Michael Fenn

Municipal & Provincial

Michael Fenn has been a Senior Advisor at StrategyCorp since 2011, following an extensive career as a public-sector executive.

Michael has been an Ontario Deputy Minister under three Premiers, municipal chief administrator in Hamilton and Burlington, the founding CEO of Toronto-area regional transportation authority Metrolinx and earlier, the first CEO of the regional health authority serving the western Greater Toronto Area (Mississauga Halton LHIN). While on leave from StrategyCorp in 2019, he was Special Advisor to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, on the review of regional municipal government in Ontario.

A former member of the McMaster University Board of Governors and Board Director with the Toronto District School Board’s realty and property redevelopment arm, the Toronto Lands Corporation, Michael is a fourth-term Board Director with the C$120 billion OMERS pension fund, where he serves on the Investment and Governance Committees. He is a certified board director, having attained the C.Dir. designation in 2014.  In 2018, Michael was appointed Visiting Fellow (Infrastructure) at Western University’s Ivey Business School, complementing his work as a management consultant with StrategyCorp.

Between 2011 and 2022, Michael chaired the Mushkegowuk Expert Panel on Policing and acted as Facilitator of confidential negotiations on policing issues, jointly appointed by the Grand Chief of the Mushkegowuk Cree First Nations and the Ontario Solicitor General.

Michael’s research publications and reports for ‘think tanks’, academic institutions, governments and industry organizations, including the StrategyCorp Institute of Public Policy and Economy, have addressed topics such as:

  • Post-COVID recovery;
  • Artificial intelligence in municipal government;
  • Tegional collaboration in the GTHA;
  • Funding for Canada’s ‘green infrastructure’ projects;
  • Tax-exempt municipal bonds;
  • Public-private partnerships in Ontario infrastructure;
  • Seniors’ health care and housing;
  • A risk-based approach to infrastructure investment;
  • Reducing regulatory burdens facing small business;
  • ‘Megatrends’ and the future of Canada’s infrastructure;
  • Rural infrastructure in Ontario;
  • The role of the city manager/CAO in Ontario and Canada;
  • Municipal council-staff relations;
  • Municipal government “at an inflection point”;
  • Infrastructure in remote regions and in mining; and,
  • Water, wastewater and stormwater policy in Ontario.

Michael’s career achievements have been acknowledged by a number of professional awards, including the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal of Distinction in Public Administration for Ontario, and the highest award for career achievement from Ontario’s two largest municipal administrators’ associations, the AMCTO’s Prestige Award and the OMAA’s Robert Baldwin Award. In 2010, he was one of two Ontarians added to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s Honour Roll. Michael’s municipal management career was profiled with a chapter in Professor Emeritus David Siegel’s book: “Leaders in the Shadows: The Leadership Qualities of Municipal Chief Administrative Officers”.  He is the co-editor of the forthcoming book: “The Role of Canadian City Managers: In Their Own Words”, from U. of Toronto Press.

A graduate of York University’s Glendon College, Michael has an MA in Political Science and the Diploma in Public Administration (Urban/Regional), both from Western University. He has also completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

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