The Donner Prize - The Award for the Best Book on Canadian Public Policy
Jury 2016

Peter Nicholson

Dr. Peter Nicholson O.C. has been named this year’s jury Chair. He has served in numerous posts in government, business, science, and higher education. His public service career included positions as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada; as a member of the Nova Scotia Legislature; as Clifford Clark Visiting Economist in Finance Canada; and as Special Advisor to the Secretary-general of the OECD in Paris. He was also an original member of the Canadian Prime Minister’s National Advisory Board on Science and Technology, the founding Chair of the Board of the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences and was the founding Chair of the Members of the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Eva Busza

Dr. Eva Busza is Vice-President, Research and Programs, at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. Prior to joining the foundation, she was Director of Policy and Strategic Planning for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ms. Busza holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a Master's degree from the University of British Columbia. In addition to teaching in the Department of Government at the College of William and Mary, she has been a research fellow at several universities and institutes including: Columbia University, George Washington University, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Jean-Marie Dufour

Jean-Marie Dufour, O.C. and O.Q is the William Dow Professor of Political Economy at McGill University and a Bank of Canada research Fellow. He is also Director of the Canadian Econometric Study Group, a Member of Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (June 2013), and Research Fellow at the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organizations (CIRANO) and the Center for Interuniveristy Research on Quantitative Economics (CIREQ). Dr. Dufour has served as President of the Canadian Economics Association and the Société canadienne de science économique.

Dr. Jennifer A. Jeffs

Dr. Jennifer A. Jeffs, a foreign policy professional, is a Senior Research Associate at Innovation Policy Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and currently co-chairs the international editorial board of International Journal, Canada’s premier global policy journal. Dr Jeffs is the former President of the Canadian International Council (CIC), Canada’s independent, non-partisan, international affairs institute and Founding Director of the Centro de Estudios y Programas Interamericanos (CEPI), based at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City, where she was also a professor in the Department of International Studies.

Donald J. Savoie

Donald J. Savoie, O.C., O.N.B., F.R.S.C. holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Public Administration and Governance at the Université de Moncton. He has published extensively on public administration and public policy and his work has won prizes in Europe, the United States and Canada, including the 2015 Donner Prize. He has been awarded seven honorary degrees from Canadian universities, the Vanier Medal (1999), the Trudeau Prize (2004) and the Killam Prize in Social Sciences (2015). He was elected a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College Oxford and was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Harvard and Duke Universities. He has also served as President of the Canadian Political Science Association.

Past Winners 2016


Brand Command: Canadian Politics and Democracy in the Age of Message Control
Alex Marland
(UBC Press)

The pursuit of political power is strategic as never before. Brand Command demonstrates the power of branding and marketing in Canada’s democracy, arguing that political parties and governments are beholden to the same marketing principles used by the world’s largest corporations. Marland asserts that branding demands repetition of spoken, written and visual messages, predetermined by the leader’s inner circles and has penetrated parliamentary democracy in Canada.

Watch the Acceptance Speech


"A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age"
Daniel J. Levitin
(Allen Lane Canada, Penguin Random House Canada)

We are bombarded with information each day, and it's becoming harder to separate the wheat from the digital chaff. How do we distinguish misinformation, pseudo-facts, distortions and outright lies from reliable information? Infoliteracy means understanding that there are hierarchies of source quality and bias that distort our information feeds via every media channel, including social media. This book is a compelling guide to better understand our information overload in the digital age of profuse personal and social expression.

A Good Death: Making the Most of Our Final Choices
Sandra Martin
(HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.)

Modern death has become a wrenching political dilemma, one that grows more pressing as the population ages. A Good Death confronts our fears about dying, our struggle for meaning, and our dread of being trapped by voracious medical technology in a nightmare world that has abandoned caring in pursuit of curing, no matter the cost or the suffering to patients and their families. A Good Death asks the tough question none of us can avoid: How do we want to die?

L'intégration des services en santé: Une approche populationnelle
Yves Couturier, Lucie Bonin & Louise Belzile
(Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal)

Throughout advanced countries, innovative solutions are being sought to better meet the needs of individuals for social services and health care. The authors argue we should move toward an “integrated” system based on emphasizing the needs of patients rather than the requirements of the social and health systems. This book brings together valuable information at the cutting edge of international conceptual models, arguing that health and well-being are common public policy concerns, and are the responsibility of everyone – not just caregivers.

Preists of Prosperity: How Central Bankers Transformed the Postcommunist World
Juliet Johnson
(Cornell University Press)

Priests of Prosperity is an analytical study of the evolution of central banking in postcommunist countries, exploring the unsung revolutionary campaign to move from command-economy cash cows into Western-style monetary guardians. This book argues that a powerful transnational central banking community concentrated in Western Europe and North America integrated postcommunist bankers to shape their ideas about the role of central banks and to help them develop modern tools of banking.

Past Winners




















Alex Marland is a leading researcher of political communication and marketing in Canada, and an Associate Professor of Political Science and an Associate Dean of Arts at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

click to watch the marland video

Daniel J. Levitin is the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at McGill University, and the author of This is your Brain on Music, The World in Six Songs and The Organized Mind.

click to watch the Levitin video

Sandra Martin, an award-winning journalist and broadcaster, writes the Long Goodbye column for The Globe and Mail. Her previous books include Working the Dead Beat: 50 Lives that Changed Canada and The First Man in My Life: Daughters Write about Their Fathers.

click to watch the martin video

Yves Couturier holds the Canada Research Chair in Professional Practice for the Integration of Gerontology Services at the Université de Sherbrooke.

Lucie Bonin is a specialist in public health and preventive medicine and is a recognized innovator in service integration and population outreach.

Louise Belzile is a social worker whose work focuses on the use of standardized multi-dimensional clinical tools in the context of integrating services for seniors with loss of functional autonomy.

click to watch the Coutrier Bonin Belzile video

Juliet Johnson is Professor of Political Science at McGill University and the author of A Fistful of Rubles: The Rise and Fall of the Russian Banking System.

click to watch the johnson video