Former Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff will join the Munk School of Global Affairs with a half-time appointment as a professor this September. He will also assume a half-time appointment at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government starting in January.
Janice Stein, director of the Munk School, announced Friday that Ignatieff would assume his professorship immediately. Stein welcomed Ignatieff’s appointment as a boon to students.
“He brings a deeply global perspective to our biggest policy challenges and will work with our students to give them the analytic skills they need in today’s connected world,” she said.
Ignatieff’s appointment marks a homecoming for the former academic-turned-politician.
Ignatieff studied history as an undergraduate student at U of T’s Trinity College, graduating in 1969. Following doctoral work at Harvard he taught at Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard universities before entering Canadian politics in 2006.
Ignatieff led the Liberal Party between 2009 and 2011. He resigned from Pariliament following the party’s 2011 electoral defeat, when the party fell to third place for the first time in Canada’s history.
Ignatieff was then appointed Senior Resident at Massey College, and appeared to readily embrace a return to his former academic life, teaching a course in the Department of Political Science on “Renewing Canadian Democracy” in the 2012 winter semester.
In an interview with U of T Magazine earlier this year, Ignatieff discussed his return to academia and the lessons he learned from his time in politics.
“Practical political experience has a double effect: it makes you more aware of how difficult it is to get anything done but also how important it is to get things done,” he said .
In the same interview, Ignatieff spoke briefly of his time on Parliament Hill.
“There’s no question you miss the cause. You go into politics to make life better for Canadians.”
“But I can honestly say I don’t miss the life.”