James S. and Barbara A. Palmer Chair in Public Policy


The School of Public Policy was launched in 2009 to create a world-class policy institute that could drive policy ideas, and train the next generation of policy leaders.

In 2007, Calgary’s forward-looking business community saw the need and potential for the success of a policy school at the University of Calgary, and worked with UCalgary to recruit Dr. Jack Mintz to assume its leadership.  Central to that effort was Calgary lawyer and philanthropist James Palmer.

James Palmer was a leader in business, tax and international law. He was a leader in the development of Alberta’s oil and gas industry, and was a trusted advisor to governments.  Mr. Palmer was a former Governor and Chair of the Canadian Tax Foundation and its first Chair from Western Canada. He was the former Chair of Telus Corporation and served as a Director of Magellan Aerospace Corporation, Canadian Natural Resources Limited and many others.

He was exceptionally generous in every aspect of his life and was a strong contributor to education, the arts and social service groups.

The James S. and Barbara A. Palmer Chair  in Public Policy was established through a gift of $4 million and a lofty goal – to become the flagship school of its kind in Canada.  That goal has been achieved.  The School of Public Policy, remains indebted to James Palmer and his family for the vision and generosity.


James S. Palmer (right) and Jack Mintz


Dr. Jack Mintz

Dr. Jack Mintz is recognized around the globe as one of the world’s most influential tax experts and has become Canada’s most respected and cited economist. His dedication to Canada has been extraordinary and is exhibited by the countless provincial and government institutions that rely on his counsel.

In January, 2008, Dr. Mintz became Director and the 1st James S.  and Barbara A. Palmer Chair in Public Policy at the University of Calgary. The School was founded under his leadership and vision to use excellence in research to bridge the gap between business, government and academia and make The School a national leader in taxation and regulatory policy.

On July 2, 2015, The School of Public Policy and the University of Calgary held a special reception and presentation by University of Calgary President, Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, to recognize his appointment to the first ever “President’s Fellow” position within both The School and the University of Calgary as well as his retirement as Director of The School. This new appointment has allowed Dr. Mintz to focus on his first love – research. Among many achievements throughout his career, Dr. Mintz received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for service to the Canadian tax policy community, became a member of the Order of Canada in 2015, and most recently, was one of three distinguished Canadians appointed to the inaugural Advisory Council with GRI (Global Risk Institute).

Dr. Jack Mintz Biography