Jeffrey Simpson

Ottawa Order of Canada Canada
Jeffrey C. Simpson
Jeffrey Carl Simpson

(1949-02-17) February 17, 1949 (age 71)

Jeffrey Carl Simpson, OC (born February 17, 1949), is a Canadian journalist. Simpson has been The Globe and Mail's national affairs columnist for almost three decades. He has won all three of Canada's leading literary prizes—the Governor General's Award for non-fiction book writing, the National Magazine Award for political writing, and the National Newspaper Award [1] for column writing. He has also won the Hyman Solomon Award [2] for excellence in public policy journalism and the Donner Prize for the best public policy book by a Canadian.[1] In January, 2000, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Simpson retired from the Globe at the end of June 2016.[2]

Early life

Simpson was born in New York City and moved to Canada when he was 10 years old. Educated at the University of Toronto Schools, he graduated from Queen's University in 1971 in History and Political Science. There, he worked for the campus radio station CFRC and won the university's Tricolour Award in his graduating year. He then went on to the London School of Economics.

In 1972 to 1973, he worked as a Parliamentary Intern in Ottawa, where he worked for Ed Broadbent. Then, he joined The Globe and Mail.


Simpson's ongoing career with the Globe began at City Hall in Toronto and with coverage of Quebec politics. In 1977, he became a member of the paper's Ottawa bureau, and eighteen months later he was named The Globe and Mail's Ottawa bureau chief. From 1981–1983, Simpson served as The Globe and Mail's European correspondent based in London. From January 1984 until June 2016, he wrote a daily Globe and Mail column on national affairs.

Simpson has written numerous magazine articles for such publications as Saturday Night, Report on Business Magazine, the Journal of Canadian Studies and Queen's Quarterly. He has spoken at dozens of major conferences in Canada and internationally on a variety of domestic and international issues.

Simpson is a frequent and enthusiastic participant in regular political debate on radio or television, in French and in English. He has been a guest lecturer at such universities as Oxford, Edinburgh, Harvard, Princeton, Brigham Young, Johns Hopkins, Maine, California plus more than a dozen universities in Canada.

In 1993–1994, Simpson was on leave from his column as a John S. Knight fellow at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He has been a Skelton-Clark fellow and Brockington Visitor at Queen's University. He has also been a John V. Clyne fellow at the University of British Columbia, a distinguished visitor at the University of Alberta and a member of the Georgetown University Leadership Seminar. He has been awarded honorary doctorates of laws from the University of British Columbia and the University of Western Ontario.

Simpson has been a member of the board of trustees at Queen's University; the board of overseers at Green College, University of British Columbia; the advisory board of the Review of Constitutional Studies at the University of Alberta; the editorial board of The Queen's Quarterly, and the Canadian Consortium for Asia-Pacific Security at York University and the University of Toronto. He has been vice-chairman of the City of Ottawa Library Board.

Simpson is a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.[3]

In 2006, Simpson was awarded the Charles Lynch Award in recognition of his outstanding coverage of national issues.

Simpson is also an outspoken critic of the monarchy of Canada and has written in favour of republicanism in his column.[3]

Simpson is an avid Ottawa Senators fan and in 2011 attempted to convince the team to replace its general manager, referencing his position as the Globe's national affairs columnist on the newspaper's letterhead to demand the change.[4] He threatened to not renew his season tickets, if the team did not fire the GM.

Simpson is also a member of the Trilateral Commission[5]

Books authored

Simpson has authored eight books:

See also