Dr. Michael Atkinson, executive director at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS), has been awarded the 2012 Lieutenant Governor’s Gold Medal by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) Saskatchewan Regional Group. This medal recognizes a person or work team that has demonstrated distinctive leadership and exceptional achievement in public administration in Saskatchewan.
Michael’s first senior role in academic administration was with McMaster University where he was appointed associate vice-president academic in 1995. In 1997 he moved to Saskatchewan to accept a position with the University of Saskatchewan. During his two terms as provost and vice-president academic at the U of S, Michael’s superb leadership resulted in sweeping changes across and beyond the university. He helped negotiate a new funding mechanism for the universities with the Government of Saskatchewan, designed and implemented an integrated planning process at the U of S and established a strong partnership between the U of S and the University of Regina to build a provincial policy school known as the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. Michael’s academic career has featured work on parliamentary government, policy networks and political ethics. In addition to his role as professor and executive director of JSGS, Atkinson is the president of Canadian Political Science Association.
Peter MacKinnon, former president and vice-chancellor of the U of S believes this recognition is well deserved.
“I have had the privilege of knowing and working with many public servants in Saskatchewan and Canada,” said MacKinnon. “Dr. Atkinson is in the select company of the very best of them. His professional achievements are outstanding, as are his personal qualities. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of this award.”
Sharon Lee Smith, assistant deputy minister with the Department of Western Economic Diversification, Government of Canada, who has worked with Michael throughout his tenure with JSGS, agrees.
“Michael conveys enthusiasm for public policy as well as his clear and profound analytical insights in his field of expertise,” said Smith. “His passion and professionalism for teaching in this area has and will continue to foster and positively impact Canada’s best and brightest students.”
In honour of this recognition, Atkinson will be recognized at a reception hosted by the Lieutenant Governor and IPAC on September 20 in Regina.