Photo of Professor David Wolfe

David Wolfe


David A. Wolfe is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto. He was the Royal Bank Chair in Public and Economic Policy from 2009–2014. His research interests include the political economy of technological change and the role of local and regional economic development, with special reference to Canada and Ontario. From 2014 to 2019, he was lead investigator on the Creating Digital Opportunity Partnership (CDO) SSHRC-funded project, studying how Canada can respond to the challenge posed by a rapidly changing digital landscape, while benefiting from emerging opportunities to promote our economic prosperity. From 1999–2011 he was national coordinator of the Innovation Systems Research Network (ISRN), funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and was principal investigator on two Major Collaborative Research Initiatives, the first on Innovation Systems and Economic Development: The Role of Local and Regional Clusters in Canada, followed by a six-year study on the Social Dynamics of Economic Performance: Innovation and Creativity in City Regions which ended in 2011. He was the CIBC Scholar-in-Residence for the Conference Board of Canada in 2008-2009 and published a monograph for the Conference Board, entitled 21st Century Cities in Canada: The Geography of Innovation. He is the editor or co-editor of ten books and more than fifty scholarly articles. His most recent volume is Growing Urban Economies, published by University of Toronto Press.

He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Political Science from Carleton University and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. From October 1990 to August 1993, he served as Executive Coordinator for Economic and Labour Policy in the Cabinet Office of the Government of Ontario. Upon his return to the University of Toronto from 1993 until 1997, he was a research associate in the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s Program on Law and the Determinants of Social Ordering. He has acted as an advisor to the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada, the Ontario Premier’s Council, the E-Business Opportunities Roundtable and the Electronic Commerce Task Force of Industry Canada, the National Research Council, the LEED Program of the OECD, the Ontario Panel on the Role of Government, the Ontario Research and Innovation Council, DG Region of the European Commission, and the OECD’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities. The resulting report, Experimental Governance: Conceptual approaches and practical cases, is available from the OECD.

Ph.D., University of Toronto
M.A., Carleton University
B.A., Carleton University


Digital economy, innovation policy, industrial clusters, and automated vehicles