Peter Sadlier-Brown was a special adviser to the president

Peter Sadlier-Brown, an accomplished government relations specialist who worked in the Office of the President as a special adviser, died at home on Wednesday, Nov. 11, following a battle with cancer. 

One of the stars of government relations in Canada, Mr. Sadlier-Brown had a long and productive career in both the public and private sector. He joined the University in August 2007, as a special adviser to York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri.

Left: Peter Sadlier-Brown

"Peter’s dedication to public service, his intelligence and his humanity embodied what York stands for," said York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. "He was not only a valuable member of the York team, he was also a good friend, and he will be missed by all who knew and worked with him."

A devoted family man, Mr. Sadlier-Brown leaves his wife Karen Sadlier-Brown, assistant deputy minister of corporate & electricity finance at the Ontario Financing Authority, an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Finance. He was very proud of their son, Joshua, who is a musician and audio engineer in New York City.

The flag at York University will be lowered to half-mast from sunrise on Sunday, Nov. 22, to 1pm on Monday, Nov. 23, in memory of Mr. Sadlier-Brown. Friends are invited to join Mr. Sadlier-Brown’s family to remember him at the University Club of Toronto, 380 University Ave. from 3 to 6pm on Sunday, Nov. 22. A Web site,, is available for friends to add any personal memories.

During his long and productive career in public service, Mr. Sadlier-Brown influenced, many provincial budgets, workers’ compensation reform, the Meech Lake Accord, interprovincial trade barriers and numerous economic, trade and science & technology policies. After leaving the public service, Mr. Sadlier-Brown worked as an adviser to the president of McMaster University and as the vice-chair of the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council before moving to York University. 

Mr. Sadlier-Brown was committed to York University’s vision for a new medical school. He often said about his career and his most difficult assignments, “I get paid to have fun.” He loved public service and looked for opportunities to better his society. He had many passions, including economics, public policy, politics, music, tennis and cooking. 

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Sadlier-Brown leaves behind many treasured friends, an extended family at Cadsbrook Farms in the Ottawa Valley, his sister Diane Miles, his brothers Tim and Mark Sadlier-Brown, sisters-in-law Beverly Bruce and Shelley Holmes, brothers-in-law Robert Holmes and Roy Roberts, as well as many nieces and nephews.