Menu Close

Margaret McCuaig-Johnston

Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa

Margaret McCuaig-Johnston is Senior Fellow with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. She is also a Senior Fellow in the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa where she is lecturing and writing on China’s innovation policies since 2013. For seven years she was also a Senior Fellow at the China Institute of the University of Alberta where she has published research on China’s innovation system and Canada-China S&T relations. In 2018 she accepted an invitation to be a Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada where she has published on China’s incubators for start-up companies, as well as Research Associate at the Center for China Innovation Research & Training at Duke University in Kunshan. Margaret’s op-eds and interviews have been published in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Star, the Ottawa Citizen, the BBC, CBC, CTV, Global News, Bloomberg NN, and Radio Free Asia among others.

Over a 37 career in the public service, Margaret held senior management positions in the Governments of Canada and Ontario. Most recently she was Executive Vice-President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; prior to that she was Assistant Deputy Minister Energy Technology and Programs at Natural Resources Canada; and her first Assistant Deputy Minister appointment was at the federal Department of Finance. She has also had management positions at Industry Canada, the Prime Minister’s National Advisory Board on Science and Technology, the Ministry of State for S&T, and the Privy Council Office (the Prime Minister’s department), primarily positions related to S&T policies, programs and funding. She also worked for eight years in the provincial Government of Ontario.

For the last seven years of her government career, Margaret was a member of the Canada-China Joint Committee on Science and Technology. She also had close relations over the years with China on other matters such as energy, manufacturing, industry, associations and think tanks. Margaret edited the first English translation of China’s National Innovation Index for China’s Ministry of Science and Technology. She has visited China many times since her first visit in 1979 when the country had just started opening up to the West. Margaret holds an MA in International Relations focused on China, and an Honours BA in Political Economy. She speaks French and basic Mandarin. She is also immediate past Vice-Chair of the Board of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory – SNOLAB, and a Board member of the Canadian International Council (National Capital) and Human Rights Watch Canada. She is also a Policy Advisor to the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project in Canada.


  • –present
    Senior Fellow, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa


    York University, Masters of International Affairs