Photo of Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Associate Dean (Students and Enrolment), Faculty of Public Affairs, and Associate Professor

Degrees:Ph.D. (Queen's University)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 8599
Office:Kroeger College in Public Affairs
D391 Loeb Building

Paul Wilson joined the Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management in 2011 with over a decade of experience as a senior political advisor both in government and opposition. He served as director of policy in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada from 2009 to 2011, with responsibility as acting chief of staff to the prime minister during the 2011 election campaign. From 2006 to 2009 he worked as director of policy for the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the President of Treasury Board and the Minister of Justice. After completing his PhD in early modern English history (Queen’s 1994) he worked with the Leader of the Reform Party and Canadian Alliance, serving as director of research in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition from 1997 to 2001.

Research Interests:
• Political advisors, including ministerial exempt staff and parliamentary staff;
• Core executive studies, including comparisons across Westminster systems;
• Machinery of government, including cabinet structures and advisory systems;
• Parliamentary procedure and parliamentary caucus management.

Select Publications:

  • Paul Wilson. 2020. “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian parliamentary staffers.” Canadian Parliamentary Review, 43 (3).
  • R. Paul Wilson. 2020. “The work of Canadian political staffers in parliamentary caucus research offices.” Canadian Public Administration 63 (3): 498–521.
  • Paul Wilson and Michael McNair. 2020. “Political staffers.” In Inside the Campaign: Managing Elections in Canada. Edited by Alex Marland and Thierry Giasson. Vancouver: UBC Press.
  • Jennifer Robson and R. Paul Wilson. 2018. “Political staff and permanent public servants: Still getting along.” In Political Elites in Canada: Power and Influence in Instantaneous Times, edited by Alex Marland, Thierry Giasson and Andrea Lawlor. Vancouver: UBC Press.
  • Jonathan Craft and Paul Wilson. 2018. “Policy analysis and the central executive.” In Policy Analysis in Canada, edited by Laurent Dobuzinskis and Michael Howlett. Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Anna Esselment and R. Paul Wilson. 2017. “Campaigning from the centre: Strategic communications and issues management in the Prime Minister’s Office.” In Permanent Campaigning in Canada, ed. Alex Marland, Anna Esselment and Thierry Giasson, Vancouver: UBC Press: 222-240.
  • “Harper and the House of Commons: An evidence-based assessment.” In The Harper Factor: Assessing a Prime Minister’s Policy Legacy, edited by Jennifer Ditchburn and Graham Fox. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016, pp. 27-43.
  • “The inter-executive activity of ministerial policy advisors in the Government of Canada.” In How Ottawa Spends 2016-2017: The Trudeau Liberals in Power, edited by G. Bruce Doern and Christopher Stoney. Carleton University School of Public Policy and Administration: Ottawa, 2016, pp. 191-215.
  • “Trust but verify: Ministerial policy advisors and public servants in the Government of Canada.” Canadian Public Administration 59 (3) September 2016: 337-356.
  • “A profile of ministerial policy staff in the Government of Canada.” Canadian Journal of Political Science, 48 (2) June 2015: 455-471.
  • “Minister’s Caucus Advisory Committees under the Harper government.” Canadian Public Administration 58 (2) June 2015: 227-248.