Sunil Johal

IIE Work Stream Fellow
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 his current role he is the Vice President, Public Policy at the CSA Group where he is responsible for building and leading a new team to tackle challenging 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 in an Assistant Deputy Minister-level role. From 2019 to 2020 he led a team of 60 professionals and was responsible for economic development with the City of Toronto, as Director of Business Growth Services. He also 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 and the implications of disruptive technologies. In February 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 such as 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.