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Joseph Wong

  • Mentor 2023
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Vice President, International
University of Toronto

    Joseph Wong is the University of Toronto’s Vice-President, International. He is also the Roz and Ralph Halbert Professor of Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, and a Professor of Political Science. He was the Director of the Asian Institute at the Munk School from 2005 to 2014, and held the Canada Research Chair in health, democracy and development for a full two terms, 2006 to 2016.

    Wong is the author of many academic articles and several books, including From Development to Democracy: the Transformations of Modern Asia (with Dan Slater) at Princeton University Press; Healthy Democracies: Welfare Politics in Taiwan and South Korea and Betting on Biotech: Innovation and the Limits of Asia’s Developmental State, both published by Cornell University Press. He is the co-editor, with Edward Friedman, of Political Transitions in Dominant Party Systems: Learning to Lose, published by Routledge, and Wong co-edited with Dilip Soman and Janice Stein Innovating for the Global South with the University of Toronto Press. Wong’s articles have appeared in journals such as The Lancet, the Annual Review of Political Science, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Politics and Society, Governance, among many others.

    Professor Wong has been a visiting scholar at institutions in the US (Harvard), Taiwan, Korea, and the UK (Oxford); has worked extensively with the World Bank and the UN; and has advised governments on matters of public policy in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe.

    Wong’s current research focuses on poverty and innovation. Professor Wong is the founder of the Reach Alliance at the University of Toronto (, a global research initiative inspired by the SDG challenge of ensuring “no one is left behind.” Professor Wong is also writing a book for the Cambridge University Press on the political economy of the welfare state in East Asia. Professor Wong teaches courses in the department of Political Science, the Munk One program and the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Wong was educated at McGill and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Joe is a huge basketball fan and is the host of the video series Joe’s Basketball Diaries, a UofT-produced show about current global affairs and sports (