EUCAnet's Co-lead Dr. Oliver Schmidtke reflecting on his professional and personal experiences as an immigrant from Europe to the Canadian part of the Cascadia region.
Oliver Schmidtke, Director of the Centre for Global Studies (CFGS) at the University of Victoria, joined CFGS in August 2012 as interim director and became director in July 2013. He joined Cascadia Report to share his story and his valuable insights on challenges and opportunities facing the Pacific Northwest in the post-COVID environment.
He is a Professor in the Departments of Political Science and History at the University of Victoria where he also holds the Jean Monnet Chair in European History and Politics. He received his PhD from the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. He taught at the Humboldt University Berlin before joining the University of Victoria (UVic) in 2000 and has since been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, Bonn University, the European University Institute, and Hamburg University.
As a ‘UVic European Studies Scholar’ he has been instrumental in building the European Studies Program as its former director (2005-2008) and taken a leading role in promoting European Studies in Canada. From 2004 to 2006 Oliver Schmidtke was the President of the European Community Studies Association Canada. During the academic year 2016-17 Oliver Schmidtke served as the Associate Vice President of the University of Victoria. In 2016 he also received the Faculty of Social Sciences Research Excellence Award.
Complementing his research expertise, Oliver Schmidtke is a scholar committed to public outreach and knowledge mobilization. Jointly with his wife Beate, he directs the Europe Canada Network EUCAnet project (www.eucanet.org) and appears regularly on national and international media. We had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Schmidtke and are excited to share a bit more about his life and career, starting with his current role as Director of the Centre for Global Studies at University of Victoria.