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Meredith Lilly

Meredith Lilly holds the Simon Reisman Chair in International Affairs (2016-2021). Dr. Lilly is an award-winning researcher and public policy expert. She served as Foreign Affairs and International Trade Advisor to Canada’s Prime Minister from 2013-2015. She has extensive experience in free-trade negotiations and international trade, public policy development, executive branch decision making, international security matters, and Canada-US relations. In 2014, she was listed among the Top 100 people influencing Canadian foreign policy by Power and Influence Magazine.

During her tenure as the Prime Minister’s International Trade advisor, Dr. Lilly oversaw the conclusion of Canada’s free-trade negotiations with the European Union, Korea, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership among others. As Foreign Affairs advisor, within the Prime Minister’s Office, she spearheaded Canada’s response to multiple humanitarian crises and global conflicts, led Canada’s renewal of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health initiative and also the launch of its International Education Strategy. As Canada’s social affairs advisor to the Prime Minister (2012-2013), Dr. Lilly oversaw the overhaul of Canada’s temporary foreign worker program, renewal and transformation of the skills agenda, and the launch of strategies to support underrepresented groups in the labour force. Her experience across domestic and international portfolios informs Dr. Lilly’s current research interests in the intersection of domestic and international public policy and the economic consequences for Canadians.

Dr. Lilly’s current research is focused on global demographic transition and Canada’s economic interests, labour mobility provisions in multilateral free-trade agreements, and emerging public policy challenges facing Canada in a globalized economic context. Her previous work focused on the influence of demographic change on employment and health systems planning. Dr. Lilly holds a Postdoctoral Certificate in Economics from McMaster University (2011), a PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Toronto (2008) and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in International Development from the University of Toronto (1998).

Former Reisman Chair