Dr. Ron Saunders
Institute for Work & Health
Dr. Ron Saunders, currently a consultant in knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE), recently retired from the position of KTE director and senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH).
Saunders is a policy expert with a passion for labour issues. He has coupled these two interests throughout his career, whether working in the public service, academia or applied research. Saunders joined IWH in 2008 as a senior scientist. During his tenure as KTE director at the Institute, from 2011 to 2017, he helped strengthen IWH's integrated KTE model, which provides for multiple types of engagement with stakeholders throughout the course of a research project. He also played a key role in expanding and deepening IWH’s relationships with its stakeholder networks. These include the employer and labour networks, which he established, and the Prevention Knowledge Exchange Group (PKEG), which he nurtured into a lively gathering of Ontario’s prevention system representatives to exchange information about research and practice.
Before joining IWH, Saunders was with the Canadian Policy Research Network (CPRN), where he was the vice-president of research. His own research at CPRN centred on vulnerable workers, the school-to-work transition, access and quality issues in post-secondary education, and skills development and training. Prior to that, he spent 17 years in the Ontario Public Service, most notably as the assistant deputy minister of policy, communications and labour management services in the Ministry of Labour. There, he was instrumental in developing policies related to employment standards and labour relations.
Saunders also spent time in the academic world, having taught at the University of Toronto and, in 2001/2002, at Queen’s University School of Policy Studies. He currently holds an appointment as associate professor in the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto.