President Daniels in The Globe and Mail: ‘Keep surgically focused on your highest priorities’

Ron Daniels, 58, of Toronto, became president of Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University in 2009. He is a professor in its department of political science and in the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In its RCMP uniform, my (1.5-metre-tall) moose sits by a window; every so often students ask what it’s doing in the president’s office. My wife and kids got me a Toronto Maple Leafs’ jersey so we might put it over its shoulders to get the total Canadian effect. Because Hopkins teams are called the Blue Jays, when I got here and the students yelled, “Go Blue Jays!” I was entirely with the bros (Toronto Blue Jays).

I was born and grew up in Toronto; always interested in public policy, my undergraduate degree was in economics and political science. I was drawn to policy issues. I saw a significant role for law and legal institutions explaining policies and the role lawyers play in the public-policy arena. For me, it was important that responsibility, public engagement and community service be part of a rounded legal career. Another part of that is my family coming to Canada in 1939, literally on the eve of the Second World War. Having escaped Nazi persecution gives one a strong sense of the strength and frailties of legal institutions.

Read more in The Globe and Mail.