Professor John Kirton is the co-founder and director of the G8 Research Group and founder and co-director of the G20 Research Group, both based at the Munk School for Global Affairs at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. He is a professor of political science, a research associate at the Munk School’s Centre for International Studies and a fellow of Trinity College. He assists in managing its G8 Information Centre and its companion site, the G20 Information Centre. He is also editor of Ashgate Publishings G8 and Global Governance, Global Finance and Global Environmental Governance series. He was principal investigator of the research project on Strengthening Canada's Environmental Community through International Regime Reform (the EnviReform project).
In 1992-93, Kirton served as a special projects officer in Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, working on Canada’s strategy for its G7 participation. In the preparation for the 1995 Halifax Summit, he served as a member of the Foreign Policy Committee of the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, an advisory body to the prime minister of Canada. He was a member of the Canadian government’s International Trade Advisory Committee from 1995 to 1997. As Vice-President of Kirton Associates, he has conducted media analyses of the G7/8 summits on behalf of Foreign Affairs Canada.
In addition to advising the Canadian government, Kirton has advised the Russian Federation in its preparations for hosting the 2006 St. Petersburg Summit, the World Health Organization and the International Bankers’ Federation on G7/8 and G20 participation, international trade and sustainable development.
Kirton is co-editor of several publications dedicated to the G8 and G20, including The G8 & G20: The 2010 Canadian Summits (Newsdesk, 2010), The G20 Pittsburgh Summit 2009 (Newsdesk, 2009) and G8 2009: From La Maddalena to L’Aquila (Newsdesk, 2009) and the forthcoming volume on the G8 Muskoka and G20 Toronto Summits. His recent scholarly authored or edited books include Making Global Economic Governance Effective: Hard and Soft Law Institutions in a Global World (Ashgate, 2010), Innovation in Global Health Governance: Critical Cases (Ashgate, 2009), Ashgate’s five-volume Library of Essays in Global Governance (2009), Canadian Foreign Policy in a Changing World (Thomson Nelson, 2007), Governing Global Health: Challenge, Response, Innovation (Ashgate, 2007), Sustainability, Civil Society and International Governance: Local, North American and Global Contributions (Ashgate, 2006), Hard Choices, Soft Law: Voluntary Standards in Global Trade, Environment and Social Governance (Ashgate, 2005) and New Perspectives on Global Governance: Why America Needs the G8 (Ashgate, 2005). He has contributed chapters to several publications, including Rising States, Rising Institutions: Challenges for Global Governance (Brookings Institution, 2010), Borders and Bridges: Canada’s Policy Relations in North America (Oxford University Press, 2010) and Readings in Canadian Foreign Policy (Oxford University Press, 2010).
Kirton received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, his M.A. from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa and his B.A. from the University of Toronto.