Regina—Two former senior public servants, Ron Styles and Alastair MacFadden, have joined the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, effective April 1 and June 1 respectively.
“Both Ron and Alastair have led very remarkable, but very different, careers in the public sector,” says Doug Moen, JSGS Executive Director. “However, one thing that binds them is their undeniable commitment to the people of this province and their continued sense of responsibility to developing Saskatchewan’s public service.”
With a public sector career spanning over 35 years, Ron Styles has served the people of Saskatchewan in a variety of roles in both the crown and executive sectors of government. From 2010 and up until his retirement in June 2017, Styles served as the President of SaskTel. Prior to this, he held positions as the President of the Crown Investment Corporation, Deputy Minister of Finance, Deputy Minister of Highways, and the President of both Sask Housing and Sask Water.
“In the present environment of rapid change to the world that we live and work in, the mandate of JSGS is more important today than it ever was,” says Styles. “I am looking forward to working with others at the school to support and assist those studying or working in the public sector, and to examine the policy changes that will be necessary over the coming years.”
During his career, Ron oversaw a number of significant restructuring initiatives, including the last major corporate tax restructuring, the Federal-Provincial-Territorial housing agreements that devolved social housing to the provinces, SaskTel’s continued shift to an internet company based on fibre optics and emerging wireless technologies, as well as the sale of the province’s financial interests in the SaskFerco Fertilizer Plant and the Regina Oil Upgrader.
Since his retirement, he has worked as a consultant, assisting Governments, businesses, and non-profit corporations in Western Canada.
Also joining the school is Alastair MacFadden, former Deputy Minister of Immigration and Career Training (2018-2020) and Assistant Deputy Minister of Labour Market Development (2013-18) for the Government of Saskatchewan.
“I’m excited to join the JSGS team as we bridge public policy research, education and practices,” says MacFadden. “Public sector leaders are a diverse group found on boards, in non-profits, and in government. What they share is a humble but relentless commitment to solve problems that matter. I’m looking forward to lending my experience to JSGS so we can build a public sector that will shape a future with impact and integrity.”
As part of his prior responsibilities in government, Alastair reconciled labour market agendas for Canadians and newcomers, he negotiated annual increases to federal investments in workers and businesses, and he worked to improve the results of labour market activities through collaborative planning with business, labour and other stakeholders. His time as a senior official saw Saskatchewan rank among the top performing labour markets in Canada, based on areas like the employment rate of under-represented groups, job tenures, and the average period of unemployment. His work also prepared the system—of training, education, employment, immigration and related services—to adapt to a changing economic and social context.
“We are very fortunate to have them join us as Executives-in-Residence,” says Moen. “And, we believe that our students—in both our graduate and executive education programs—will benefit greatly from their experiences and expertise.”