Celebrating Extraordinary Women. Dr. Jennifer Zwicker, The School of Public Policy, named Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner

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Dr. Jennifer Zwicker, a trailblazing leader in child disability policy, has been named a recipient of the prestigious Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award. This honor, presented by Women’s Executive Network (WXN), celebrates extraordinary women who lead with unwavering dedication, reshape their fields, and inspire others to do the same.

WXN Owner and CEO, Sherri Stevens, aptly described the essence of the award, stating, “It takes a powerful woman to lead like a legend in her field, organization, or community, and it takes a powerful woman to empower those around her to do the same. This year’s winners embody that power, giving us hope when we need it most, setting new bars and changing the status quo. They are legends celebrated not just for the things they do but also how they touch the lives of others.”

With a deep-rooted commitment to advancing research and policy to realize the rights and well-being of children and families with disabilities, Dr. Zwicker’s influence transcends her roles as Deputy Scientific Officer of the Kids Brain Health Network and Director of Social Policy and Health at the School of Public Policy. Dr. Zwicker’s vision and accomplishments are leaving a lasting impact on the landscape of inclusive policy and societal transformation.

Championing Children and Families with Disabilities

At the heart of Dr. Zwicker’s leadership is her unwavering dedication to improving the lives of children and families living with disabilities. Her current positions as Deputy Scientific Officer of the Kids Brain Health Network, a Canadian Network of Centers of Excellence, and Director of Social Policy and Health at the School of Public Policy, signify her commitment to transformative change.

Dr. Zwicker’s research primarily centers on addressing the socioeconomic and health disparities experienced by children and youth, particularly those with developmental disabilities and their families. Her goal is to identify practical and effective policies that can significantly enhance the well-being and life outcomes of these individuals.

Canada Research Chair in Disability Policy

In 2020, Dr. Jennifer Zwicker was appointed as a Canada Research Chair (CRC), Tier 2, in Disability Policy for Children and Youth. This prestigious recognition underlines her pioneering work in child disability policy. She leads the transdisciplinary Disability Policy Research Program, a platform dedicated to providing evidence-based information to shape public policy and improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.

The program emphasizes a collaborative approach, bringing together practitioners, care providers, community members, and policymakers from various sectors to facilitate better participation and inclusion of individuals with disabilities in society. Dr. Zwicker’s innovative and multidisciplinary research initiatives within this program are instrumental in providing decision-makers with invaluable evidence for developing more equitable policies.

A commitment to training policy leaders

Dr. Zwicker’s influence extends far beyond her disability policy research. Her role as the Deputy Scientific Officer of the Kids Brain Health Network underscores her commitment to advancing research and training . She has played a pivotal role in advancing the National Training Program and spearheading research to enhance the well-being of these families. In her role as the Director of the Health Policy Program at the School of Public Policy and as an associate professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary, Dr. Zwicker is committed to shaping the next generation of public policy leaders through applied and experiential learning.

Awards and Recognition

Dr. Zwicker’s contributions and ideas have led to her selection as a finalist for the Hunter Prize in Public Policy, recognizing innovative ideas to improving Canada’s health-care system. She has also been honored with the Caldwell Award for Canada’s Top 40 under 40, recognizing her as an exceptional leader in health and social policy, particularly in the context of children and youth.

Dr. Jennifer Zwicker’s journey as an emerging leader in child disability policy is a testament to her commitment to empowering and uplifting individuals with disabilities through evidence-based research and inclusive policy development. As a recipient of the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award, her legacy and impact on Canadian society continue to grow, touching the lives of countless individuals and inspiring others to join her in generating and implementing evidence and information towards a more inclusive world.

In a world where real change is driven by powerful women who lead with vision and dedication, Dr. Jennifer Zwicker is undoubtedly a legend in the making, leaving an indelible mark on her field, her community, and the lives of those she touches.