SPPGA Newsletter




Welcome to the new academic year! In this September edition of the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) newsletter, we invite you to celebrate faculty and staff achievements, join our upcoming events, and read about how our interdisciplinary network of scholars are engaging in local and global issues.

September 30 is Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools. Wear orange to show your support for Survivors and their families.


Learn more.


SPPGA Welcomes Professor Maxwell A. Cameron

Professor Maxwell A. Cameron joined SPPGA as a core faculty member, jointly appointed with Political Science. In this interview, Dr. Cameron outlines his current research, policy engagement, and how students can become involved in his work.

Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot Elected Member by Royal Society of Canada

Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot (SPPGA; FNIS; Poli Sci), Canada Research Chair of Global Indigenous Rights and Politics at UBC, was elected as a Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists by the Royal Society of Canada.


Dr. Heidi Tworek Appointed as Member of CCA Expert Panel on Public Safety in the Digital Age

Dr. Heidi Tworek (SPPGA; History) has been appointed as a member of the Expert Panel on Public Safety in the Digital Age hosted by the Council of Canadian Academies.


Tamara Baldwin Received 2021 President’s Service Award for Excellence

Tamara Baldwin, Director of the Office of Regional and International Community Engagement and acting Assistant Director at SPPGA, received the prestigious UBC 2021 President’s Service Award for Excellence.


Andrea Reynolds Received 2021 President’s Staff Award for Wellbeing

Andrea Reynolds, Manager of Student Academic Services at SPPGA, received the 2021 UBC President’s Staff Award for Wellbeing.


2021 Simons Award in Nuclear Disarmament and Global Security

The Liu Institute for Global Issues at SPPGA invites applications to the Simons Award in Nuclear Disarmament and Global Security from UBC students intending to undertake research on topics broadly related to nuclear disarmament, including nuclear energy, and global security.

MPPGA Spotlight

MPPGA Applications Open October 4

Applications to join the eighth cohort of our professional Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs program open on October 4, 2021. Our goal is to equip you with the critical knowledge, skills, and experience needed to make a real and lasting impact. Through rich hands-on learning and meaningful collaboration with professors, policy practitioners, and students, you will build your global network and advance your policy career. We look forward to receiving your applications.

MPPGA Alum Daniel Park Featured in Arts Amplifier

MPPGA alum Daniel Park discusses his experiences interning at the Starling Labs at Stanford where he worked on building and deploying prototype designs to help document attacks against civilian infrastructure. Read more about Daniels’s accomplishments, and what lies in his future.


Join us at our upcoming virtual events!

SEPT 29, 2021 | 12:30 PM PT
The Resistance Dilemma: Place-Based Movements and the Climate Crisis

Don't miss this discussion between Prof. George Hoberg and Tzeporah Berman with Stand.Earth as they discuss his new book, The Resistance Dilemma.

OCT 6, 2021 | 12:30 PM PT
Nuclear Power and Climate Change: Can Small Modular Reactors Deliver?

Join this panel event on nuclear energy and small modular reactors, with a focus on their status in Canada, and the climate vulnerability of nuclear plants.

OCT 7, 2021 | 9:30 AM PT
Virtual UBC MPPGA Info Session: Why Choose the MPPGA Program

Looking for a unique graduate program that will equip you for a career in policy-making? Join our Info Session to learn more about our professional program.

OCT 9, 2021 | 2:30 PM PT
Speaking From the Heart: Translating Xinjiang's Diverse Voices

Highlighting the diverse Indigenous languages of Xinjiang, this in-person event by the Xinjiang Documentation Project focuses on the importance of empathy and connection in translation.


Human Rights Could Address the Health and Environmental Costs of Food Production

Prof. David Boyd discusses the devastating impacts caused by industrially produced food, and argues that transforming food systems that are inflicting tens of trillions of dollars in health and environmental damages is essential for realizing human rights.
Sept 13


Environmental Defenders Deadly Struggles for Life and Territory

This book, edited by Mary Menton and Prof. Philippe Le Billon (SPPGA; Geography), discusses environmental defenders and the violence they face while seeking to protect their land and the environment.
Sept 13


Stopping the Hostile Online Attacks Hurled at Candidates

While candidates of the 2021 Canadian election took to social media to promote their campaigns, they often received hostile responses. Prof. Heidi Tworek and Chris Tenove discussed the impact that negative social media posts are having on political candidates, and states that all Canadians need to be part of the strategy to combat incivility.
Sept 13


‘Our Place Under the Sun’: Survivor-Centred Approaches to Children Born of Wartime Sexual Violence

Prof. Erin Baines and MPPGA alum Alessia Rodríguez’s work on a survivor-centered approach for children ‘born of war’ has been published in Human Rights Review. Learn how this approach can empower children in processes of social reconstruction and reconciliation.
Sept 3

In the Media

Indonesian Court Rules President Negligent over Pollution

The Central Jakarta District Court orders President Widodo and six other officials to strengthen air quality standards after finding them guilty of neglecting citizens’ right to clean air. Prof. David Boyd (SPPGA; IRES) emphasizes the constitutional and legislative duty of the Indonesian government to protect its people from the dire consequences of air pollution.
Sept 16


N. Korea’s Cruise Missile Test Aimed to Draw US Attention, Resumption of Talks Unlikely

Following North Korea’s cruise missile test aiming to draw U.S attention, prospects of future denuclearization talks remain dim. Prof. Ramana states that he doesn’t believe the test will result in significant changes in U.S policy.
Sept 15


Fish Consumption to Double by 2050, According to New Report

A Blue Food Assessment report estimates global consumption of fish and shellfish will almost double by 2050. Prof. Rashid Sumaila (SPPGA; IOF) advises blue food exporters to carefully evaluate the trade-off between export revenues and domestic nutrition.
Sept 15


China's Cotton Subsidies Immiserate Farmers in the World's Poorest Countries

“Cotton subsidies have long been seen as a symbol of the injustice in international trade”, writes Prof. Kristen Hopewell. In China, cotton subsidies give farmers an artificial advantage in global markets while devastating farmers in low-income countries.
Sept 14


Fight ‘Galamsey’ at High Sea!

Dr. Rashid Sumaila, (SPPGA; IOF) discussed the cost of illicit trade in West Africa marine resources. He says “resources to tackle illegal and unreported fishing, especially those that fuel illicit trade, need to be pulled at both at regional and continental levels.”
Sept 14


Delta Upends the East Asia COVID-19 Model

East Asian countries aced the COVID-19 battle in 2020 through strategies of implementing strict measures rapidly and effectively. Political Science Prof. Yves Tiberghien (SPPGA Faculty Associate) discusses how the largely successful East Asia COVID-19 model has partially fragmented since the summer of 2021 in the face of the Delta variant and growing socio-economic costs.
Sept 13


Canada, Allies Watchful of How China Will Fill Western Void in Afghanistan

With the withdrawal of the United States and its allies from Afghanistan, China is stepping into the void to exert influence on the troubled country. Prof. Paul Evans states that avoiding spillover of terrorist groups into China is the number one priority.
Sept 5


Thousands of People in BC Remain Unvaccinated. How Can Health Officials Convince Them to get Immunized?

CBC News spoke to Dr. Heidi Tworek (SPPGA; History) about the challenge of improving COVID-19 immunization efforts as thousands of people in B.C. remain unvaccinated.
Sept 2


Canada-North Korea Pursuing Academic Exchanges via Video Conference

Prof. Kyung-Ae Park was interviewed on the topic of constructive engagement with North Korea during the COVID-19 period, discussing KPP’s recent initiatives of knowledge sharing via video conference with Pyongyang (in Korean)
Sept 2


Third Covid-19 Shots Must Be Offered to Immunocompromised Canadians

In an op-ed for The Globe and Mail, Prof. Kristen Hopewell discusses the implementation of a third Covid-19 shot for immunocompromised populations. For at-risk populations, a third dose may mean the difference between life and death, she adds.
Aug 30

School of Public Policy and Global Affairs,
The University of British Columbia,
Room 251, 1855 West Mall,
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2

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