This lecture series, established in 1973, honours Donald Gow, the first director of the School of Public Administration. It compliments the basic direction of the MPA programs and encourages interdisciplinary analysis of public policy issues. It is part of the annual Policy Forum held each spring.
Born in Calgary, Dr. Gow received his BA (Political Science) at the University of Manitoba in 1940. He served with the Royal Canadian Signal Corps in Europe during the Second World War and was discharged with the rank of captain. Both before and after his war service overseas, Dr. Gow worked with the Civil Service Commission of Canada.
From 1953 to 1956, Dr. Gow was assistant chief of the Defence and Works Section of the Treasury Board in Ottawa. In 1957, he attended the Imperial Defence College in London and then went to the NATO offices in Paris. In 1960, he returned to the Treasury Board to become involved in the early stages of pay research and labour policy.
In 1965, he enrolled as a doctoral student in Political Studies at Queen’s University. Following his graduation in 1967, Dr. Gow became executive assistant to the principal at Queen’s University, and in 1970, the first director of what was then called the School of Public Administration. Motivated by his public service and academic experience, he worked vigorously for the establishment and continual improvement of the Master of Public Administration program until his sudden death in 1973.
The Donald Gow Memorial Lecture brings a prominent figure in public affairs to Queen’s University each year to speak on a topic in Canadian public policy. It complements the basic direction of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, which encourages interdisciplinary analysis of public policy issues.
The School of Policy Studies continues to provide advanced training to entry level and mid-career public servants through the MPA and Professional-MPA (PMPA) programs.
Past lectures have included the Honourable Roy Romanow, former Premier of Saskatchewan, Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Gordon Giffin, United States Ambassador to Canada, the Honourable Gary Doer, Premier of Manitoba, the Honourable Nellie Cournoyea, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, David Dodge, Governor of the Bank of Canada. The 2003 Gow Lecture was delivered by Keith Banting, former Director Queen's School of Policy Studies. The 2004 Gow Lecture was presented by David Miller, Mayor Of Toronto. On Friday April 29, 2005 Michael Decter, founding Chair of the Health Council of Canada, presented the 2005 Gow Lecture, "The Evolution of Canadian Health Care: Policy, Poetry and Prospects ".