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Ann Dowsett Johnston: From Policies to Remedies

Ann Dowsett Johnston is an award-winning journalist, author, and an internationally recognized education keynote and workshop speaker on addictions. Her career is as diverse as her passions, spanning from public policy matters to mental health awareness, and education. She’s been an active, prolific voice in publishing circles across Canada.

Ann Dowsett Johnston’s signature work in journalism. Her 14-part series, Women and Alcohol, is featured in the Toronto Star that recognizes and dissects the rising trend of alcohol abuse among students and working class women. She engages the issue with an investigative vigor, showcasing the story of Beata Klimek, a recovering alcoholic with nothing to lose but her life after struggling with the disease for years.

Ann Dowsett Johnston is the winner of 5 National Magazine Awards. Her other works in journalism that deal with alcohol abuse and mental health issues include Booze is a Loan Shark, Pinking the Alcohol Market, and the Anti-stigma Campaign.

She’s spent time researching alcohol policy and mental health as part of the Atkinson Fellowship of Public Policy as well as the Southam Fellowship. As a respected advocate in public policy matters, her track record in shaping a diverse number of publications speaks for itself.

Dowsett-Johnston may be best known for overhauling Maclean’s Guide to Canadian Universities system, and Maclean’s University Graduate Survey.

Her work in education has positioned her as a leader on educational policy and re-investment. She became vice-principal of McGill University in 2006 where she oversees development, alumni relations and strategic communication.

In 2013 she published Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol, a bestseller that highlights her research on the dynamics between alcohol addiction and women.

Ann’s work as a keynote woman speaker may be her most endearing. She engages audiences on a deep level, using personal insight, stories, and a provocative style that captures the hearts and minds of her audience.

In her keynote speech Our Love Affair with Alcohol: How a Fairy-tale Romance Blocks Strong Policy and How Media Can Help, Ann examines the role media plays in framing our relationship with alcohol, Canada’s policy on alcohol, and how we can use research to advocate for change.

Ann argues that the media is a key player in shaping strong policy.

Spirited in her approach, Ann’s passion is palpable. As an education keynote speaker, her leadership on alcohol policy, public education, and mental health awareness has placed her a pillar of the community among publishing and education circles.

By Gordon Breault,
Executive Director of Speakers Bureau of Canada,
Jan 10th, 2017