Leah Levac

Current affiliation:
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Guelph

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Guelph

Drawing from a range of professional experiences and transdisciplinary scholarship, 2007 Trudeau scholar Leah Levac works with communities to better understand the role of diverse and historically marginalized citizens in community decision-making and public policy development. Her interests include women’s and young people’s engagement, the impacts of neoliberalism on public services in Canada, and the development of participatory approaches to research that account for citizens’ diverse identities and social positions. Levac is an assistant professor of community engaged scholarship in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph.  

Leah Levac holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of New Brunswick. She was elected in the Spring of 2012 to city council in Fredericton. She was also a part-time instructor at Renaissance College, the interdisciplinary leadership faculty at UNB, and a triathlete.

As part of her doctoral research, Leah implemented a policy-focused, participatory research project with a group of young mothers, and a case study of the design and implementation of a provincial public engagement initiative that resulted in the development of a poverty-reduction plan. The Trudeau Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research graciously support Leah's research.

In addition to Leah's academic and municipal work, she serves as the Vice-Chair of Youth in Transition Inc., a small non-profit that operates a residential program for 16 - 19 year old young women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. As well, she is a member of Equal Voice, NB, and is involved with 21inc., a network of young leaders committed to creating the capacity for change in New Brunswick through leadership development. As a founding member of 21inc., she traveled to the United Arab Emirates in 2006 for an International Women in Leadership conference to discuss the need for gender equity as a tenet of transformational leadership.

Experience as a Trudeau Scholar

The Trudeau Foundation believes in its scholars and their ideas. It does not seem possible to overstate the contribution that this vote of confidence, along with the Foundation's provision of creative intellectual and practical resources, has made to my development. Because of the support of the Trudeau Foundation, I have been able to pursue two parallel research interests; young women's and young mothers' civic engagement, and public participation in policy development. Both of these projects were resource and time intensive, and resources and time are frequently in short supply for doctoral students. The Trudeau Foundation provided me with ample resources to create a project in collaboration with young mothers, and to engage in a project with the New Brunswick provincial government.