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Andrew, Joan

Andrew, Joan


Inaugural Distinguished Public Servant in Residence



Joan Andrew assumed the post of Distinguished Public Servant in Residence at Ryerson University in May 2010 after working in the public sector for 36 years.  She retired from the position in Fall 2015, and was replaced by Frank D'Onofrio.  

On 17 May 2010, Joan Andrew delivered the keynote address to the annual Major Research Paper Conference of the MA in Public Policy and Administration.  Click here to read her informative address.

Ms. Andrew began her career with Employment and Immigration Canada (now HRSDC). She quickly assumed more responsible management challenges, including grant programs to community agencies, working on aspects of planning and accountability systems for program delivery. In 1988, she joined the Ontario Women’s Directorate in the Ontario Government.

From 2005 to 2009 (when she retired) she was the Deputy Minister in the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and was also responsible for women’s issues, and for policies related to seniors

In this capacity, she exercised leadership on policies and programs related to immigration (selection, settlement & integration), language training and international credential recognition, voluntarism and civic engagement, citizen recognition and awards programs. She led the ministry through a realignment of programs and an expansion of mandate. She worked to promote policies and programs in favour of women’s equality with a particular focus on violence against women and women’s economic security.

Professional Affiliations:

From 1991 to 2005 she was an Assistant Deputy Minister in a variety of ministries:

  • As ADM in the Ministry of the Environment (Policy and Planning), she led the development of policy initiatives, legislation and regulations related to safe drinking water, clean air, waste management, climate change, environmental assessment processes, Great Lakes issues, nutrient management, and source water protection.  
  •  As ADM (Environmental Sciences and Standards) she was responsible for science-based activities within the Ministry (standards setting, laboratory analysis and testing, environmental monitoring and reporting) as well as the Drive Clean program.
  • As ADM in Cabinet Office (Ontario Public Service Restructuring Secretariat), she was responsible for leading the implementation of restructuring initiatives within the OPS and for the Quality Service Initiative and Common Service Standards across the OPS. She was influential in shaping the realignment of program and ministries and co-chaired the Good Policy Analysis Work Group of the Policy Capacity Initiative.
  • As ADM in the Ministry of Education and Training (Training Division), she was responsible for leading a division of 400+ staff through change and led reform of Ontario’s training system. Her concerns included policy development and program design, preparation and implementation of new legislation for the apprenticeship system; negotiations with the federal government on training   issues; establishing a results-based accountability system for the delivery of Ontario’s youth employment programs and managing a transfer payment budget of $250 million annually. She was also responsible for the management of a CIDA funded project to assist South African government develop their education and training system.
  • As ADM in the Ministry of Skills Development and Education and Training, she was responsible for the creation of an arm’s length agency to oversee the development and delivery of Ontario’s labour market training system, led the devolution of government programs to the agency and managed the government’s relationship with the agency once it was established. She led the development and delivery of an extensive training/job incentive program to encourage employers to hire the long-term unemployed; managed Ontario’s distance education policies and programs; managed the Ontario Student Assistance Program. After the change of government, she led the wind down of the Agency and return of programs and staff to the Ministry.

Spoken Languages:

English, French