SFU public policy professor Nancy Olewiler (left) received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in education, training and development for her contributions to life-long learning.

Faculty and Staff

SFU prof honoured with YWCA Women of Distinction Award

June 23, 2017
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By Wan Yee Lok

SFU public policy professor Nancy Olewiler has received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in education, training and development for her contributions to life-long learning.

The awards recognize extraordinary women leaders, while raising much-needed funds for YWCA programs and services that improve the lives of thousands of people each year across Metro Vancouver.

"I'm very honoured to receive the award from YWCA, and I really appreciate my dean nominating me," says Olewiler. "The nominees are such an inspiring group of women. Being nominated was an honour itself."

Olewiler arrived at Simon Fraser University (SFU) 27 years ago as a professor in the economics department where she was their chair from 1995 to 2000. One of her proudest accomplishments is serving as the School of Public Policy's founding director from 2003 to September 2014 and bringing the Master’s of Public Policy degree to SFU.

Olewiler says her students keep her inspired every day. "I look forward to going into class, as well as engaging and learning from my students. Nothing beats the legacy of having great students become the leaders of tomorrow."

Olewiler has been involved in a variety of community work, including serving on the board of directors at BC Hydro and TransLink, and currently is on the boards of the Pembina Institute and Institute for Research on Public Policy. She was a member of the BC Climate Leadership Team and is a commissioner for Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission. She chairs the Macroeconomic Accounts Advisory Committee for Statistics Canada.

As one of a handful of women economists on boards and at policy tables, Olewiler is helping to change the face of public policy locally, provincially and nationally.