L-R: Justin Longo, Cisco Systems Research Chair; Tarun Katapally, JSGS Assistant Professor in Health Administration

The JSGS appoints two new faculty in big data and open government, and health administration

The JSGS is pleased to appoint Justin Longo as the Cisco Systems Research Chair in Big Data and Open Government, and Tarun Katapally as an assistant professor in health administration.

The Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy is pleased to appoint Justin Longo as the Cisco Systems Research Chair in Big Data and Open Government, and Tarun Katapally as an assistant professor in health administration. Both of the appointments are located on the school’s U of R campus, and are effective July 1, 2015.


Justin Longo brings to the position an impressive research portfolio in applied information and communications technologies (i.e., open government, Web 2.0 technologies, policy informatics, e-governance, etc.), public policy studies, environmental and natural resource policy and transboundary governance.

Prior to his appointment, he served as a post-doctoral fellow in Open Governance at the Centre for Policy Informatics at Arizona State University.  During this time, his research focused on areas of open governance (outside processes of citizen and expert engagement) and open government (inside processes of knowledge sharing and collaboration). He was also an occasional visiting research fellow in The Governance Lab at New York University and the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria.

With a PhD in Public Administration from the University of Victoria, Longo’s doctoral research focused on the use of enterprise social collaboration platforms inside government policy analysis settings. Over the years, he has published articles in journals such as WIREs Data Mining and Knowledge DiscoveryPublic Policy and Governance Review, andHorizons: The Journal of the Policy Research Initiative.

During and prior to his doctoral work, Longo founded and worked as a senior associate at Whitehall Policy Inc., a public policy and technology consultancy based in Victoria, BC. There, he led two major projects – a science-oriented crowdsourcing project that saw volunteer, internet-based, citizen scientists tag raw video collected from the NEPTUNE Canada cabled seafloor observatory; and an award-winning iOS app, MathTappers, that links behavioral choices with understanding about climate change for middle school students. From 2004-2006, Longo also served in the British Columbia Government where he managed the province’s early sustainability and sustainable communities programs. These program initiatives followed from prior work by the province’s Commission on Resources and Environment where Justin worked as a policy analyst in the 1990s.

“The school is very pleased to welcome Justin Longo to our faculty”, says Michael Atkinson, JSGS executive director. “As research chair, he’ll work closely with colleagues on and off campus to examine how the transition towards digital government will impact public institutions and empower citizens. We look forward to collaborating with him on this emerging area.”

As the Cisco Systems Research Chair, Longo will also be responsible for developing various tools available for public sector modernization and will explore new avenues of networking and collaboration that will improve virtual management and enhance public engagement.


As an assistant professor in health administration, Tarun Katapally will make a valuable contribution to teaching in the school’s Master of Health Administration program.

A medical doctor with clinical experience in India and the United Kingdom, Katapally moved to Philadelphia in 2010 where he obtained his masters in health administration from Saint Joseph’s University. He later reallocated to Saskatoon to pursue his doctoral degree in population health science from the University of Saskatchewan.

Since January 2014, Katapally has been working as a research associate with the Indigenous Peoples’ Health and Research Centre (IPHRAC). More recently, he has served as a research associate in the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA) and has taught as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).  He has taught several courses including MED 207: Social Determinants of Health, MED: Health Promotion and CHEP 498: Place and Population Health. 

“We are very fortunate to have attracted someone of Tarun Katapally’s caliber to the school,” says Kathy McNutt, director, JSGS U of R campus. “His academic experiences provide him with a depth of knowledge and research strength ideally suited to the JSGS’s interdisciplinary nature and more specifically to the MHA program.”

His research interests focus on child and youth health, active living research and Aboriginal health. He is currently a co-applicant on a $284,958 CIHR grant entitled, “A step towards creating active urban communities”, led by U of S Professor Nazeem Muhajarine. As part of this grant, the team is examining the role of diverse environmental factors (including weather, urban design and home environment) on children’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour patterns.

Katapally is also the co-author on a number of articles published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the CPHA Health Digest, and the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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