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Dr. Don Lenihan

Senior Associate, Policy and Engagement, Canada 2020


Dr. Don Lenihan is Senior Associate, Policy and Engagement, at Canada 2020, Canada’s leading, independent progressive think-tank. He is also a director of the Canadian Open Dialogue Foundation. Don is an internationally recognized expert on Open Government, public engagement, accountability, and governance.

Don is currently advising The Ottawa Hospital on an engagement plan for development of its new Civic Campus, which is a $2 billion, 10-year project. In April 2016, he completed a year-long assignment as Ontario’s principal advisor on the Open Dialogue project, which used four demonstration projects to test and develop a public engagement framework for the Government of Ontario.

In 2014, Don led an Expert Group process for the UN and the OECD on public engagement models to support the post-2015 UN agenda on sustainable development. He also served as Chair of the Open Government Engagement Team for the Government of Ontario in 2014 – 15.

Don has over 25 years of experience as a project leader, writer, speaker, senior government advisor, trainer, and facilitator. Throughout his career, he has developed and led many research and consultation projects involving senior public servants, academics, elected officials, journalists, and members of the private and third sectors from across the country. He is the author of numerous articles, studies, and books, and was a weekly columnist for National Newswatch. He earned his PhD in political theory from the University of Ottawa.


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