SFU's Doug McArthur will be awarded the Lt.-Gov. silver medal for excellence in public administration for his four decades of contributions to policy across Canada.

Faculty and Staff

SFU's Doug McArthur wins 2018 Lieutenant Governor silver medal for public administration

May 29, 2018
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SFU public policy professor Doug McArthur is being recognized for his four decades of contributions to policy and public administration across Canada and internationally. He will receive the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC)’s 2018 Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal for Excellence in Public Administration at a ceremony in Victoria on June 26.

A founder of SFU’s School of Public Policy (SPP), and its director from 2014-17, McArthur has widely impacted policy, from advancing Canada's First Nations, B.C.’s forest industry, and Saskatchewan’s education sector to informing policy-making abroad.

His career spans service to provincial, territorial and Aboriginal governments as well as teaching and mentoring the next generation of public servants. He is widely recognized for his ability to bring together diverse stakeholders and constituents to develop innovative solutions to policy problems.

This includes McArthur's tireless work as lead fiscal negotiator and principal advisor with the Tsawwassen First Nation, which, after 15 years led to a final treaty in 2007 that helped to achieve fair compensation, the foundations for economic self-sufficiency and self-government.

Earlier, as a deputy minister and chief treaty negotiator for the Yukon territorial government he was also instrumental in negotiating a modern comprehensive agreement with the Council of Yukon First Nations and agreements with four Yukon First Nations, a significant milestone in making modern-day treaties and self-government in Canada a reality.

As deputy minister, Aboriginal Affairs under the BC NDP government he assumed responsibility for the province in creating the BC Treaty Commission, and a negotiation process that would lead to BC’s first contemporary treaty, the Nisga’a Treaty.

He later became BC’s chief civil servant, overseeing the development of many key policy initiatives, including a forestry sector renewal strategy and the resolution of major land-use conflicts. He also played a key role in developing the Forest Practices Code and Forest Renewal BC to ensure sustainable forestry practices, and in 1996 concluded negotiations for a softwood lumber agreement with the U.S.

He later served as a consultant for the U.S.-based National Democratic Institute and conducted workshops for political party leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan on how to develop policy.

Now in his 70s, McArthur continues to be a leader in promoting the importance of public policy and the policy development process, says the school’s founding director, professor Nancy Olewiler.  

“The public sector, our SPP students, and the community have benefitted from Doug’s knowledge, his commitment to and passion for the public service and policy that has tangible impacts and his nurturing of generations of students who go on to public service.”