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Donald Lenihan

VP of engagement, Public Policy Forum of Ottawa

Dr. Don Lenihan is Vice President, Engagement at the Public Policy Forum in Ottawa, Canada. He is an internationally recognized expert on public engagement, accountability and service delivery. He is currently leading the Public Engagement Project (PEP), a research and capacity-building project involving federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments in Canada, and the Government of Australia.

Don’s latest book, Rethinking the Public Policy Process, is an introduction to the field of public engagement, as well as a blueprint for change, and a sustained argument for the need to rethink the public policy process. It will be released in the fall of 2011.

Don has over 25 years of experience as a project leader, writer, speaker, senior government advisor, trainer and facilitator. Throughout his career, he has developed and led many research and consultation projects involving senior public servants, academics, elected officials, journalists and members of the private and third sectors from across the country. He is the author of numerous articles, studies and books and a former columnist with the Hill Times newspaper in Ottawa and the magazine CIO Government Review.

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Should Think Globally and Act Locally

Poverty, environmental degradation and unemployment are no longer just local, regional or even national concerns, to be addressed by the appropriate level of government. They are part of the new global order -- a vast expanse of interconnectedness -- that calls for new multi-lateral solutions.
10/20/2011 09:13 EDT
BC Liberals

Are Women More Politically Progressive Than Men?

If women are poised to play a bigger role in politics, I believe there will be a gender effect, but I don't think left vs. right is the best way of framing it. I agree that women will make politics more progressive, but this is not necessarily the same as more left-wing.
10/12/2011 04:31 EDT

Will David Cameron's 'Big Society' Work in Ottawa?

Maybe British Prime Minister David Cameron will light a policy fire under the Harper government while he's in Ottawa. His Big Society idea challenges citizens to get Big Government out of the way. But putting cost-cutting and community empowerment side-by-side can produce the perfect storm of political opportunism.
09/22/2011 09:17 EDT

How I Learned to Live With the Unelected Senate

The wind has gone out of the Triple-E movement's sails. The West no longer wants in because it is in. Quebec's long-standing lock on the political agenda has been broken and Ontario is too busy worrying about tumbling into have-not status to focus on anything else.
08/11/2011 09:13 EDT

Judging Nycole Turmel: Shall We have a Stoning?

I have no desire to defend Nycole Turmel or to apologize for her political choices and loyalties, except to say that if being Canadian means being free of emotional conflicts around identity, we are a nation of traitors.
08/03/2011 12:45 EDT

Swimming Upstream Against Government Secrecy

Officials prevented Kristi Miller from speaking to journalists about her possible explanation for salmon stock depletion. Unfortunately, this appears to be part of an emerging pattern in which the federal government is seeking to subvert or discredit the role of science in policy-making.
07/29/2011 09:10 EDT

Open Government: Will B.C. Take the Lead in Transparency?

The premier of British Columbia's plan to achieve transparency by holding town halls around the province is a little underwhelming. Town halls have been with us since the American Revolution -- maybe since the Middle Ages -- and where has it got us?
06/27/2011 08:56 EDT

Harnessing the Power of Sports for Social Action

The sport community is a phalanx of some 36,000 organizations, ranging from big league teams to swimming clubs, supported by an army of highly engaged volunteers. So how can an enterprising politician harness this force?
06/06/2011 03:35 EDT