Former Canadian Political Leader Assumes Full-Time Post at Kennedy School

Former Canadian opposition leader Michael G. Ignatieff will become the Edward R. Murrow Chair of press, politics, and public policy at the Kennedy School of Government, the school announced last Tuesday in a press release.  

Before coming to Harvard as a professor of practice in 2012, Ignatieff served as a member of parliament and rose to lead the Canadian Liberal Party, but lost his seat in the 2011 elections after his party’s worst election showing in history. Before running for office in 2005, Ignatieff served as director of the Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

"The Kennedy School is an exciting and dynamic place where our future leaders are engaged in the very real process of gaining a greater understanding of the challenges they will face and the tools they will need to confront them," Ignatieff said in the press release. "I am thrilled to join the full time faculty at HKS and to serve as an affiliate of the Shorenstein Center."

Ignatieff declined to comment further.

At the Kennedy School, Ignatieff will also serve as the faculty affiliate at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, where he will conduct research and assist the fellows program, according to the announcement.

Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center, said that the Center looks forward to learning from Ignatieff’s unique experience in both politics and journalism.

“He is one of the true moral voices in the world of public intellectuals,” Jones said. “He is already very well-known and very well-integrated…. I think he considers the Kennedy School home.”

Ignatieff is the author of 17 books, and became known as a television broadcaster and journalist during his time in the United Kingdom from 1978 to 2000. He led BBC 2’s discussion program “Thinking Aloud,” and the arts program “The Late Show.” Additionally, Ignatieff wrote an editorial column for The Observer, a British Sunday newspaper.

In addition to his work at the Kennedy School, Ignatieff has also held a professorial appointment at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto before earning a Ph.D in history from Harvard.

—Staff writer Tyler S. Olkowski can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @OlkowskiTyler.