Michael Van Pelt, President of Cardus, a public policy think tank, has more than 20 years of experience in public life, including advocacy with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Chamber of Commerce and serving as a municipal Councillor. Michael is also a principal partner of Big Road Partners, a public square consulting firm. He continues to consult widely, helping institutions strategically connect their beliefs with their behaviours.
A graduate of McMaster University and the London School of Economics, Michael has authored and co-authored numerous articles ranging from religion and public life to economics and government policy. In 2009, he was appointed by the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Board of Directors of Rights & Democracy. Recently, he was appointed by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to her Advisory Council for Social Partnerships to advise on possible social innovations and programs that can better leverage the resources of the federal government and strengthen our commitment to Canada’s social challenges.
Michael is a vibrant ideas generator and sought after collaborator. Founder of both the Stained Glass Urbanism Project, a unique initiative project studying the impact of religious faith in urban centres, and of the Trade Corridors Initiative, a venture examining the movement of goods and services across the Canadian/American border, he has most recently initiated the largest North American study on independent religious schooling in partnership with the University of Notre Dame. Among his various civic and social contributions, Michael is a member of the Board of Directors of the William Voortman Fund, a granting organization to many national and international causes.
He lives in Ancaster, Ontario with his wife Deani and their children.