|Field||Social science Politics|
|Birth||3 July 1947, Germany|
Alexander "Alex" Himelfarb (born July 3, 1947) is a senior Canadian civil servant and academic.
Born in Germany, he was raised and educated in Toronto. He received a Ph.D in sociology from University of Toronto. In 1981, he married Frum Himelfarb (Weiner), and they have three children.
He was a professor of sociology at the University of New Brunswick from 1972 to 1981. He authored two introductory textbooks on sociology with co-author C. James Richardson that were used extensively in Canadian universities in the late 1970s and early 1980s. These were:
People, Power and Process
Sociology for Canadians (2 editions, and a reader)
He started with the Canadian public service in 1981 joining the Department of the Solicitor General of Canada. In 1999, he became Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage. In 2002 he was appointed to the dual role of Clerk of the Privy Council (Canada) and Secretary to the Cabinet.
On June 14, 2006, he was appointed Ambassador to Italy, with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Albania and the Republic of San Marino, and as High Commissioner in the Republic of Malta, and as Permanent Representative to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, in Rome. He retired as Ambassador in 2009.
In 2000, he was awarded The Outstanding Achievement Award, considered to be the most prestigious award in the Canadian public service. In 2006, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Memorial University in Newfoundland.
In September 2009, Himelfarb was appointed as Director of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, at York University, retiring from that position in 2014.
He is the Chair of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness with Tim Richter as Vice-Chair and Stephen Gaetz is secretary. The York-University based Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness based on the highly successful American model originated in 2000, also focusses on 10-year Plans to End Homelessness and Housing First approaches.
Himelfarb is chair of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Ontario Advisory Board.