The Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Program in Political Management is Canada’s first and premier post-secondary program in political management. Since 2011, it has provided rigorous professional training in governance, political communications, ethics and policy development.

Our graduates go on to leadership roles at every order of government, and to work with governments in private sector and voluntary sector organizations. The program has created a cadre of energetic professionals with strong networks across the political spectrum. Our graduates are political advisors, GR professionals, and candidates for public office who understand the need for dialogue and collaboration across party lines and sectors. The Student Experience Fund allows our students to supplement their professional training by taking part in learning and development opportunities across the country and across borders.


The Background

An Investment in Students and in Better Politics

Our students are some of the country’s brightest and most dedicated political minds; many have already accumulated significant practical experience working on election campaigns and within constituency offices. They talk about how the program builds essential skills but, even more importantly, it gives them the opportunity to meet peers from various political persuasions and regional perspectives. Students come to a greater understanding of how colleagues from different parties and backgrounds working together can achieve more than those working alone or only with peers that share their views.

At the same time, the program’s location in the national capital means that students have unparalleled opportunities to learn first-hand from politicians, senior political advisors, industry associations, leaders of charities, think tanks and diplomats. Our program is regularly invited to take part in conferences, panel discussions, televised debates and more. But sometimes the out-of-pocket costs of participating in these off-campus events can be difficult for graduate students to absorb. This is especially true when the opportunity for student learning involves travel to attend a conference, party convention or campaign training workshop.

The Rollout

The Political Management Student Experience Fund was established by Bill Fox, a program fellow and past practitioner-in-residence. The fund is available to all current Masters of Political Management students to help defray some of the out-of-pocket costs (like travel and accommodation) that are associated with professional development opportunities related to political management. Traditional sources of support for graduate students are really geared towards academic conferences to present research. This fund is essential for a professional graduate program like ours.

The Impact

The Student Experience Fund helps make sure that political events are more accessible to all of our students, regardless of background. Students have used funding to travel to take part in campaign training, to observe political leadership conventions, and to meet with and learn from political leaders outside the national capital region. These have been life-changing opportunities for these students, opening new doors and helping them find the best ways to contribute to the political life of their communities. Help us make sure the Student Experience Fund remains a source of opportunity for years to come.

Other Comments

This project is timed to coincide with a celebration of the program’s anniversary. A major project to re-invigorate program alumni support is also planned. The program has a record of success in establishing and maintaining strong relationships with local political, public and private sector employers and stakeholders. This campaign represents an important opportunity for many alumni and host employers of MPM students to direct their support for the program.

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