Alumni Profile | Mark Schaan

Mark SchaanMark A. Schaan (BA ’02 Political Science) is the recipient of the Faculty of Arts Young Alumni Award. The award recognizes Arts young alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their professional field and in community and public service.

Mark studied at Waterloo as a Loran Scholar. During this period, he served as the vice president of education for the Federation of Students, president of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, president of the Conrad Grebel student council, and a residence don.

In 2002, Mark received the Rhodes Scholarship, which is known as the “world’s oldest and most prestigious international graduate scholarship.” Being elected a Rhodes Scholar awarded him the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford, where he received his Master of Philosophy in Comparative Social Policy in 2004, and his PhD in Social Policy in 2010. Mark’s research concentrated on policy development, specifically related to Canadian welfare-to-work reforms. For this research, he was awarded the Nathalie des Rosiers Audacity of Imagination Award, and the Barnett Prize in Social Policy.

Mark joined the public service in 2006, and has been a senior project leader in the Automotive and Transportation Industries Branch of Industry Canada, since 2009. He joined the Branch to assist in the analysis of labour, pension, and benefit issues in the restructuring of General Motors of Canada Limited. Throughout his time in the public service, he became actively involved in the Recruitment of Policy Leaders program, an initiative aimed at bringing exceptional Canadian graduates into the public service and to enrich Government’s policy capacity. He served as coordinator of this initiative from 2007 to 2009.

Mark has also shown strong leadership in the broader community and is a regular panelist and speaker for youth and community organizations, as well as a mentor for young undergraduates. Since 2008, he has served as president of the Ten Oaks Project in Ottawa, a non-profit organization which engages and connects the children and youth of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, and queer) communities.

As well, Mark continues to contribute to his alma mater. He has a high affinity for the University of Waterloo and participates at alumni events in the Ottawa area. Former President David Johnston appointed him to Waterloo’s Living and Learning Committee from 2004 to 2005.

Mark obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with Peace and Conflict Studies Option from the University of Waterloo in 2002.