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Professor in Public Policy and Society, University of Toronto

Sunil Johal is a policy expert with a track record of executive-level experience addressing challenging issues. He is a frequently sought-after advisor to governments, international organizations, media, the business community and non-profits. In 2022, he has been named to expert panels advising the Ontario government on the development of a portable benefits scheme for non-standard workers and the City of Toronto on its Long-Term Financial Plan.

In his current role he is the Vice President, Public Policy at the CSA Group where he is responsible for building and leading a new think tank to tackle challenging public policy issues in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders. He is also the David and Ann Wilson Professor in Public Policy and Society at Victoria College, University of Toronto.

In 2021, he served as Special Advisor to the Deputy Ministers at Employment and Social Development Canada, where he led the department's medium-term planning and transition activities. From 2019 to 2020 he was responsible for economic development with the City of Toronto; led the City’s economic strategy response to the pandemic, and supported the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild.

Sunil was Policy Director at the University of Toronto’s Mowat Centre from 2012 to 2019, where he led the Centre’s research activities and established himself as a thought leader on issues such as the future of work. In 2019, he was named Chair of the Expert Panel on Modern Labour Standards by the federal Minister of Labour. The panel provided advice on issues including the federal minimum wage and right to disconnect.

Before joining the University of Toronto, Sunil held senior executive and policy roles with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, Cabinet Office, Ministries of Finance and Intergovernmental Affairs and federal Treasury Board Secretariat. He joined the federal civil service through the Recruitment of Policy Leaders initiative in 2003.

Sunil is frequently invited to speak at conferences in Canada and abroad. He has contributed expert commentary and advice to a range of organizations and media outlets, including the G-20, World Economic Forum, Brookings Institution, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC, Washington Post, Guardian and OECD.

Sunil has taught undergraduate, master's and executive education courses at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University since 2009. He is a Fellow of the Public Policy Forum and Brookfield Institute. He holds degrees from LSE, Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Western Ontario.


  • 2021–present
    Professor, University of Toronto
  • 2019–present
    Fellow, Brookfield Institute
  • 2022–present
    Vice Chair, Portable Benefits Advisory Panel (Ontario)
  • 2019–present
    Fellow, Public Policy Forum
  • 2022–present
    Vice President, Policy, CSA Group
  • 2021–2021
    Special Advisor, Employment and Social Development Canada
  • 2019–2020
    Director, Economic Development, City of Toronto
  • 2012–2019
    Policy Director, Mowat Centre, University of Toronto
  • 2019–2019
    Chair, Expert Panel on Modern Federal Labour Standards


  • 2003 
    London School of Economics, LLM
  • 2001 
    Osgoode Hall Law School, LLB
  • 1998 
    University of Western Ontario, BA (Hons.)