Former National Affairs Columnist, The Globe and Mail
Jeffrey Simpson recently retired from his post at The Globe and Mail as national affairs columnist, a post he held for 32 years. He has won all three of Canada’s leading literary prizes — the Governor-General’s award for non-fiction book writing, the National Magazine Award for political writing, and the National Newspaper Award for column writing (twice). He has also won the Hyman Solomon Award for excellence in public policy journalism. In January 2000, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Born in New York, Mr. Simpson came to Canada when he was 10 years old and studied at the University of Toronto Schools, Queen’s University and the London School of Economics. In 1972-73, he received a parliamentary internship scholarship in Ottawa. A year later, he joined The Globe and Mail.
His career with the newspaper began at City Hall in Toronto and with coverage of Quebec politics. In 1977, he became a member of the paper’s Ottawa bureau, and eighteen months later he was named The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau chief. From 1981-1983, Mr. Simpson served as The Globe’s European correspondent based in London, England. He began writing his national affairs column in January, 1984.
Mr. Simpson has published eight books — Discipline of Power (1980); Spoils of Power (1988); Faultlines: Struggling for a Canadian Vision (1993); The Anxious Years (1996); Star-Spangled Canadians (2000); The Friendly Dictatorship: Reflections on Canadian Democracy (2001), which was nominated for the Donner Prize as the best book on public policy; Hot Air: Meeting Canada’s Climate Change Challenge (2007) written with Mark Jaccard and Nic Rivers; and most recently Chronic Condition: Why Canada’s Health Care System Needs to be Dragged Into the 21th Century (2012).
He has written numerous magazine articles for such publications as Saturday Night, The Report on Business Magazine, The Journal of Canadian Studies, The Queen’s Quarterly. He has spoken at dozens of major conferences here and abroad on a variety of domestic and international issues. He has also been a regular contributor to television programs in both English and French and completed a two-hour documentary for CBC to accompany his book, Star-Spangled Canadians. He has been a guest lecturer at such universities as Oxford, Edinburgh, Harvard, Princeton, Brigham Young, Johns Hopkins, Maine, California plus more than a dozen universities in Canada.
In 1993-1994, Mr. Simpson was on leave from his column as a John S. Knight fellow at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He has been a Skelton-Clark fellow and Brockington Visitor at Queen’s University. He has also been a John V. Clyne fellow at the University of British Columbia, a Distinguished Visitor at the University of Alberta and a member of the Georgetown University Leadership Seminar. He has been awarded honorary doctorates of laws from the University of British Columbia, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Manitoba, l’université de Moncton and Queen’s University.
Mr. Simpson has been a member of the board of trustees at Queen’s University; the board of overseers at Green College, University of British Columbia; the advisory councils of the Robarts Medical Research Institute and the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, and the editorial board of The Queen’s Quarterly. He has been vice-chairman of the City of Ottawa Library Board and was awarded the William Watkinson Award for outstanding contributions to the Canadian Library community.
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