Joshua Barrett is a PhD in Rural Studies Candidate in the University of Guelph’s School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. Under the supervision of Dr. Ryan Gibson, Josh’s PhD research pertains to the role of local governments in enhancing rural economic development. By understanding the role and capacity of local government in rural economic development, Canadian communities can be better equipped to develop regional economic development policy and practice thereby positively impacting the livelihood of residents.
Born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, Josh graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography/Political Science from Memorial University of Newfoundland (2014). Following his undergraduate degree, Josh pursued a Masters of Arts degree in Geography from Memorial University of Newfoundland (2017) as a SSHRC Masters student recipient. Since 2017, Josh has been working with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in various policy roles related to economic development, tourism, natural resources, energy, and climate change.
The PhD in Rural Studies program at the University of Guelph is an internationally recognized centre of excellent for rural research, where Josh has the opportunity to work with established scholars to build on his work with local governments. Work is underway in selecting appropriate cases for his research. Josh is particularly excited about the opportunities provided by the HQP program, where not only is he building capacity as a researcher and scholar, but pursuing career development opportunities to equip him in either the academic, public or voluntary sector once he graduates.