mandani - Executive Director

Shirin MandaniDegree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2012

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I am currently working in a registered charity which provides services to seniors, women and newcomers. My work as an Executive Director involves grant writing, resource development, financial and human resources management and making policy recommendations. I am involved with the integrated labour market planning committee of South Scarborough region managed by City of Toronto and also sit on various not-for-profits committees.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

The MPPAL program has helped me to enhance my knowledge of public policy matters, and it simultaneously made me become aware of grass roots issues with regard to social justice matters. Having credentials from one of the most reputed universities was very helpful in securing the position I am in today.

Charine Mattis - Student Financial Advisor

Charine MattisPresent Employer: York University
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2011

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

As a Student Financial Aid Advisor, I am part of the Administration of York University authorized by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to administer government financial aid to ensure that eligible students receive funding to be successful at the post secondary level.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

Financial Aid is government funded, and as such, administered through public policy informed by legislation, and this in turn impacts on administration. My studies in Public Policy, Administration and Law have given me the necessary skills to interpret and influence policy to serve students, and administer government financial aid that is consistent with good governance, i.e transparency, responsibility and accountability at York University.

Rosa Taddeo - Strategic Intelligence Analyst

Present Employer: Ontario Public Service - Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2011

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

My work consists of conducting strategic intelligence assessments in partnership with cross-jurisdictional law enforcement agencies, provincially, nationally and internationally. I utilize strategic policy development, program evaluation and analysis, as well as government decision-making processes to evaluate existing law enforcement strategies and make recommendations to support strategic policy development.

My work involves drafting policy papers, reports, correspondence, briefing notes, and material for cabinet submission including presenting findings and analysis to senior management for decision-making. I incorporate experience and knowledge of community safety and justice sector legislation and governance; including an understanding of foreign affairs, and cross-jurisdictional intelligence operations/models, processes related to classified material handling, security clearance, and emergency management. Trends analysis is conducted as well as quantitative and qualitative research to analyze complex information from cross-jurisdictional sources.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

The MPPAL program has and continues to play a pertinent role in my career advancement and professional development. Within one year of graduating from the MPPAL program I was already making strides in my career path. In addition, the material taught and learned from the program continues to be an important aspect of my everyday work.

Ashley Burger - Senior Policy Advisor

Ashley BurgerPresent Employer: Ministry of Education
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2010

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I am a Senior Policy Advisor working in the Ontario Public Service. I currently provide policy advice and conduct consultations and research on a variety of topics relating to early childhood education, special education and kindergarten. I began working for the OPS in 2007, and have enjoyed being able to delve into different topics every time I join a new ministry.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

Completing my master's degree at York helped to refresh and enhance my understanding of public policy and the legislative process. It has also helped me to progress in my career, as I have had two promotions since completing my degree, and to meet others who are following a similar career path.

Lynn Fournier-Ruggles - Professor/Field Placement Coordinator

Lynn Fournier-RugglesPresent Employer: Seneca College, School of Legal and Public Administration
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2010

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I teach a variety of subjects related to public administration in the Court and Tribunal Administration and Public Administration - Municipal programs; I also teach Canadian Immigration and Refugee Law in the Paralegal programs..

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

The Master, Public Policy, Administration and Law degree enhanced my public sector experience in management. It provided me with the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of Canadian public administration and policy from an academic and theoretical perspective, and connected me to people in the "industry."

Piragal Thiru - Planner - Transit Policy & Accessible Services

Piragal ThiruPresent Employer: The Regional Municipality of York
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2010

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I am responsible for undertaking the development of service strategies, alternative service delivery options, trip demand forecasting, conducting operational reviews, maintaining an annual plan of system accessibility initiatives as required under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) legislation as well as providing policy and program support, research, analysis and coordination across the Transportation and Community Planning Department.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

The MPPAL degree gave me the theoretical insight to public administration using a broader lens to good governance. From there, I was able to choose and narrow my area of focus in public policy and learn more through research. Furthermore, given that this is an executive style graduate program, it allowed me to expand my network with professionals from academic, not-for-profit, private and public sectors.

Steve Durant - PhD Student and Research Associate

Present Employer: University of Toronto
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year Graduated: 2009

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

As a PhD student and researcher, I am currently investigating mental health policy in Ontario, with a focus on the history of health systems and institutions.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

Although I enrolled in the MPPAL program with the intention of training for a career in the public service, my studies at York piqued my interest in academic research and led me to pursue a PhD after graduation. Even though I was in a professional program, my professors encouraged me in this new direction, showing me how my ideas and ambitions could align with a career in research. They shared their own work, patiently helped me refine my own ideas and invited me to present in undergraduate classes. When the time came, they supported my successful application to a leading PhD program in my field of interest. I'll be forever grateful for the encouragement and practical advice I received, and the connections I made to a fascinating group of fellow students who came together around a common interest in policy, and have since succeeded in a very wide range of pursuits.

Muhammad Gondal - Assistant Commissioner

Present Employer: Government of Punjab Province, Pakistan
Degree Earned: Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law
Year You Graduated: 2009

Tell prospective students a bit about the work you do?

I am in charge of Tehsil (sub-district) on matters regarding land management, land revenue, agricultural income tax, municipal services and overall administration including law & order in this district of Punjab Province, Pakistan.

Tell prospective students a bit about how your studies at York helped you to get where you are today.

This executive style programme helped me a lot in performing my administrative and executive functions.