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Queen's University

School of Policy Studies

The Donald Gow Memorial Lecture

This lecture series, established in 1973, honours Donald Gow, the first director of the School of Public Administration. 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 is intended to complement the basic direction of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, which encourages interdisciplinary analysis of public policy issues. The Gow Lecture is an integral part of the School's annual Policy Forum, held each spring. 

Born in Calgary, Donald 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, Gow worked with the Civil Service Commission of Canada.

From 1953 to 1956, 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 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 at Queen's until his sudden death in 1973.

Past Gow lecturers:

Hon. Roy Romanow, former Premier of Saskatchewan,

Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations

Gordon Giffin, United States ambassador to Canada

Hon. Gary Doer, Premier of Manitoba,

Hon. Nellie Cournoyea, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

David Dodge, Governor of the Bank of Canada

David Miller, Mayor of Toronto

Pamela Wallin, O.C., S.O.M

2009 - Hon. Hugh Segal, Senator

2010 - Gregory Selinger, Premier of Manitoba

2011 - Hon. Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons

2012 - Hon. John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs

2013 - Bob Rae, former leader of the Liberal Party

2014 - Hon. Thomas Mulcair, M.P. and Leader of the Official Opposition 

    School of Policy Studies, Robert Sutherland Hall
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.3020