Sunil Johal

Director of Business Growth Services - City of Toronto

Sunil Johal is responsible for economic development with the City of Toronto, as the Director of Business Growth Services. He leads a team of 50 professionals working to drive business activity, attract investment and support entrepreneurship locally, nationally and internationally.

From 2012 to 2019 he was Policy Director at the University of Toronto’s Mowat Centre, where he led the Centre’s research activities and established himself as a thought leader on issues such as the future of work and the implications of disruptive technologies. He contributed expert commentary and advice on policy issues to a range of organizations and media outlets, including the G-20, OECD, National Governors Association, World Economic Forum, Brookings Institution, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC Radio and Television, CTV News, The Washington Post, The Guardian,  senior elected and bureaucratic officials from all three levels of government in Canada and many domestic and international private sector firms.

In February 2019, he was appointed Chair of the Expert Panel on Modern Labour Standards by the federal Minister of Labour. The panel was mandated to examine and provide advice on five issues related to the changing nature of work, including a federal minimum wage, labour standards protections for non-standard workers and collective voice for non-unionized workers.

Before joining the University of Toronto, Sunil was a Director with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation’s Open for Business Division where he led the government’s efforts to modernize its regulatory environment and forge a more productive relationship with the business community. He has also held senior executive and policy roles with the 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.

He is a member of Service Canada’s Service Advisory Committee, the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Future of Work in the Global South initiative and has been a member of the board of directors of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council since 2015.

Sunil has been a lecturer with Ryerson University’s Department of Politics and Public Administration since 2009, and has taught executive education courses on change management, public policy and disruptive technologies to senior public sector officials from countries including Canada, Bangladesh, the Ukraine, China and Russia. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics, Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Western Ontario.