Alexander Himelfarb

Directors Members
2009 to 2014

A former senior Canadian civil servant and academic, he is the Emeritus Director of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, at York University.

Born in 1947, Alex Himelfarb is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he obtained a Ph.D. in Sociology. Mr. Himelfarb joined the Public Service in 1981 with the Department of the Solicitor General of Canada. He has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility since that time, includng Director General, Planning and Systems Group, Planning and Management Branch with the Department of the Solicitor General of Canada; Executive Director of the National Parole Board; Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Social Policy Development with the Privy Council Office; and Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board. While serving as Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board, he also headed the federal Task Force on the Social Union. In June 1999, Mr. Himelfarb became Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage. He then served as Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet from May 2002 until March 2006 when he was nominated as Ambassador of Canada to the Italian Republic with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Albania and the Republic of San Marino, and as High Commissioner for Canada to the Republic of Malta. In 2009, he came back to Canada to take the position of director of the Glendon School of Public & International Affairs (GSPIA). Before joining the Public Service, Mr. Himelfarb was a Professor of Sociology at the University of New Brunswick from 1972 to 1981. During this period, he undertook an Executive Interchange with the Department of Justice as Head of the Unified Family Court Project from 1979 to 1981.