Program Faculty

UBC’s Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA) program, housed within the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, offers the opportunity to study alongside world-class professors who are recognized experts in their respective fields and have strong ties with the international policy community. Our faculty draws distinguished academics from each of the MPPGA program’s three founding partners: the Liu Institute for Global Issues (Liu), the Institute of Asian Research (IAR), and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES), as well as experts from Political Science, the Vancouver School of Economics, Sauder School of Business, UBC Journalism, and Peter A. Allard School of Law.

Erin Baines

Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA). Her research interests include transitional justice, the politics of humanitarianism and forced displacement and the study of gender, youth and armed conflict. She sits on the editorial board of the International Journal of Transitional Justice and is the co-founder of the Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) in Gulu, Uganda.

David Boyd

One of Canada’s leading experts in environmental law and policy and an internationally renowned authority on the relationship between human rights and environmental degradation. He was co-chair of Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 initiative with Mayor Gregor Robertson. Boyd is also the award-winning author of over 100 articles and eight books including Cleaner, Greener, Healthier: A Prescription for Stronger Canadian Environmental Laws and Policies and The Optimistic Environmentalist: Progress Towards a Greener Future. He is a member of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide and the IUCN’s Commission on Environmental Law.

Timothy Brook

Works on the social and cultural history of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), the Japanese occupation of China during World War Two, and historical perspectives on world history and human rights. A new book, tentatively entitled Sailing to China, will appear in the spring. It explores the Selden map, a Chinese map of the 17th century recently rediscovered in Oxford. Other current projects include cultural life in the Shanghai region in the early 17th century, and a price history of the Ming dynasty.

Kai Chan

Associate Professor of IRES and Canada Research Chair in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. His interests include conservation biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, policy and ethics. He combines perspectives of conservation in a sustainability science research program on social-ecological interactions and applied environmental ethics to inform ecosystem-based management and sustainability solutions.

Stephanie Chang

Professor at IRES and SCARP and Canada Research Chair in Disaster Management and Urban Sustainability. Her research interests address issues of community vulnerability and resilience to natural disasters. She has written extensively on loss estimation models for critical infrastructure systems, infrastructure interdependencies, economic evaluation of disaster mitigations and urban disaster recovery.

Timothy Cheek

Louis Cha Chair in Chinese Research at the Institute of Asian Research and a Professor in the Department of History. His research, teaching and translating focus on Modern Chinese history and society especially the role of the Chinese intellectuals in the twentieth century and the history of the Chinese Communist Party.

Cesi Cruz

Assistant Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA), jointly appointed with Political Science. She studies political economy, focusing on the interplay between electoral incentives and economic outcomes in consolidating democracies. Her research uses quantitative and qualitative methods, social network analysis, surveys, and field experiments. Cesi’s research is funded by the World Bank, USAID, and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Julian Dierkes

Keidanren Chair in Japanese Research and an Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA). His research interests are focused on contemporary Japan and Mongolia, including comparative political sociology and sociology of education in Japanese, Mongolian and German historical education. Also, he is interested in economic sociology and organizational behavior in mining regulations, especially in Mongolia and natural resource regulation.

Hadi Dowlatabadi

Professor at the Liu Institute and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES), and Tier One Canada Research Chair in Applied Mathematics and Global Change. His current projects are looking at energy poverty and greening the energy infrastructure.

Shashi Enarth

Graduate Director for the MPPGA. He brings 27 years of experience with a mix of academia, policy research, advocacy and grassroots level development work with vulnerable segments of the communities across two continents and 3 countries. For fourteen of those years, he held leadership positions in two of the best known non-government development organizations in India. As a World Bank consultant, he analyzed public policies and designed agriculture development programs in India, Tanzania, Mozambique and Nigeria.

Paul Evans

Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA). His writing and activities includes contemporary political and security issues in the Asia Pacific region. Over the past eight years he has been co-CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (2005-08); Director of the Institute of Asian Research (2009-12); director of research and track-two dialogue program on “Emerging Issues in Canada-China Relations;” and director of a research cluster on ‘Global China and World Governance.”

Nancy Gallini

Professor in the Vancouver School of Economics. Her research focuses on the economics of intellectual property, competition policy, strategic alliances, licensing, and optimal patent policy. She has served on the editorial boards of the American Economic Review, the International Journal of Industrial Organization and the Journal of Industrial Economics and has worked with the Competition Bureau and Industry Canada on projects related to Canada’s patent policy and Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines.

Robin Gregory

Robin Gregory is Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and Senior Research Scientist at the non-profit Decision Research. His research and applied work emphasizes collaborative decision-aiding approaches that help participants to understand their own and others’ responses to the consequences of actions characterized by multiple dimensions, substantial uncertainty, and often controversy.

Leila Harris

Associate Professor in the Institute on Resources Environment and Sustainability and in the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia. She also serves as Co-Director for UBC’s Program on Water Governance. Dr. Harris’s work examines social, cultural and political-economic dimensions of environmental and developmental change, with particular focus on equity concerns. Current research focuses on the intersection of environmental issues and inequality, political ecologies of citizenship, and water politics and governance (including focus on participatory engagement and other recent governance shifts, as well as equity and sustainability challenges important for the Canadian context). Dr. Harris currently teaches a graduate seminar on Development Discourse and Practice as part of the MPPGA program.

George Hoberg

George Hoberg specializes in environmental and natural resource policy and governance at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA). His research interests include environmental policy, energy policy, forest policy, and more generally the design of policies and institutions to promote sustainability. His current research focuses on the clean energy transformation. Dr. Hoberg taught public policy and American politics in the Department of Political Science for 13 years, and forest and energy policy in the Faculty of Forestry from 2001 to 2016.

Brian Job

Professor of Political Science. His interests concern international security – more specifically, the evolving security order of the Asia Pacific, intrastate conflict, human security and Canadian foreign and security policies.

Mark Johnson

Associate Professor at IRES and EOAS. His research interests focus on ecohydrology and watershed biogeochemistry. He and his group conduct field-based research involving hydrometric and water quality monitoring with the goal of leveraging it towards the development of more sustainable land use practices and urban systems.

Milind Kandlikar

Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) and Professor and Director of the Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability. His work focuses on the intersection of technology innovation, human development and the global environment. His current projects include cross-national comparisons of regulation of agricultural biotechnology; air quality in Indian cities; risks and benefits of nanotechnology; new technologies for sustainable transportation; and development and climate change.

Nadja Kunz

Assistant Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) and Norman B Keevil Mining Engineering. She works at the interface of research and practice to resolve private sector water challenges, with a focus on the mining and resources sector. Najda is driven by a passion for transitioning the private sector towards more sustainable water management practices.

Amartya Lahiri

Johal Chair of Indian research at the Institute of Asian Research and the Royal Bank Faculty Research Professor and Professor at the Vancouver School of Economics. He specializes primarily in International Economics and secondarily in Macroeconomics.

Philippe Le Billon

Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) and Geography. His research interests include the political economy and geography of war, extractive sector governance, and the geopolitics of the “global land grab.”

Hyung-Gu Lynn

Associate Professor, holding the AECL/KEPCO Chair in Korean Research at the Institute of Asian Research. He is the Editor for the Journal Pacific Affairs, an independent, interdisciplinary, peer-reviews journal since 1928. His research focus is on a variety of issues in Korea and Japan ranging from late-19th century to present and in international relations to visual culture.

Jessica Main

Tung Lin Kok Yuen Canada Foundation Chair on Buddhism and Contemporary Society, Institute of Asian Research and Department of Asian Studies. She is also UBC’s Buddhism and Contemporary Society Program steward. Her research is focused on Buddhist ethics, human rights, social action, modern Buddhist institutions, law, governance, and institutional life in East and Southeast Asia.

Kevin Milligan

Kevin Milligan is Professor of Economics in the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia, and is also a Scholar-in-Residence with the C.D. Howe Institute and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Since 2011, he has served as Co-Editor of the Canadian Tax Journal. He studied at Queen’s University and the University of Toronto, receiving his Ph.D. in 2001. His research spans the fields of public and labour economics, with a focus on how the Canadian tax and transfer system affects the decisions and wellbeing of individuals and families.

Gunilla Oberg

Professor at IRES. She has participated in a number of interdisciplinary research and educational projects related to environmental and sustainability issues. Her research interests span from the use of science in environmental policy to chlorine biogeochemistry.

Kai Ostwald

Assistant Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA), jointly appointed with Political Science. Ostwald’s area of specialization is comparative politics, focusing on ethnic politics, public policy, and politics of development.  His research is situated primarily in Southeast Asia. He has spent over five years on location in Asia in the private sector.  His research has been funded by major research agencies, including the NSF.

Taylor Owen

Assistant Professor, jointly appointed with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) and the School of Journalism.  His current research focuses on the intersection of digital technology and international relations.  He is specifically interested in how this technology challenges the institutions, systems, and norms that define the space of international relations.  He coordinates (at the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism, Columbia University) a large research program on the evolving space of digital media and journalism.

Kyung-Ae Park

Associate Professor, the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA), the Korea Foundation Chair at the Institute of Asian Research, and Director at the Centre for Korean Research. Her research interests include North and South Korean politics, US-Korea relations, and gender and development. She has been invited to speak at a variety of prestigious universities, research institutes, academic associations, government agencies and mass media events in Canada, US, China, Japan and South Korea.

Pitman Potter

Professor of Law at the Peter A. Allard School of Law and HSBC Chair in Asian Research at the Institute of Asian Research. His teaching and research interests focus on PRC and Taiwan law and policy in the areas of foreign trade and investment, dispute resolution, property law, contracts, business regulation and human rights. Additionally, he is admitted to the practice of law in B.C., Washington, and serves as a consultant to the Canadian national law firm Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and engages in international trade arbitration work involving China.

Moura Quayle

Moura Quayle is the Director pro tem of the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and Professor, Strategic Design with the Sauder School of Business. Moura’s interests lie in rethinking, refining and rebuilding collaborative spaces at the intersections of academia, government, business and civil society. Her teaching and research focus is the Sauder and an emerging Policy Studio at the Liu Institute that help students and organizations learn to use design processes and tools.

M. V. Ramana

M. V. Ramana is the Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA). His research interests are in the broad areas of international security and energy supply, with a particular focus on topics related to nuclear energy and fissile materials that can be used to make nuclear weapons. He combines technical skills and interdisciplinary methods to address policy relevant questions related to security and energy issues.

Navin Ramankutty

Professor and Canada Research Chair on Food Security, at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) and the Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability.  Navin’s research concerns global land use change and its implications, focusing on agricultural practice and the implications for environmental change and food security.  He employs data and models to address the question of how to feed 9-10 billion people while reducing agriculture’s environmental footprint.

Terre Satterfield

Former Director of IRES and Professor of Culture, Risk and Environment. Her work concerns sustainable development in the context of debates about environmental values, risk and environmental health. Her studies include environmental conflicts such as logging disputes, biodiversity management and politics, First Nation land management and regulatory contexts  as well as the governance and perceived risk of new technologies and the social and cultural consequences on contamination.

Tsering Shakya

Professor and Canada Research Chair in Religion and Contemporary Society in Asia at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) and Asian Studies. He is a world renowned and widely published scholar, on both historic and contemporary Tibet. He has an unrivalled network of official and unofficial contacts in the government, academia, religious circles and the median in throughout Tibet and China, across Asia, Europe and the US which he draws off of for his many works.

Sara Shneiderman

Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) and the Department of Anthropology. Her current research projects explore social transformation through the lenses of post-disaster reconstruction and post-conflict state restructuring; citizenship, borders and mobility; religiosity and secularisation; and infrastructure, land use change, and governance – across the Himalayas, South Asia, and Asia in general. Her previous work has focused on ethnicity and indigeneity; political movements, including Nepal’s Maoist insurgency; cross-border mobility; ritual, religious, and cultural practice; and gender identities. She regularly contributes to policy discussions about development, governance, and politics across South Asia and the Himalayas, and serves as advisor to several NGOs working in the region. She is also Co-Director of the Centre for India & South Asia Research, Co-Coordinator of the UBC Himalaya Program, and Associate Editor for South Asia and the Himalayas at Pacific Affairs.

Rashid Sumaila

Professor, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA). Dr. Sumaila specializes in bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing and the economics of high and deep seas fisheries.

Yves Tiberghien

Associate Professor of Political Science and former Director of the Institute of Asian Research. His research and teaching interests focus on G20, systemic risks and global public goods, financial regulations, corporate governance, genetically engineered foods and climate change in the regions of China, Japan, Korea and European Union.


Ilan Vertinsky

Vinod Sood Professor of International Business Studies at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. His teaching interests include international trade policy and cultural analysis in international business.

Hannah Wittman

Associate Professor at IRES and LFS. Her research examines the ways that the rights to produce and consume food are contested and transformed through struggles for agrarian reform, food sovereignty, and agrarian citizenship.

Anne Wittman

Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, where she teaches on corporate social responsibility. She has worked in a variety of legal and policy roles in Canada and internationally, and emphasizes practical skills, case studies and career options for her students.

Jiaying Zhao

Assistant Professor at IRES and Department of Psychology. Her interests include how environmental and financial resources influence thinking and behavior, and how cognitive factors lead to behavioral change that impacts the consumption and allocation of environmental resources.