Masters Certificate in Public Sector Leadership

Schulich Executive Learning Centre

Schulich Executive Learning Centre


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Who should attend

The program has been designed for:

  • Executives and senior managers at the federal, provincial or municipal levels of government, as well as the broader public sector, who are looking to increase the effectiveness of their department or agency
  • High potential professionals in the public sector who wish to develop their skills to the next level and aspire to senior level leadership in the government or not-for-profit sectors
  • Public sector leaders who will be succeeding to higher levels as current senior personnel retire
  • Professionals in the private sector who interface with government

About the course

The ways in which public sector executives prepare to lead change today dictates the effectiveness of governance frameworks in the future.

The Masters Certificate in Public Sector Leadership addresses the public sector’s major leadership issues by giving public service professionals the practical tools and knowledge they need to design and deliver effective services. This public sector training course stimulates insights and builds understanding rapidly through an action-learning environment. Participants enjoy lively discussions, examine real life case studies, and engage within breakout sessions across three impactful learning modules — all while being guided by public sector leaders who are unsurpassed in their expertise and experience. The resulting blend of ‘soft’ skills and ‘hard’ expertise allows public sector professionals to fully engage with all stakeholders in the process of effective public management.


Strategic Leadership

Understand and respond effectively to the broader context of public sector management

Global Trends in Public Sector Management

The public sector is under great pressure to change. The economic, social, demographic, environmental and technological drivers and trends that propel these changes are global in nature. Governments and public-sector organizations must develop innovative practices to adapt to and deal with these changes.

  • Understand how public service is evolving in Canada
  • Obtain an overview of the global drivers and trends that propel changes in the public sector
  • Identify examples of innovative practices used by government and public sector organizations to deal effectively with these global drivers and trends.

Developing a Strategic Mindset

Strategy is challenging in the government and the broader public sector due to changes in political leadership, external factors, stakeholder advocacy and scrutiny by the media. Exceptional leaders recognize that only when strategic thinking becomes a part of everyday working life will it strengthen options to take actions today that position the organization effectively in the future.

  • Understand why a “systems” approach is critical to effective strategic thinking and planning
  • Cultivate a “growth” mindset versus a “fixed mindset” to improve your personal and strategic leadership abilities
  • Foster a strategic thinking mindset within your teams and culture

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Gain new critical thinking skills; improve your ability to examine issues from new perspectives, reframe them, and resolve them with creative problem-solving techniques.

  • Improve competence in anticipating and preventing problems before they occur
  • Determine the causes of problems using root cause analysis
  • Develop new approaches to decision making, problem solving and managing public policy dilemmas

Stakeholder Relations, Strategic Alliances and Political Acuity

Successful policy, program design and delivery require effective stakeholder relations, strategic alliances and partnerships. Political acuity is an essential competence to managing stakeholder relations and realizing your goals.

Results Leadership

Deploy cutting edge methods to achieve extraordinary outcomes

Leading Innovation

The ability to innovate, to address constant change and solve increasingly complex problems, has become a critical competency for public-sector leaders. Obtain practical advice and tools to manage the innovation process from idea generation to idea selection to idea implementation to idea diffusion.

  • Lead successful innovation initiatives in any area of your organization
  • Embed an innovation process in your team or organization
  • Implement innovations through change management and innovative planning

New Techniques for Funding Public Sector Projects

With ongoing austerity, governments and not-for-profit organizations are looking for new approaches for funding high social impact projects. New funding techniques can promote projects and programs that otherwise would be postponed or eliminated.

Government can also create an environment conducive to greater discretionary giving from corporations and foundations.

  • What are the important factors in successful public-private partnerships?
  • What are the most prominent social financing instruments and how do they work?
  • How can government work with charitable institutions, companies’ CSR functions, and new sources of financing to address social problems?

Program Evaluation to Improve Performance

Learn the tools and techniques of program evaluation to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of programs and services to discover ways to improve results and value for money.

  • Understand how to develop meaningful and useful performance measurements
  • Learn how to analyze performance information to assess relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability
  • Understand the fundamental tools of improving program performance

Executive Leadership

Transform your organization for sustained success as part of your leadership legacy

Communicating With Impact

Effective leadership requires polished skills to engage diverse audiences at all levels. Critical communication skills, both written and verbal, accelerate career success and are essential to the cohesive and prosperous operation of any organization.

  • Unleash personal communication strenghts to increase impact so that your message is heard, understood and remembered
  • Gain new insights about your communication style tendencies and how they can both engage and disengage others
  • Present your ideas to executive audiences convincingly for increased buy-in and commitment
  • Write more clearly and persuasively to diverse readers

Leading in Crisis

With constant and rapid change in the global environment, and with social media intensifying the “fish bowl” effect, it seems that crises have become a daily occurrence for public sector leaders. Learning to manage critical situations has become an essential skill to ensure that public sector organizations have the resilience to adapt and succeed.

  • Manage critical situations to ensure that your organization has the resilience to adapt and succeed in torday’s turbulent world
  • Identify the nature of a crisis – its characteristics and consequences
  • Learn the main features of a crisis management plan, including the communication component.
  • Reflect on one’s leadership style in time of crisis.

The Leader’s Challenge

The changing and complex public-sector environment requires a paradigm shift in thinking about leadership. This module explores the dynamics of individual and organizational leadership – how to lead with clarity and authenticity, and with courage and passion, from where you are in your organization.

  • Foster the greatest levels of performance for yourself and your team in an increasingly uncertain environment
  • What distinguishes effective leaders?
  • Clarify your vision, values and your leadership “brand”

Integrative Case Study and the Future of Public Management

Apply all the skills learned in this program to identify common issues and opportunities in public sector management.

  • Work on a case study where you will analyze, prepare options and propose recommendations
  • Senior public service guest speakers give their perspectives on advancing in the public sector


Alex Lowy

Alex Lowy consults widely as a strategic advisor and educator, helping organizations around the world address major dilemmas in a systematic and effective manner. His clients have included technology firms (HP, IBM), banks (CIBC, BMO) resources companies (Shell) and government (Province of Ontari...

Michelle Chambers

Biography Michelle brings more than 25 years of proven and successful leadership, coaching, training and consulting experience, including work with three of Canada’s Top-50 employers, a Financial Post Top-100 organization and a Greater Toronto 2011 and 2013 Top-50 Employer. Michelle is an organiz...

Gail Levitt

Biography Gail is one of Canada’s most experienced negotiators and professional instructors in the field of business negotiating and innovative negotiated solutions. She is a Harvard University trained specialist in both collaborative and competitive bargaining methods, and facilitates negotiatio...

Peter Constantinou

Peter is one of Canada’s leading practitioner-academics in the area of public policy and administration. He has worked as a senior civil servant, chief of staff to a cabinet minister, lobbyist and international consultant. As a professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration, his rese...

Lee-Anne McAlear

Lee-Anne McAlear is Program Director, Centre of Excellence in Applied Innovation Management for the Schulich Executive Education Centre, York University. Lee-Anne is an experienced facilitator, writer, consultant and speaker with a background in innovation, leadership development, strategic plann...

Atipol Bhanich Supapol

Atipol is a highly rated professor at the Shulich School of Business at York University. He specializes in alternative financial arrangements, international technology transfer, multinational corporations as well as economic development of South East Asia.

John R. Allen

Biography John is one of the leading experts and specialists in performance measurement for public sector organizations. He has instructed thousands of public sector leaders on how to effectively develop and implement performance measurement in their organizations. John has more than 30 years’ ex...

JP Gedeon

Biography JP Gedeon is a nationally recognized, published expert in leadership, leadership psychology, corporate transformation and cultural change. Over the past 20 years, he has held executive level positions in the private, public, academic and association sectors, having developed many of the...

Gerald Cossette

Gérald Cossette was appointed Director of FINTRAC on October 15, 2012, and Chair of the Heads of Federal Agencies in July 2013. Prior to this, he served as Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (starting in June 2009) and as the Prime Minister’s personal representative for the G8 and the N...

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Masters Certificate in Public Sector Leadership at Schulich Executive Learning Centre

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