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New Policy Studies director to draw on diverse experience

Scott Carson believes his new role as executive director of Queen’s School of Policy Studies perfectly fits his diverse academic and professional experiences.

[Scott Carson]
Scott Carson

“I have always been fascinated by how different institutions and social groups in society interact,” says Dr. Carson, who took over from Kim Richard Nossal in July. “I have been fortunate to work in multiple sectors in my career, in business, education, government and the not-for-profit sectors, and I plan to draw on all of those experiences in my new role.”

Dr. Carson traces his deep intellectual curiosity back to his undergraduate days as a commerce student at Mount Allison University in the 1960s. Influenced by the social dynamism of the Vietnam War era, he pursued a minor in sociology to go along with his major in economics.

Throughout his career, Dr. Carson has grappled with the social values underlying change and restructuring. One example he cites is his experience as chief executive officer of the Ontario government’s Privatization Secretariat from 1988-89. A major initiative during that period included a study to determine future options for Highway 407, which the government owned at the time. Dr. Carson recalls his surprise in observing how the various stakeholders struggled to understand each other’s language, motivations and decision-making processes. Often what appeared to be deep-seated and unresolvable divisions were bridged by developing shared understandings among the different stakeholders.

Background
A few of Dr. Carson’s career highlights:
Academic
Director, The Monieson Centre for Business Research in Healthcare, 2011-2015; Director, Queen’s MBA, 2007-2011; Dean, School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, 1996-2006 (On leave from 1998-99); Dean, Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University, 1993-1996
Government
Chief Executive Officer, Government of Ontario’s Privatization Secretariat, 1998-99
Business
Vice-President and Division Head, Corporate Finance Division, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Education
PhD Philosophy of Education, University College London (UK), 1980

Dr. Carson has already started thinking about possible new directions for the school’s programming and research. He is meeting his new colleagues to get their ideas for the future of the school.

“It’s still early days, but three themes around the future of Queen’s School of Policy Studies strike me as important: focusing on what we do well, differentiating ourselves from other schools, and potentially growing our programs and enrollment,” he says. “I am excited to build upon the school’s intellectually engaging array of programs, research activity, conferences and speakers.”

One development is already in the works, with The Monieson Centre for Business Research in Healthcare moving from Queen’s School of Business into Queen’s School of Policy Studies. Dr. Carson has served as director of the research centre since 2011. Dr. Carson notes that for the past three years, the health-care policy work of the Monieson Centre was conducted in collaboration with School of Policy Studies and the Faculty of Health Sciences.

“Relocating to the School of Policy Studies will have two benefits: it will broaden the scope of the centre’s work, and the centre will add a new dimension to the existing health-care courses offered by the School of Policy Studies,” he says.

Learn more by visiting the Queen’s School of Policy Studies website