History of the Center for Canadian Studies
Why Research Canada?
Research Program
Canada's Pharmaceutical Sector and Intellectual Property Protection: Implications for Global Trade Liberalization
Thinking Big: The Future of North American Infrastructure Development and Integration
Funding Collaboration in the Context of Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation
Canada-United States Information Sharing in the Regulatory Context
Donner Foundation Research Roundtables
Thomas O. Enders Lecture
Oxford - Hopkins Conference on North America
BYU Palmer Lecture
Connect With Us
Practicum 2017: Natural Gas Development
The Johns Hopkins Center for Canadian Studies is a university-based policy research institute on Canada. The Center links world class scholarship on Canadian affairs to the study of current events and policy challenges in support of the university’s academic mission. Located in Washington, DC, the Center sponsors research and events, hosts visiting scholars, and engages outstanding graduate students in scholarship related to Canada, the challenges of US-Canadian relations and the role of Canada around the world.
The Center for Canadian Studies was founded at Johns Hopkins SAIS in 1960 by Bela Belassa and Canadian-born future Nobel laureate Robert Mundell, both members of the Johns Hopkins University faculty of Economics. The Center and its research and related activities form an integral part of the academic program in Canadian Studies [4], under the direction of Professor Charles F. Doran.


From its earliest days, Johns Hopkins University has attracted faculty, students, and researchers from Canada to its undergraduate and graduate schools.

The Johns Hopkins University Center for Canadian Studies was established at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 1960 as the only graduate teaching and research institution in the United States concentrating on Canadian affairs. Robert Mundell, a Canadian and future Nobel laureate in economics, was then on the faculty and lent support to the idea. In 1969, shortly after the centennial of Canadian confederation, the generous support of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation and the William H. Donner Foundation endowed the Davis-Donner Foundations Chair in Canadian Studies. Professor Dale Thomson, born in Alberta and a former advisor to Canadian Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, was the first director of the Center. The Center attracted scholars and policymakers to join the Johns Hopkins faculty, including former Governor of the Bank of Canada David Dodge and Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa, and Johns Hopkins hosted addresses by leading Canadian political figures regularly.

In 1980, Charles F. Doran became the first American to direct the Center. A distinguished scholar of international relations and a Johns Hopkins SAIS alumnus (MA Johns Hopkins SAIS ’66, PhD Johns Hopkins University ’69), Doran gathered an advisory board for Canadian studies that included some of Canada’s most prominent business and policy leaders. With input from these advisors, he gradually reoriented Canadian studies from a focus on Canada’s particular institutions and features to a more nuanced contextual appreciation of Canada as an energy market leader, a dynamic and durably successful commodity economy, an archetypal “middle power” managing asymmetric power relations with countries like the United States and China, a federal system that has grappled with regionalism and Quebec aspirations to independence, deeply linked with the US economy and in many ways in the vanguard of Western Hemisphere integration, and a society of immigrants whose labor market challenges have lessons for the United States. This shift has opened the study of Canada to students in all of Johns Hopkins SAIS' departments and majors, attracting students from Asia, Europe, and Latin America majoring in American Foreign Policy, Energy Resources and Environment, and Strategic Studies to Canadian studies courses.

By incorporating Canada into the study of practical problems confronting policymakers, investors and others, Doran brought Canadian Studies into line with the three primary goals of the school established by its founders, Paul H. Nitze and Christian A. Herter Jr.:

  • To provide a professional education that simultaneously adheres to the highest standards of scholarship and takes a practical approach to training students for international leadership.
  • To conduct scholarly research related to the concerns of public and private institutions of the United States and governments of other countries and disseminate that research to a broad audience concerned with foreign relations.
  • To offer mid-career educational opportunities for those already working in international affairs.

These goals are increasingly relevant in regard to the study of Canada as more US leaders in the public and private sectors interact with Canadian counterparts on shared challenges, and as Canada is seen by more world leaders as a model or as a potential ally in addressing urgent global and regional concerns.

Canada has been the United States’ largest trading partner for more than a century, and Canada is the top foreign supplier of US energy (oil, natural gas, electricity, and uranium). The two countries negotiated a series of bilateral trade agreements before working together with Mexico on the North American Free Trade Agreement and the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership talks. Canadians are also major investors in the United States, and since 2005 the two countries have entered into regulatory cooperation talks aimed at governing cross-border integrated supply chains covering everything from agriculture to nanotechnology.

Canada is a strategic ally, with close military ties to the United States reinforced through NORAD, NATO, and a history of battlefield cooperation from Europe to Afghanistan. Since September 2001, Canada has been the United States’ closest partner in confronting terrorism in North America, along the 5525-mile shared border and beyond: the two countries operate an array of joint cargo inspection protocols, trusted traveler and shipper programs, standing law enforcement task forces coordinating federal and local efforts in the land and maritime domains including major cities, cybersecurity measures and broad, structured intelligence sharing.

Today, nearly every US federal department and agency has a direct relationship with its Canadian counterpart. The US Congress debates Canadian interests routinely, and is a major focus for Canadian diplomacy. Members of the US and Canadian supreme courts have even developed regular exchanges and meetings to discuss the intersection of the two legal systems. The National Governors Association and regional governors associations in New England, the Great Lakes, and the Pacific Northwest meet annually (and sometimes more often) with Canadian provincial premiers, and the Council of State legislatures now includes Canadian provincial legislators in meetings and activities.

Beyond North America, Canada contributes to international cooperation, security and development with an increasingly global reach. A leading voice in global economic diplomacy, Canada is member of the Group of Seven leading industrial economies, the G-20, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and a contributing member of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank. Canada is also a founding member of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. Canadian regional diplomacy has resulted in a strong role for Canada in the Arctic Council, the Organization of American States, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the Commonwealth and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. The archetypical “middle power” Canadian diplomacy has worked to establish consensus with other governments, playing an outsized role in world affairs despite having only 34 million people.

The close ties between the United States and Canada are the product of geographic proximity, cultural similarity, and practical necessities. Yet few of the growing number of US policymakers and public service professionals have an adequate knowledge of Canadian affairs; the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS is dedicated to redressing this knowledge gap by supporting events that prompt dialogue, research that produces insight, and scholars who can be leaders.


The Center for Canadian Studies has a number of ongoing research projects. For more information on specific projects, see the items below. Members of the school community interested in opportunities to get involved should contact Christopher Sands. 

This paper, commissioned by the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, BC will set out the current status of IP protection for drug and medical device companies from an international perspective. The paper should encompass a discussion of the WTO regarding IP protection as it applies to pharmaceutical and medical device companies, as well as the positions taken by the US, Canada and other countries in the ongoing Doha Round of trade negotiations, as well as the TPP negotiations. The paper will also address the policies of large emerging market economies, most notably China and Brazil – including their use of TRIPS flexibilities and specific pieces of domestic legislation that permit the production of generic copies of patented drugs by home country domestic manufacturers. The implications of such policies of the US Canadian and Western European drug and medical device companies will be discussed‎. The paper will conclude with a consideration of the implications of the trends in international IP negotiations for Canada's domestic IPR regime which has been challenged by the US and other developed countries for its similarities to developing county regimes that enable generic drugs production for the domestic market at the expense of foreign patent holders. The paper will offer a perspective on the question of whether the Canadian approach to IPR  represents a sustainable compromise, or one that will be forced to change by international pressure.

On October 29, 2015, a panel of experts, chaired by Dr. Christopher Sands, discussed the current state and future of North American Integration, with a specific focus on Infrastructure. The discussion explored the value of bilateral approaches to infrastructure development and integration as a driver of economic and social growth. Public-Private partnerships and other financing options, as well as planning and permitting processes, were addressed, along with the practical issues surrounding major projects. This event contributed to a look back at past initiatives, an examination of lessons learned from contemporary projects, and vision into the future of joint action. The session was intended to highlight issues that could form the core of a future research project. The panel was sponsored by the Canada-United States Law Institute, a joint initiative of the law schools of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and Western University in London Ontario. 

Research commissioned by the US Office of Management and Budget (Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs) and the Canadian Privy Council Office (Regulatory Cooperation Council Secretariat) and conducted by the Center for Canadian Studies and Dickinson Wright PLLC. Students conduct interviews with senior public officials in order to examine Canadian and US instruments and practices (e.g. statutes, regulations, policies, administrative procedures, etc.) with a view to identifying opportunities to facilitate collaborative funding in the context of regulatory cooperation efforts.

Research commissioned by the US Office of Management and Budget (Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs) and the Canadian Privy Council Office (Regulatory Cooperation Council Secretariat) and conducted by the Center for Canadian Studies and Dickinson Wright PLLC. Students conduct interviews with senior public officials in order to identify what information sharing and use of information between Canadian and US regulators is required in the course of cooperative regulatory activities and to identify examples where this is being done we; and what opportunities may exist to expand best practices and approaches.

The Center for Canadian Studies hosts and collaborates on several events each semester. To find out more about these events, and to join our events notification list, please contact Starr Lee at starr.lee@jhu.edu [6]

With the support of the Donner Canadian Foundation, this forum brings distinguished researchers to campus to discuss ongoing work, challenges in obtaining and analyzing data, and framing actionable policy recommendations. Faculty and students are invited to participate, offer suggestions and ask questions related to their own research challenges related to Canadian public policy, US-Canadian relations, the Canadian business and economic environment, and other pressing topics.

The Thomas O. Enders Memorial Lecture is named for the distinguished diplomat who served as United States Ambassador to Canada for President Gerald R. Ford and President James Earl Carter. Enders held a number of other important posts during his foreign service career, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, and US Ambassador to Spain. In 1963, while serving as an economist in the Bureau of European Affairs, he encountered the pioneering work on optimal currency areas by Johns Hopkins University Professor of Economics Robert Mundell, a Canadian and future Nobel Laureate in Economics who was the founder of the Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS. The Thomas and Gaetana Enders Foundation sponsors this annual lecture on US-Canadian relations with a particular focus on economic issues.

The 2017-2018 Thomas O. Enders Memorial Lecture was given by the Honorable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario and Member of the Provincial Parliament for Don Valley West on the topic, "Ontario’s view on Renegotiating NAFTA: Building Economic Opportunities and Fairness on Both Sides of the Border."

Previous Enders Lectures have been given by:


Dr. Malcolm Knight (2012-2013)

Vice Chairman, Deutsche BankGroup and former Senior Deputy Governor, Bank of Canada

“ Surmounting the Financial Crisis: Lessons from the Canadian Experience”


Dr. John M. Deutch (2013-2014)

Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former Under Secretary of Energy, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

“Shale Gas: Obstacles of Opportunities?”


Dr. Gary Clyde Hufbauer (2014-2015)

Reginald Jones Senior Fellow of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Trade and Investment Policy

“Canada, the United States and Trade Reforms: Best Friends, Best Partners, Best Potential Competitors?”

Hon. Rachel Notley (2015-2016)
Premier of Alberta and Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton-Strathcona. "Alberta's Climate Leadership Plan and Opportunities for Canada-U.S. Climate and Energy Collaboration"

Hon. Andrew Leslie (2016-2017)
Member of Parliament for Orleans and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Canada-U.S. Relations
"Advancing Canada's Interests and Defending Canadian Values in Washington"

 Watch Kathleen Wynne give the 2017-2018 Enders Lecture:

In November 2014, St. Antony's College, Oxford University hosted an interdisciplinary conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This conference was organized in cooperation with Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies and featured presentations by professors Francisco E. Gonzalez and Christopher Sands. 

In September 2015, Johns Hopkins University hosted a second conference on the future of North American regionalism with the participation of the North American Studies Program at St. Antony's College Oxford, directed by Dr. Halbert Jones III.

The Future of North American Regionalism
September 11, 2015
Kenney Auditorium, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC

8:30 Welcome
Summary of Oxford Conference Proceedings: Halbert Jones, St. Antony’s College Oxford
Overview of Hopkins Conference Agenda: Christopher Sands, Johns Hopkins SAIS
9:00 U.S. National Interests and the Future of North America
Sue Saarnio, Deputy Assistant Secretary for North American Affairs US Department of State
Chair/Discussant: Charles Doran, Johns Hopkins SAIS
10:00 Examining Policy Priorities for Future North American Regionalism
Thomas Long, American University SIS and Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
Daniel Schwanen, CD Howe Institute
Chair/Discussant: Francisco Gonzalez, Johns Hopkins SAIS
11:00 Civil Society and Human Security: Challenges to North American Regionalism?
Mark Aspinwall, University of Edinburgh and Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
Laura Macdonald, Carleton University
Monica Serrano, Colégio de México
Chair/Discussant: Tamara Woroby, Johns Hopkins SAIS
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Diplomacy and Commercial Linkages: Has Governance Kept Up?
Theresa Cardinal Brown, Bipartisan Policy Center
Eric Miller, Canadian Council of Chief Executives
Christian Gómez, Jr., Council of the Americas
Chair/Discussant: Duncan Wood, Woodrow Wilson Center
2:00 Widening North America with Atlantic and Pacific Partnerships
Gary Hufbauer, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Joshua P. Meltzer, Brookings Institution
Chair/Discussant: Erik Jones, SAIS Europe
3:00 Close

Director of the Center for Canadian Studies Christopher Sands delivered Brigham Young University's 23rd annual Palmer Lecture on the US-Canada bilateral relationship. Watch it here [7].

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The Center for Canadian Studies
Johns Hopkins University
Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW
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Phone: (202) 663-5714

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The Center for Canadian Studies is sponsoring a new Business Policy Practicum course (SA.840.718) that will focus on natural gas development. Students will research questions posed by British Columbia's Ministry of Natural Gas Development, a real-world client who will communicate with students regularly throughout the course.

Students from across Johns Hopkins are invited to participate in this course, with preference given to students at Johns Hopkins SAIS and the Carey Business School.

A short video describing the course is available here [9]. The syllabus is included below. For more information, contact Professor Sands at csands@jhu.edu [10]

Business Policy Practicum
Christopher Sands, PhD
Senior Research Professor in Canadian Studies
 Email: csands@jhu.edu Phone: 202-663-7724
Course Description:
The natural gas sector is undergoing a period of profound change globally at a time of low prices and growing global trade of gas in liquefied form. The natural gas industry is an important revenue generator for British Columbia. With new, undeveloped shale gas deposits in the northeast, there is a potential opportunity for growth. In partnership with First Nations and communities British Columbia hopes to attract new investment, job creation and other economic opportunities, while protecting the environment. In addition, through liquefied natural gas (LNG), British Columbia hopes to build a whole new export industry and use this development to spur other positive changes, such as growth in the clean-energy sector. Global trade in LNG doubled between 2000 and 2010. It’s expected to increase by another 50 per cent by 2020.
The Spring 2017 Business Policy Practicum will analyze the potential impact of natural gas development in British Columbia. The class will work together as a consultancy team that will produce a report along with specific policy recommendations to the Practicum clients, the Government of British Columbia’s Ministry of Natural Gas Development. Students will interact directly with these clients in accordance with an MOU negotiated between Johns Hopkins SAIS and the Government of Canada (available to students at the first class session).
The Business Policy Practicum has a weekly scheduled meeting every Wednesday from 2:15 to 4:15 pm, and videoconferencing equipment will be reserved and available in the classroom at that time each week. Professor Sands will be available during this period (and at other times by appointment) to consult with students. Weekly sessions may be rescheduled by the student practicum team as appropriate. It is also expected that students will meet at other times during the week in small groups or in order to consult with clients by phone or video conference.
The grade for the course will be composed of the following elements:
Client Satisfaction with the Final Report:      90%
Peer evaluation of individual effort                10%
The client for the project (the Ministry of Natural Gas Development in the Province of British Columbia) will complete an qualitative evaluation at the end of the semester that will address five aspects of the course effort: (1) Professionalism of student interactions; (2) Communication between students and the client; (3) Quality of the research and analysis in the final report; (4) Actionability of policy recommendations; (5) Overall satisfaction with final work product and process. Professor Sands will translate the qualitative feedback into a score for all students.
Peer evaluation will be conducted at the end of the course. Each student will be given a set of points to be distributed among other class members based on the estimation of their contribution to the project. The point assignments will be anonymous and known only to the instructor.
Background Readings:
This course does not have a weekly reading assignment. Instead, the following background readings are required for all students as part of their preparation beginning in the first week of class. Additional readings will be assigned as the course proceeds.
Government of Canada, National Energy Board. The Unconventional Gas Resources of Mississippian-Devonian Shales in the Liard Basin of British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon: Energy Briefing Note (March 2016) Available at: http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/nrg/sttstc/ntrlgs/rprt/ltmtptntlbcnwtkn2016/ltmtptntlbcnwtkn2016-eng.pdf [11]
Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. “LNG Projects in Canada” Available at: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/natural-gas/5683 [12]
Laura Johnson, Paul Kralovic, Dinara Millington, and Jon Rozhon. Canadian Natural Gas Market Review (Calgary: Canadian Energy Research Institute) June 2016. Available at: http://resources.ceri.ca/PDF/Pubs/Studies/Study_158_Full_Report.pdf [13]
Marc Lee. LNG and Employment in BC. (Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) July 2015. Available at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC%20Office/2015/07/ccpa-bc_LNG_Employment_web.pdf [14]
Allison Robins, Prince Owusu, Dan Munro, and Len Coad. A Changing Tide: British Columbia’s Emerging Liquefied Natural Gas Industry. (Ottawa: Conference Board of Canada) February 2016.
Jon Rozhon and Allan Fogwill. LNG Liquefaction in the Asia-Pacific Market:  Canada’s Place in a Global Game (Calgary: Canadian Energy Research Institute) June 2015. Available at: http://resources.ceri.ca/PDF/Pubs/Studies/Study_148_Full_Report.pdf [15]
Benjamin Zycher and Kenneth P. Green. LNG Exports From British Columbia: The Cost of Regulatory Delay. (Vancouver: Fraser Institute) September 2015. Available at: https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/LNG-exports-from-british-columbia.pdf [16]
Students should also familiarize themselves with information on client web sites, starting with two important strategy documents. The first concerns natural gas development in British Columbia, the second LNG and exports:
Government of British Columbia. British Columbia’s Natural Gas Strategy: Fueling B.C.’s Economy for the Next Decade and Beyond (2012) Available at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/natural-gas-oil/strategy_natural_gas.pdf [17]
Government of British Columbia. Liquefied Natural Gas: A Strategy for B.C.’s Newest Industry. (2012) Available at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/natural-gas-oil/strategy_lng.pdf [18]
Students should also familiarize themselves with other information on client web sites:
Government of British Columbia
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/home [19]
BC Ministry of Natural Gas Development
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/natural-gas-development [20]
http://lnginbc.gov.bc.ca/ [21]
BC Ministry of Energy and Mines
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/energy-and-mines [22]
BC Ministry of the Environment
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/environment [23]
BC Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/aboriginal-relations-reconciliation [24]
BC Jobs Plan
http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/ [25]
Ministry of Finance – LNG Income Tax Policy
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/taxes/natural-resource-taxes/oil-natural-gas/lng-income-tax/lng-income-tax-presentation.pdf [26]
National Energy Board
https://www.neb-one.gc.ca/index-eng.html [27]
BC Oil and Gas Commission
https://www.bcogc.ca/ [28]
Work BC
https://www.workbc.ca/ [29]
Weekly Schedule
February 1     First Class: Briefing on clients, sector, and research questions
February 8     Initial meeting with clients
February 15  Hold for Team Consultation
February 22   Hold for Team Consultation
March 1          Hold for Team Consultation
March 8          Hold for Team Consultation
March 15        Hold for Team Consultation
March 29        Hold for Team Consultation
April 5            Hold for Team Consultation
April 12          Hold for Team Consultation
April 19          Hold for Team Consultation
April 26          Hold for Team Consultation
May 3             Report due to clients