Our directors are second-year Master of Public Policy candidates at the School of Public Policy and Governance.
Lauren Birch, Operations
Lauren Birch completed her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of Toronto and is now pursuing a Master of Public Policy at the School of Public Policy & Governance (SPPG). During her first year at SPPG Lauren was the Y1 Program Advisor for the SPPGSA and a Policy Consultant with PGI for CivicAction. Her team developed a civic engagement model for youth to promote community involvement.
This year Lauren is excited to be a Director of PGI to ensure every student has the same great experience that she had. She is also the President of the SPPGSA and is currently working in the Strategy & Results Branch in the Cabinet Office for the government of Ontario. In this position she gets to provide strategic insight into policy development and implementation, emphasizing the need for risk mitigation and planned delivery of initiatives.
Outside of SPPG, Lauren enjoys travelling (she is from the UK originally), watching sports, and exploring Toronto.
Amanda Buchnea, Client Relations
Amanda completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Social Development Studies, specializing in Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Waterloo. During her undergraduate studies she became passionate about strategic, systems-level policy development on topics related to homelessness, poverty reduction, community development, and social justice.
In her first year at SPPG, Amanda has worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and as a policy consultant with the Public Good Initiative. As a PGI consultant for the Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness, her team successfully created recommendations for the Alliance’s governance structure.
She has spent the summer as a Policy Intern at A Way Home Canada, a nonprofit collaborating across sectors and levels of government to prevent, reduce, and end youth homelessness in Canada through a collective impact framework. Having witnessed the innovative and creative work being done at A Way Home, Amanda is inspired to continue to pursue work that brings together the nonprofit sector and government in order to solve complex social issues.
Taylor Davis, Client Relations
Taylor is a second year Master of Public Policy candidate at the School of Public Policy and Governance (SPPG) at the University of Toronto and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Victoria.
Prior to joining SPGG, Taylor worked in immigration law, directly assisting clients with immigration applications and appeals. As a past PGI policy consultant for the Toronto East Quadrant Local Immigration Partnership, Taylor helped conduct an evaluation and feasibility study on a service co-ordination pilot project across three Toronto neighbourhoods.
Most recently, Taylor was a policy co-op student in the Voluntary Sector Relations Unit of Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. In this position, she worked on policy and programs to build the capacity of the not-for-profit sector and support volunteerism in the province. Taylor is eager to continue supporting the important work of local not-for-profit organizations as a Client Relations Director for the Public Good Initiative.
Juhi completed her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science and minoring in Management and Anthropology at McGill. This year she worked as a PGI consultant for WomenatthecentrE, and was the SPPGSA representative on the UTGSU Council. Before coming to SPPG, she worked as a Project Coordinator at the McGill Social Equity and Diversity Education Office, and this summer she is working at the Ontario Women’s Directorate in the Stakeholder Relations and Policy Development Unit. Juhi’s policy and research interests include social policy, immigration, and equity and inclusion.