Arts alumni are an accomplished crew. They have great advice for students and fellow graduates, and know that arts degrees teach skills that are sought-after in the professional environment.
Jason K. Cameron, BA'94, MA'96, is Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, and Chief Communications Officer, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). As a member of the Executive Committee of the CNSC, Canada’s nuclear regulator, he leads the development and execution of the organization’s strategic policy, communications and regulatory framework initiatives. These initiatives involve planning and reporting processes to Canada’s federal Parliament, coordinating the organization’s intergovernmental and international activities as well as its relations with Indigenous Peoples in Canada. They also include managing the hierarchy of safety requirements for all of Canada’s nuclear facilities and activities, spanning over 2000 regulated entities in Canada from uranium mining to nuclear power and nuclear waste as well as nuclear medicine and nuclear’s use in the industrial sector. Finally, he leads the strategic communications function at the CNSC with the objective to disseminate objective and scientific information on the safety of nuclear energy and its uses in Canada.
Personal: Moment I first saw the girl in my Poli399 class who would later become my wife (note: in June 2016, we will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary); Inspirational: Mikhail Gorbachev’s special convocation in March 1993. Hard-knocks Lesson: Residence Christmas Party in 1991 – red wine and egg nog don’t mix well.
Weekday Evenings: Clubs area - I was President of the University of Calgary’s Speech and Debate Society for several years in the mid-90s. I am still awed at the talent that debated those issues in those hallowed halls and the leadership positions that they went on to fulfil in their professional careers. Weekends: Legacy’s restaurant in Residence – they served the best nachos in town in the 90s!
If you could give one piece of advice to an undergraduate completing the same degree that you did, what would it be?
Enjoy the freedom of academic inquiry and expression. Pour your heart and soul into the subjects that you love and that interest you!
After working overseas right out of school for the World Nuclear Association in London, England, I joined the federal government in 1998. Over the last twenty years, the responsibilities have varied and expanded. Early in my career, I was very domestically-focused. Then, my career was more international and I visited many parts of the world with nuclear power, including Chernobyl twice and more recently the Fukushima site of Japan’s nuclear accident. I now lead a team of 100 employees with a budget of $15M.
Short-answer: Variety of the Challenge. I’ve been fortunate to witness important historical events over the last two decades and our organization’s response to it: new international nuclear inspection rules in late 1990s; organization’s prompt response to augment nuclear security in Canada post 9/11; our contribution to lessons learned from 2003 great North American blackout; Canada’s nuclear medical isotope crisis in 2007; our reaction to the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in 2011; and a major milestone nuclear deal with India in 2012/13.
I could never have predicted a linear path from two Arts degrees to executive leadership in nuclear regulation! My Arts degrees, particularly the graduate studies, did prepare for me the critical thinking and resilience for policy excellence in the federal government.
The University of Calgary provided me with the academic foundation for a successful professional career. #ThanksUofC! #ForeverGrateful!