Distinguished Research Practitioner

John M. FlemingJohn M. Fleming, MCIP RPP

Western’s Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance is excited to welcome nationally recognized urban planner John M. Fleming as a Distinguished Practitioner Research Fellow. Over the next two years, John will build on his significant professional experience to carry out research on local governance, civic engagement, and policy making in the field of city building and design. He will also collaborate with faculty and mentor students.

John continues to have a long and successful career in city-building. Currently vice president of the Council for Canadian Urbanism, he has been a strong advocate for mid-size Canadian cities for many years. A Registered Professional Planner, he retired earlier this year after serving as the City of London’s Managing Director of Planning and City Planner for over 10 years, during which he led the creation of the award-winning London Plan. He has received several awards for planning excellence and most recently was awarded the Richard & Beryl Ivey Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban League of London in 2020.

Graduate Fellows

Merlin ChatwinMerlin Chatwin, Senior Graduate Fellow

Merlin Chatwin is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Western Ontario in the Geography Department. His research area is urban policy and local governance with a specific focus on the civic exclusion of marginalized groups in diverse geographies. He was previously the Co-Founder and Director of Amplify Governance International Inc. and has over 10 years of domestic and international community development. With an MA in Organizational Development and Leadership, he has a keen interest in the development of individuals to reach their full potential. He has significant experience in developing strategic alliances in governance, education and food security sectors. Merlin has expertise in project management and in leading cross-sectoral groups through strategic planning and collaborative processes. Further, he has led multiple monitoring and evaluation projects across diverse sectors and geographic and cultural contexts.

Charlotte KursCharlotte Kurs, Graduate Fellow and Summer Research Intern

Charlotte Kurs completed her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Western University and will enter the MA program in Political Science in September 2020. Her research interest is local government, with a specific interest in local public policy and how local governments interact with other actors such as social movements. She received a Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to support this work during her MA. Over the summer, Charlotte will contribute to a range of Centre research projects, including the Municipal Profiles Project and the Ranked Ballots Implementation Project.