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Shawn Drake

PhD Graduate

Shawn Drake’s research focuses on the causal impact of institutional cultures and whether and to what extent the “cultural bias” of a social unit (as per Dame Mary Douglas’s Cultural Theory), affects the intensity of use of the core systematic methods of policy analysis.

Through this doctoral course of study key contributions include the inaugural operationalization of a theoretical model of “policy analysis by cultural bias” presented by Prof. Iris Geva-May in the early 2000s, the development of a Battery of quantitative and qualitative Tools, and a highly replicable comparative research design.

Shawn sought interest in a doctoral program in Ottawa given his professional work partnering with healthcare organizations to sustain healthcare services delivery. He had noted how intended “methodological practices” and “operating procedures” and/or “clinical pathways” were seemingly disrupted, inhibited — or accelerated — by so-called differences in “culture” (i.e., contextual similarities and difference of the operational social unit in question).

Previously he had completed his MSc at King’s College in London in Organization Analysis where his exposure to the UK’s leading schools of nursing, medicine, and social policy provoked an interest in policy studies. The School of Public Policy & Administration here in Ottawa, enabled Drake thereafter to refine his focus and to interface the worlds of public policy and analysis, with management practice, and his field observations.

Outside of SPPA, Shawn serves as Managing Partner of Workforce Edge, an international advisory services firm focused exclusively on the better planning and deployment of critical health human resources. He is involved in the dialogue about optimization of resource strategies across key field associations: Canadian College of Health Leaders/ Collège canadien des leaders en santé, American College of Healthcare Executives, American Hospital Association, American Organization for Nursing Leadership, the Caring Science International Collaborative, and the European Aging Network.

His volunteer work promotes comparative policy analytic studies through his role as board member of the Scholarly Society for International Comparative Policy Analysis (Wagner, NYU; SPPA, Carleton; SPPM, Tsinghua) and the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research & Practice, Routledge/T&F; Oxford, UK.

Shawn is very grateful for the support network of student peers, for the dedication of his committee members, and for the relentless inspiration provided by his wife and kids.