About The Conference

What is the Atlantic Conference on Public Administration?

The Atlantic Conference on Public Administration (ACPA) is a graduate student-run event that has established itself as the premier annual gathering of public sector professionals, graduate students and researchers in the Atlantic Canadian region.  ACPA is a platform for attendees to share, learn, discuss, and connect on relevant issues impacting our communities and regions. ACPA empowers the public service and supports new learning and growth in the public sector.  


The Conference began as a joint function between L’Université de Moncton, and Dalhousie University. Today, Dalhousie University School of Public Administration coordinates the planning and delivery of the annual conference and maintains a commitment to engaging universities and public service professionals  across Atlantic Canada. 

Purpose and approach for this year’s conference:

Atlantic Canadian Reach 

The 2019 ACPA organizing committee is dedicated to engaging all four Atlantic Canadian provinces to take part in the conference as delegates and speakers. The 2019 ACPA program will include sessions and topics from all four Atlantic Canadian provinces with the intention of promoting a regional perspective that relates to all Atlantic Canadian public administration professionals, students and faculty.  


Educational & Interactive Experience 

The conference will offer delegates an experience where they can: 

  • Reflect on their own roles in Atlantic Canada in progressing the public sector 
  • Innovate new ideas  
  • Educate others on successes and best practices 
  • Engage in new in-depth learning and skill building on current issues 
  • Build new relationships and find inspiration 

Conference History

Conference Origins

The ACPA Conference is in its 19th year, and has established itself in the Halifax community as the premier annual gathering of public servants and graduate students.  The Conference provides a space for practitioners and students to engage with one another and learn from each other.  The Conference began as a joint function between L’Université de Moncton, and Dalhousie University.  It was designed to be an annual conference for students from both universities to showcase their research and develop new ideas.  Over the years, the Conference has evolved from simply a place where students gather to share ideas, into a space where public service professionals, Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Management graduates, professors and not-for profit stakeholders gather to share ideas, best practices and develop solutions to the biggest problems facing the Canadian public service.  Today, Dalhousie University School of Public Administration has taken over sole responsibility of planning and delivering the annual conference, but still maintains a commitment to engaging universities and public service professionals from across Atlantic Canada

Previous Conference Highlights

2018: Stronger Together: Indigenous Reconciliation and Sustainable Growth in Atlantic Canada

Key Speakers:

  • Mayor Mike Savage
  • Patricia Doyle-Bedwell
  • Gerald Gloade

2017: When Stars Align: Creating Opportunities

Key Speakers:

  • The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc 
  • Andrew Noseworthy 
  • Senator Dan Christmas 
  • Mayor Mike Savage ​

2016: Remaining Relevant: Adapting for Tomorrow

Key Speakers:

  • Avrim Lazar
  • Rosalind Penfoud
  • Debate Resolution: Be it Resolved that Government Should Regulate the Sharing Economy (more)

2015: Models for Success: Leading in Atlantic Canada

Key Speakers:

  • Danny Graham
  • Dan Christmas
  • ​Catherine Woodman​

2014: Supporting Symbiosis: Bridging the Public/Private Sectors and Civil Society

Key Speakers:

  • Richard Florizone
  • Paul MacMillan
  • Mayor Mike Savage

2013: ​Intergovernmental Affairs: Challenges and Opportunities

Key Speakers:

  • Sir John Elvidge
  • David Darrow
  • Catherine Blewett
  • Graham Flack

Graduate Student Showcase

In addition to an exciting conference program, ACPA is a platform where graduate students in Public Administration have an opportunity to showcase some of their cutting-edge research and projects related to issues and challenges in the Canadian public service.   Previous research presentations include: 

  • Gender Diversity in the Public Sector Workplace by Kaylea Cassano
  • The High Cost of Transportation Infrastructure: The 2015 Metro Vancouver Transit Referendum and Lessons for Policymakers by Matthew Chan
  • Social Licence:  A Collaborative Democracy ​by Salman Dostmohammad, Jude Long, Claire Dutkewych
  • Contribution Analysis as an approach to evaluating public relations programs by
    Luke Gaulton
  • Educating for the Future:  The Case for Compulsory Computer Science Education in Canada ​by Jethro Herring
  • A Policy Perspective of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry’s Role in Alleviating Global Food Insecurity by Allison Kader