School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

A Lifelong Passion For Public Service - Meet Haider Hayat

Master of Public Administration Candidate   

by Phil Gaudreau, March 2021

Haider Hayat

Haider Hayat has always had an interest in fostering justice, diversity, and growth. It’s what drives his passion for public policy, and it’s part of what led him to Queen’s.

His journey began during his undergraduate studies when Hayat enrolled in a dual diploma-degree program focused on criminal justice, ultimately so he could work with the Government of Ontario.  Hayat graduated in June of 2020 with an Honours Bachelor of Applied Science in Justice Studies from the University of Guelph and an Ontario College Diploma in Community and Justice Services from Humber College. Hayat chose the dual degree-diploma program because he wanted to understand the dynamic relationship between communities and governments.

Hayat got his first government opportunity in early 2019 when he landed an internship with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General for the Superior Court of Justice. A few months later, Hayat subsequently landed a full-time summer contract for the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General again, but this time with the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. While working with the OPGT, Hayat was involved in protecting the legal, personal, and financial interests of Ontarians with mental disabilities.

“I worked in the Estates Department in a team with lawyers, estates officers, and other summer students to handle estates files,” he explains. “We would handle the estate and assets of anyone in the province that passed away without a will or heir as their legally entitled representative under the Substitute Decisions Act and the Crown Administration of Estates Act.”

His time working for the Ontario government inspired Hayat to pursue further studies in order to drive change. In 2020, he began researching graduate programs in public administration and policy, eventually selecting Queen’s Master of Public Administration program.

“I really like the program and its faculty members, and their strong ties to the municipal, provincial, and federal governments,” says Hayat. “The MPA program offers many strong tools to help us analyze policy, and the networking opportunities through Policy Connect will be useful in helping me find work after graduation. I specifically chose the MPA for the co-op placement that is a part of the program.”

In choosing the MPA, Hayat opted for the coursework option and focusing his studies on economics, environment, and law related courses. The law related courses align nicely with his experiences with the Ontario government and time he worked at a personal injury law firm in 2018. Hayat notes that 2020 has been an interesting time to be studying public policy, considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on public policies.

“My favorite courses so far have been Principles of Economics and Environmental Policy, particularly with the discussions taking place around COVID-19,” he explains. “It goes to show how one event can cause so much change in society.”

While working for the provincial government and completing his undergraduate studies, Hayat also worked as a tutor for children with ADHD or learning disabilities in the Greater Toronto Area. “I always like making time to help others – I am a strong advocate of sharing knowledge so that others can benefit and learn new ideas.”

The MPA program is accommodating for those who are working while studying, and Hayat is keeping busy as he continues his program. He recently worked for a non-profit organization called Pivot Canada. It is a research project led by Simon Fraser University's Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. It is comprised of 1,200 youth from different cities all across Canada, and Hayat’s projects involve utilizing surveying, indexing, and interviewing techniques to research how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected youth across Canadian cities.

And if his program, job, and volunteer work aren’t keeping him busy enough, Hayat also finds time for soccer, spending time with family and friends, and watching action movies - he is notably a big James Bond enthusiast.

Following graduation, Hayat will be working full-time with the Ontario government. “I will be working remotely as a Policy Co-op for the Ontario Treasury Board Secretariat, with their Operating Expenditure Management Division.”

“I hope to work on policies that help marginalized communities and peoples such as immigrants, people with mental health conditions, and low-income households,” says Hayat. “I will use my MPA to craft policies that are relevant, realistic, and well-informed.”

Despite his distance from campus due to COVID-19, Hayat has been impressed with his time at Queen’s so far and enjoys the tight knit community.

“Queen’s MPA program has been a remarkable experience for me thus far. The students, faculty members, and administrators are always there to support you and make time for you”, he says.

To learn more about the Master of Public Administration, visit the School of Policy Studies’ website.