Distinguished Professor Emeritus John English appointed to Order of Ontario

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Distinguished Professor Emeritus John English has been named to the Order of Ontario. Dr. English was among 25 appointees named to the Order by the Honourable Edith Dumont, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Chancellor of the Order of Ontario on January 1, 2024.

John English

As a historian, author, and administrator, Dr. English "brings history to life, shaping our understanding of our past and place in the world today," says his award citation. "Among his many works are best-selling biographies of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau. He brought his expertise to organizations such as the Canadian International Council and the Dictionary of Canadian Biography/Dictionionnaire biographique du Canada."

In 1993, English then a faculty member in Waterloo’s history department, became one of the first University of Waterloo alumni (BA ’67), elected to federal office, representing the riding of Kitchener, which was later dissolved into the ridings of Kitchener Centre and Waterloo-Wellington. English served as an MP until 1997. In 2001, Dr. English became the first executive director of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). He retired from the University in November 2009 and was named Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 2010.

Among other honours, English is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and was a Senior Killam Fellow. English was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2000 and promoted to Officer in 2016. He is a Director Emeritus of the Bill Graham Institute at Trinity College in Toronto. English has written several books, including biographies of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, and other works on Canada in the 20th century.

"His commitment to bringing together the worlds of academic reflection and political action are evident in his own political career as a Member of Parliament in the 1990s and his role as the first executive director of the Centre for International Governance Innovation," said Sheila Ager, Dean of Arts. "The Faculty of Arts is immensely proud to claim Dr. English both as an alumnus and as a distinguished colleague."

The Order of Ontario is the province's highest honour and "recognizes outstanding people who have made exceptional contributions to help build a stronger province, nation and world." 

“As Chancellor of the Order of Ontario, it is my privilege to congratulate the Order’s appointees for 2023. These Ontarians have demonstrated the highest levels of merit, excellence and dedication in their respective disciplines, and they have made significant impacts here at home and around the world," said Lieutenant Governor Edith Dumont. “Our province gratefully acknowledges their remarkable contributions, which inspire us all to be leaders and change-makers.”

Appointments to the Order are made on the recommendation of an independent advisory council based on the merit of accomplishments of nominees put forward by members of the public.

This news story is adapted from the Daily Bulletin, Jan. 4, 2024.