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Career Profiles

Tamara Krawchenko (she/her)

University Professor and Public Policy Researcher
University of Victoria
Tamara Krawchenko à l'extérieur
Tamara Krawchenko à l'extérieur
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

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I research how we can change our economy so it has a lower carbon footprint.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Edmonton, Alberta

I now live in:  Victoria, British Columbia

I completed my training/education at: Ph.D. Public Policy and Political Economy, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON.

Master of Public Administration, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS.

Bachelor of Arts with honours in Political Science and History, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS.

What I do at work

I research and teach at the University level. My job is not in a STEM field; however, I do work with STEM related professions. Public policy refers to the governments take to achieve their objectives. These policies could relate to such things as increasing affordable housing to lowering our carbon footprint. Public policy touches on a range of subjects. This includes investments in infrastructure and innovation that involve STEM fields. My research looks at how public policies and institutions shape the lives of individuals in different places.

In particular, I am studying ways in which we can reduce the carbon footprint of our economy faster than we are doing currently. Some of the things I look at are:

  • What is the right amount of government involvement?
  • What inequalities exist between regions and what can we do to tackle them?
  • How do we design public policies that work for different kinds of places?
  • What is the capacity of different places to meet some the greatest challenges of our time (i.e., climate change adaptation and mitigation, transitioning to post carbon economies)?

I am presently leading two SSHRC-funded research projects. The first looks at how we can move to a low carbon economy. How do we manage it? How do we make sure it is fair to everyone? The second research project is studying how rural and small town economies may be negatively affected by government policies.

My career path is

I have always cared about governance and public policy. My work today is a natural fit for me. I have completed two internships in the past - one in Ukraine and one in Ottawa. My Masters programme had an internship component and that was a great experience. I have had wonderful mentors such as Dr. Chris Stoney and Dr. Les Pal. I have benefitted from their guidance and support. My career path might be a bit different than many academics as I have worked outside of academia. I find this to be very valuable experience.

I am motivated by

I love my work! I love understanding how societies take collective action for common good.  I also enjoy teaching and mentoring. I enjoy connecting to different people around the world to understand the challenges they face and how they deliver solutions. I have a great deal of flexibility in the work that I do and I am highly self-motivated. I feel that my work is impactful and useful and this is motivating.

How I affect peoples’ lives

Public policy is an action oriented discipline. My work addresses the big challenges of our time. One of these challenges is how best to move away from the use of fossil fuels to run our economy.  Another challenge is how to address the effect of climate change on coastal areas.   Other issues that I study are related to rural development, transportation, and equity across age groups.

 I have researched public policy in over a dozen countries and have authored over 60 articles, books and reports. My work helps inform governments and decision makers and helps them develop the best polices and make the best changes for the issues we are facing.

Outside of work I

I have two young kids and spend all my free time with them - we love to bike!

My advice to others

I would suggest to look into programmes that have an internship or applied component. This really helps with getting a job.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Art
  • Geography
  • Business & Economics
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Liked reading

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