A Conversation with David Lindsay


David Lindsay is no stranger to Queen’s Park. The current President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) has walked through its halls holding a variety of positions in politics and public policy. We were excited to meet with him and hear about his vast experience in politics, public service, and in the higher education sector. David Lindsay was joined by Krista Orendorff, Senior Director of Government and Strategic Partnerships at COU.
Mr. Lindsay shared anecdotes about his time in politics and in the public service. From 1995 to 1997, he was Chief of Staff to then Premier Mike Harris. It was this work that sparked his interest in transition of power from one political party to another following elections. Although it’s a process that has taken place many times in our province, it has seldom been studied or written about. Mr. Lindsay outlined all the actors and stakeholders involved in a government transition, and some of the downfalls of how they are often carried out.
During that same government, David Lindsay became the founding President of the Ontario SuperBuild Corporation, which was responsible for infrastructure planning in the province. Mr. Lindsay then became the CEO of Colleges Ontario, and later returned to public service, where he held the role of Deputy Minister in several ministries during the McGuinty government.
David Lindsay has a unique understanding of the post-secondary landscape in Ontario, having served both as the CEO of Colleges Ontario and COU. With Ms. Orendorff and Mr. Lindsay, we discussed the past and future of higher education, and spoke about how current economic and social trends will affect the evolution of colleges and universities. We also discussed other pressing issues, including tuition costs and financial aid, and the increasing demand for STEM graduates, among other topics.
Thank you to David Lindsay and Krista Orendorff for having a lively conversation with us on higher education policy in Ontario!

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