Dr. Roberto Leone

Dr.  Roberto Leone

Associate Professor of Leadership and Policy

Send Email
716-286-8415/905-294-7260 Ext. 1103
Office Location:
ACAD 325D/Vaughan 121B
Office Hours:
W-8a-10a; Th-3p-5p


Rob Leone brings a unique blend of practical and academic experience to Niagara University. He is a trusted advisor to business, political and non-profit leaders. Rob served as Member of the Provincial Parliament for Cambridge, Ontario during the province's 40th Parliament. Throughout his tenure as a legislator, he was a passionate advocate in matters of education and training, government finance, and energy policy. He served in the Official Opposition shadow cabinet in the Colleges and Universities and pre-K-12 Education portfolios. He was also the ranking member of the Estimates Committee and worked thoroughly on Ontario's energy sector and power generation policy files. Rob holds a PhD in public policy from McMaster University and has held faculty positions at Wilfrid Laurier University in the fields of Leadership and Journalism, and the University of Western Ontario in Political Science prior to joining Niagara University. Rob has published in national and international academic journals and has written, researched and taught matters of governance, ethics, cities, Aboriginal affairs, development and housing, intergovernmental relations, as well as environment and energy policy. Rob is a lecturer and opinion leader on economic development, campaign strategy, political communications and the media, understanding public opinion, and research methods. A frequent media commentator on Canadian and US affairs, Rob enjoys sharing his thoughts and opinions through freelance writing and blogging, along with a broad range of multi-media appearances. Rob also volunteers his time in minor sports and numerous charitable causes in southwestern Ontario.

Current Research: 

1) Peer Reviewed Articles

  • Alcantara, C., Leone, R., & Spicer Z. (2012). Responding to Policy Change from Above: Municipal Accountability and Transparency Regimes in Ontario. Journal of Canadian Studies, 46 (1), 112-137.
  • Alcantara, C., Spicer, Z., & Leone, R. (2012). Institutional Design and the Accountability Paradox: A Case Study of Aboriginal Accountability Regimes in Canada. Canadian Public Administration, 55 (1), 69-90.
  • Leone, R. & Carroll, B.W. (2010). Decentralisation and devolution in Canadian social housing policy. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 28, 389-404.
  • Leone, R. 2010. Comparing parliamentary change in Canada and the UK: Do the similarities outweigh the differences? Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law, 4 (3).

2) Edited Books

  • Leone, R., & Ohemeng, F.L.K . Eds. (2011). Approaching Public Administration: Core Debates and Emerging Issues. Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications.

3) Peer Reviewed Book Chapters

  • Leone, R., & Morgan, J. (2021). Representation and the Practice of Politics. In C. Anderson and L. Stephenson (Eds.), Understanding the Theory and Practice of Democracy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Leone, R. & Doyle-Jones, C. (Forthcoming). Enhancing Teacher Education Field Experiences at Niagara University in Ontario. In J. Kitchen and D. Petrarca (eds.) Initial Teacher Education in Ontario: The Four-Semester Teacher Education Programs after Five Years. Ottawa: Canadian Association for Teacher Education.
  • Leone, R., & Carroll, B.W. (2013) Decentralisation and devolution in Canadian social housing policy. In G. Arbuckle & H. Bartel (Eds.), Readings in Canadian Real Estate (pp. 14-29). Concord, ON: Captus Press.
  • Leone, R. (2011). Charting the Course of Canadian Public Administration: The Influence of Contemporary Theories and Approaches. In R. Leone & F. L. K. Ohemeng (Eds.) Approaching Public Administration: Core Debates and Emerging Issues (pp. 11-25). Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications.
  • Leone, R. (2008.) Canada and Kyoto: Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. In Velma Grovers (Ed.) Global Warming and Climate Change: Ten Years After Kyoto and Still Counting. (pp. 583-600) Enfield, New Hampshire: Science Publishers Inc.

4) Non-Peer Reviewed Articles, Columns, and Book Reviews

  • Leone, R. (2017, September 1). Sir John A. wasn’t perfect, but that’s OK. Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2017, July 7). Liberals take all the credit, but accept no blame. Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2017, June 9). Tories can be their own worst enemy. Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2017, May 12). Ladies, the fate of the government is in your hands. Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2017, April 14). Forget the ‘Big Move,’ what about the ‘Big Stay?’ Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2017, March 10). Drafting an alternative hydro plan. Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2017, February 10). Ontario’s art of a deal. Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2017, January 13). Time to End the Mental Health Stigma. Queen’s Park Briefing. 
  • Leone, R. (2016, December 9). Auditor-General meets post-truth era. Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2016, October 7). Want to grow an economy? Invest in higher education. Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2016, September 9). Closing the numeracy gap should be Ontario’s first priority. Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2016, August 12). The tale of two Tim Hudaks. Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2016, July 13). Election finance bill a missed opportunity for Ontario politics. Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2016, June 22). Alternative to CPP enhancement is missing. Queen’s Park Briefing.
  • Leone, R. (2007). “Leslie Seidle and David Docherty (eds.), Reforming Parliamentary Democracy, Montreal-Kingston: McGill Queen’s University Press. Parliamentary Affairs, 60 (3), 522-526.
  • Leone, R. (2007). Keeping Democracy out of Court. Canadian Parliamentary Review, 29 (4), 57-58.
  • Leone, R. (2005). Parliamentary Bookshelf: David C. Docherty, Legislatures (The Canadian Democratic Audit Series), Vancouver: UBC Press, 2005. Canadian Parliamentary Review, 28 (4), 50-51.

5) Conference Papers, Presentations, and Invited Talks

  • Leone, R. “Understanding government.” For the National Association of Career Colleges, January 15, 2021.
  • Leone, R. (panelist) “COVID and the Challenges Facing Ontario.” Earnscliffe Webinar Series, June 4, 2020.
  • Leone, R. “Understanding the Doug Ford government in Ontario. For the Canadian Union of Public Employees – Ontario, March 24, 2019.
  • Leone, R. “Understanding Canadian Democracy: How our history can guide our future.” For the Confederation Club of Waterloo Region Student History Awards. Kitchener, ON: May 19, 2016
  • Leone, R. “Ontario Politics: Now What?” For the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association. Cambridge, ON: December 7, 2015.
  • Grant, J., Ohemeng, F., & Leone, R. “eGovernment Service Delivery at the Local Level: A Comparative Analysis of Three Canadian Municipalities.” Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on EGovernment, University of Ljubljana. Ljubljana, Slovenia: June 16-17, 2011.
  • Leone, R. “Developing a method of comparing parliamentary change in Canada and the UK.” The 2009 Law and Parliament Conference – Osgoode Hall. Toronto, ON: October 15-17, 2009.
  • Leone, R. “Liberal Party Succession Planning and Ministerial Resignations.” For the 2009 Canadian Political Science Association AGM – Carleton University. Ottawa, ON: May 27- 29, 2009.
  • “Assessing Policy Change in the Harper Regime.” Roundtable Panel at the 2009 Canadian Political Science Association AGM – Carleton University. Ottawa, ON: May 27- 29, 2009.
  • “Working within the system.” The 2009 Global Citizenship Conference. Wilfrid Laurier University. January 23, 2009.
  • "A news analysis of the 2008 Canadian Federal Election."  Panel: "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of the 2008 Federal Election."  Wilfrid Laurier University.  October 15, 2008.
  • Leone, R., & Flynn, G. “Institutional Change and Decision-Making: Parliamentary Reform in Canada.” For the 2006 Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association – York University. Toronto, ON: June 1-3, 2006.
  • Leone, R. “Assessing the relationship between transparency, democracy and good governance: Useful examples from Australia.” For the Australia and New Zealand Association of North America 2006 Annual Conference. Montreal, QC. April 6-8, 2006.
  • Leone, R. “Redefining the role of public management: Does more efficiency lead to less accountability?” Presented at the 8e Colloque de la recherche étudiante en science politique: “Frontières et recompositions.” Québec City: Université Laval. September 29- 30, 2005.

6) Legislation, Policies and Reports

  • Leone, R. with the Business Advisory Council on Transportation Issues (2020). Final Report: Business Advisory Counil on rail transit in the Innovation Corridor Employment Zone. Toronto, ON: Connect the Corridor.
  • Leone, R. (2014). Math Achievement Action Plan: Improving STEM education in our schools. Toronto, ON: Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
  • Leone, R. (2013). Bill 140 – Promoting Educational Success Tax Credit Act. Toronto, ON: Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
  • Leone, R. (2013). Paths to Prosperity: Higher learning for better jobs. Policy paper for the Ontario Legislative Assembly, Toronto, ON.
  • Leone, R. (2012). Bill 101 – Balanced Budget and Debt Limit Act. Toronto, ON: Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
  • Leone, R. (2012) Bill 29 – Protection of Child Care Centres Act (Extended Day Programs). Toronto, ON: Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
  • Leone, R. with the Accountability and Transparency Committee. (2008). Councillor Code of Conduct. Kitchener, ON: Corporation of the City of Kitchener.
  • Leone, R. with the Accountability and Transparency Committee. (2007) Accountability and Transparency Policy. Kitchener, ON: Corporation of the City of Kitchener.