Keynote Presentation

Monday, October 19, 2015 
8:45 am - 9:45 am
Grand Ballroom D  

Pierre-Gerlier Forest, PhD
The Policy Game 

Policy doesn’t stop when politics starts. In spite of inevitable contradictions and setbacks, political reactions to a policy proposal become an integral part of this same policy. The policy mind uses this experience to refine its vision of the problem and to calibrate the original selection of instruments. Politics is the intelligence of a community, because it is how people achieve their common goals in the face of obstacles. Policy is the means to this end, and it is a never-ending effort.

Speaker Biography

Pierre-Gerlier (PG) Forest, PhD is the director of Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Health and Social Policy at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins University, PG Forest was the president of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, a Canadian institution supporting policy innovation and the dissemination of actionable research results. After his appointment in 2006, he has drawn on his wide network of senior-level contacts in the public and private sector and within the academic community for fundraising and to support the Foundation’s engagement in such diverse areas as social policy, immigration, democratic reform, and Canada’s energy future.

In 2003, PG Forest was appointed to the G.D.W. Cameron Visiting Chair with Health Canada, the federal department of health, before becoming Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Scientist (2004-2006). As the principal scientific advisor to the Minister of Health, PG Forest was accountable for the quality and integrity of the scientific and regulatory research conducted by the department. PG Forest was also one of the architects of the Public Health Agency of Canada, established in 2004 to provide a national focal point for public health leadership, policy and planning at the national level.

In 2001, PG Forest was appointed to the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada. As Director of Research, Dr. Forest was responsible for the evidence produced and used by the Commission and contributed directly to its publications, including the final report and recommendations.

PG Forest started his academic career in 1986 at Universite de Montreal, as a lecturer with the Department of Health Administration. In 1990, he joined the Department of Political Science of Universite Laval, where he taught public management and social policy.

Dr. Forest is author or co-author of more than a hundred and fifty scientific papers and books; among others, notably: Changing Health Care in Canada (Toronto, 2004) and Paradigm Freeze (Toronto, 2013). PG Forest holds adjunct professorships with the Faculty of Medicine, Universite de Montreal and the National School for Public Administration (Quebec). He was elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2008.


  • PhD, Universite de Montreal, 1990 MA, Universite Laval, 1984

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, 2008
  • G.D.W. Cameron Chair. Health Canada, 2003-2005
  • Postdoctoral fellowship. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 1989-1990
  • Doctoral fellowship. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 1985-1987
  • Doctoral fellowship. Fonds F.C.A.C. (Quebec), 1984-1985
  • Merit Award (Italian). Societa Dante Alighieri (Italy), 1977