Awards sponsored by School of Public Administration alumni are presented to the first, second and third place papers in the Atlantic Conference on Public Administration Paper Competition:
These awards are open to all paper submissions in the competition.
In addition, the David MacDonald Memorial Award in Public Administration is presented to the highest ranked paper from a Dalhousie University student in the Master of Public Administration program.
An annual award is presented to recognize and honour David MacDonald’s deep commitment to excellence in public policy, intellectual rigour, active questioning, and dialogue between academics and public servants. The award and a $500 cash prize is awarded to the Dalhousie University student from the Master of Public Administration program who submits the best paper in the Atlantic Conference on Public Administration Paper Competition.
David Alexander Joseph MacDonald was born and raised in Creignish, Nova Scotia. He earned a BA and a Masters in Public Administration at Dalhousie, a Masters in Political Studies at Queen’s University and worked on a doctorate for three years at Dalhousie.
David started working with the federal government in Ottawa in January 1992 as a policy analyst in the Federal-Provincial Relations Office, where he worked on the Charlottetown Accord, federal-provincial issues and constitutional reform. At the time of his death in the summer of 2010, he had risen high in the ranks of the public service as Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy and Research Branch of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). In between, he worked in various policy secretariats at the Privy Council Office, including in Government Renewal; at the Canadian Centre for Management Development (now Canada School of Public Service) doing leading research in governance issues; and various positions at HRSDC including federal-provincial labour market issues, skills and learning.
David was highly respected by his superiors, colleagues and staff as a consummate public servant. He was passionate about the role and importance of the public service in a well-functioning democracy, and a deep pride of Canada. He had an incisive policy mind, a love of learning and a sharp wit. All of these qualities served him well in the many important files he contributed to over the course of his career. His love of learning and debate; the searching out ideas and other perspectives; and his love of Canada make him an ideal example to public servants and to those who study the complex issues of public administration and public policy.