By Anna Tsui, VP Community, 2018-2019 SPPA Student Society

On March 8, 2019, the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) held the 22nd Annual SPPA Gala at the National Art Gallery, in the heart of the nation’s capital. The event brought together 150 students, faculty, alumni, and sponsors, for an evening of great conversation, dinner, awards, and an engaging panel discussion.

This year, the 22nd SPPA Gala corresponded with International Women’s Day – a day intended to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women and turn our attention to questions of gender equity. In honour of International Women’s Day, we heard from a panel of accomplished female public servants on the subject of open and digital government – a trend that has captured much attention in Canada and abroad in recent years.

Our two panelists, Ailish Campbell, Chief Trade Commissioner and Assistant Deputy Minister for Global Affairs Canada, and Pascale Elvas, Senior Director at Treasury Board Secretariat, shared their particular expertise on how technological shifts and innovation will affect public sector work and how digital technology intersects with the empowerment of women and questions of gender equity.

The panel was followed by a series of awards recognizing our students’ outstanding achievements. The School also awarded Professor Alexandra Mallett the Excellence in Teaching Award for her leadership in science, innovation and technology policy development and for always generating an enthusiastic and engaging academic environment which encourages critical thought and participation. To conclude the evening, we heard from Mr. Joe Bisset who awarded Bruce Linton, the founder of Canopy Growth Corporation, the Bissett Alumni Award.