Picture of  Loleen Berdahl

Loleen Berdahl PhD, BA Executive Director, JSGS

Areas of Interest

  • Canadian politics
  • Research methodology
  • Political theory

Dr. Loleen Berdahl was appointed for a five-year term as the new executive director of the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS), effective October 1, 2020.

With a strong background in both educational leadership and policy research, Dr. Berdahl previously served as department head in Political Studies at USask from 2016-2020. During this time, she led her department through a period of significant renewal and revitalization, with the hiring of six faculty positions and the promotion of four faculty members. She also led the introduction of the Certificate in Indigenous Governance and Politics and the Certificate in Politics and Law, the expansion of the Certificate in Global Studies, the online development of the Political Studies BA, and the adoption of the First Year Research Experience (FYRE) program across the department.

With a PhD from the University of Calgary, Dr. Berdahl began her career working for the Canada West Foundation for ten years.

Her time spent in a policy-related work environment inspired her commitment to help students recognize and develop career-relevant skills that employers and society need. It has also guided her SSHRC-funded research on career skills training in graduate education. In addition to her SSHRC project, Dr. Berdahl also examines how institutional, cultural, and political factors shape individual attitudes and collaborative decision-making practices, with a focus on public attitudes regarding Canadian public policy, federalism, and regionalism.  

Beyond her extensive research program, Dr. Berdahl is the recipient of four teaching awards, including her discipline’s national teaching honour, the Canadian Political Science Association’s Teaching Excellence Award. She is also currently a Faculty Fellow with the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning, and her Graduate Transformative Skills project will inform the redesign of graduate career skill training programs at USask.