Julia O’Sullivan PhD is Professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, an affiliated Professor at the University of British Columbia and Senior Fellow at Massy College. Former Dean of Education at three universities (Lakehead, Western, and the University of Toronto), she is recognized internationally for her commitment to, and lengthy record in, Indigenous education. The Founding National Director of Canada’s Centre of Excellence for Children with Special Needs, her research and development work is focused on children underserved in schools, has attracted over $30 million in funding, and published in English, French, Ojibwa and Inuktitut.
She recently returned to the University following leave with the Martin Family Initiative (MFI), led by former prime minister Rt. Hon. Paul Martin. At MFI, she designed and led the Model Schools Literacy Project (MSLP), an early literacy initiative, working in partnership with First Nations schools and communities from Labrador to British Columbia, non-indigenous partners (e.g., Cisco, TELUS, Google), with funding from provincial and federal governments. She continues her work on the initiative, advising on strategy for teaching and learning recovery following the covid pandemic. An advocate for literacy as a human right, an Indigenous right and a determinant of health and well-being, she consults regularly with educational organizations and governments in Canada and internationally.