After graduating with a B.A. and M.A. in Economics from New College, David Sevigny joined the Bank of Canada, where he met his wife, Mary Broderick. Subsequently, he worked at the Department of Finance and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He has also been posted to the World Bank and the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C., and most recently served as Canada’s High Commissioner to Singapore. During his career, he has worked as a macro-economist, international debt expert, development economist, international financial regulator and Canadian diplomat. Currently, David Sevigny is a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs, Vice President of the Institute on Governance and Honorary Chairman of the Canada-ASEAN Business Council.
How would you describe yourself?
Incredibly lucky. Like many of my generation, I was the first in my family to attend university and had no idea where an economics degree would lead me. I had actually been accepted into the Ph.D. program at U of T when one of my professors encouraged me to take a job offer from the Bank of Canada. I had intended to work for two years and then return to do my doctorate – that was 35 years ago!
Why did you choose New College and what were your expectations?
I had a couple of high school friends who played hockey for New College. Pre-Google, I thought that this was as good as any reason to enroll. I played left wing for a couple of years and had my nose broken twice. If the truth be told, we had a terrible team, but we had a lot of fun and I made a lot of friends.
How did your academic and social experiences at university prepare you for life and your career?
They taught me the truth of the old adage that what’s important in life is not how you take your victories, but how you take your defeats.
Tell us about some of the lessons that you learned and how valuable they are today?
A key lesson was the importance of finding the right balance. At university, I tried to find the right balance between my required mathematics and economics courses, and others in the arts. As a result, I graduated with a minor in film studies and have remained an avid film-goer for the last thirty five years.
What was important then and is important now?
What are your major accomplishments and who had the most influence on your career?
My major accomplishment has been raising of our four daughters and the person who has had the greatest influence on my career has been my wife, who has taken on the bulk of the responsibility for the raising of our girls.
In your personal and professional life, what are you looking forward to most?
Living an appropriately reflective life.