PhD Students: Ready For Hire

Kenny Ie
Kenny Ie Headshot

Dr. Kenny William Ie is currently a lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the University of British Columbia. His work is on political leadership in democracies, executive politics and institutions, and prime ministerial power and communication. His recent publications include articles in Politics and Governance 8:1 (2020) and Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 57:4 (2019). He can be contacted at

Jane Kovarikova
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Jane Kovarikova has extensive policy experience in Canada and abroad. Born to political emigres from Czechoslovakia, she developed an early interest in democracy and human rights. She graduated with a BA (Hon) in Psychology at Laurentian University and a MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics. Presently, Kovarikova is an ABD PhD Candidate and Instructor in the Department of Political Science at Western University. Under the supervision of Dr. Radoslav Dimitrov, her research focuses on why established democracies supply international election observers. Over the last decade, Kovarikova has worked as a member of international observer missions and observed elections on behalf of both Canadian and Czech governments in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and North Macedonia. Domestically, Kovarikova is a well-known child rights advocate who founded the Child Welfare PAC Canada. This organization develops policy and legislation that supports bright futures for foster kids, and has secured university tuition wavers across the country. She serves as the Board Chair of Simcoe-Muskoka Family Connexions, a regional child protection agency, and has been appointed to the Premier's Council for Equality of Opportunity.

Shanaya Vanhooren
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Supervisor(s): Professor Z. Taylor
SSC 4212 

Shanaya Vanhooren is a PhD candidate studying Canadian politics. Her dissertation is titled “The Partisan Construction of Policy Agendas: Party competition and policy attention in English Canadian provinces 1945-2020”. This project examines provincial parties’ issue positions and how their policy content is shaped by party system competition. It also assesses how parties’ durable policy positions influence governing agendas over time. This research will contribute to literature on comparative policy agendas, public policy, party politics and provincial politics. This project is supported by a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship ($105,000). Shanaya has co-authored several peer-reviewed articles on public policy and governance in Canada. Her most recent paper, co-authored with Dr. Zack Taylor and titled “Local election campaign finance regimes in Canada: Toward a research agenda,” is forthcoming in Canadian Public Administration. To learn more about Shanaya’s research agenda and teaching experience, visit her website: