Meet Michael Snaauw

Alumni profile

Meet Michael Snaauw


The classroom-based ‘intensive’ sessions offered very valuable networking opportunities with other mid-career public sector professionals

Taking a Career to the Next Level

Ottawa-based Michael Snaauw, a deputy assistant commissioner with the Canada Revenue Agency, found our program rigorous and challenging. The effort, however, was worth it.

Says Michael: “I enrolled because I not only wanted to become formally accredited as a public service executive but also to receive formalized learning in specific areas of interest – learning I hoped would prepare me to make bigger contributions to the organization I work in, to taxpayers and to client departments.”

Managing the program’s workload while working full-time called for a great deal of dedication and commitment. Nevertheless, the hard work was worth it, says Michael.   

“The program developed my critical thinking skills and improved my ability to integrate complex concepts and masses of complex information and opinion into coherent and concrete analyses, plans and strategies.

“Meanwhile, through working with my fellow students, I developed a renewed appreciation for teamwork – along with a new appreciation for the roles of other public service jurisdictions in the public service.

“And through the professors, I began to understand the theoretical underpinnings to many of today’s good and bad management practices – including how one can change those approaches based on principles and evidence, instead of simply gut instinct and prior experience.

“Essentially, the program has helped me step up my game in many ways.

“For example, when faced with some long-standing imperatives to review performance measurement systems, I was able to introduce a new approach based on logic models – an effective evaluation technique used in one of my classes.

“Meanwhile, on another occasion, I was able to apply some principles around stakeholder engagement to build an effective communications strategy for a new initiative."

Online Learning

The program uses a great mix of technology and face-to-face interactions to strike the right balance for personalized and yet inclusive learning, says Michael.

“Dal’s Blackboard Learning System connects you to your professors very well, all of whom are highly accessible and always open to discussing concerns and opportunities. The system allows them to post questions from our readings – and then allows us to post comments. And technical support was available whenever I needed it,” he says.

Face-to-Face Learning

Meanwhile, each one of the face-to-face ‘intensive’ sessions offered very valuable networking opportunities with other mid-career public sector professionals,” says Michael.

“You get to connect the names to the faces, and discuss the topics and issues on a deeper level than you’ve been able to online.”