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Former Premier Dalton McGuinty appears before a justice policy committee meeting to answer questions about deleted emails relating to two cancelled gas plants at Queen's Park in Toronto, Ont. Tuesday, June 25, 2013.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Dalton McGuinty is going back to school this fall.

The former Ontario premier will take up a senior fellowship at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, sources told The Globe and Mail Friday. He will remain there for a semester.

Mr. McGuinty, who stepped down earlier this year after nearly a decade in office, gave up his seat in the legislature last week.

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The Weatherhead Centre should be a good fit for Mr. McGuinty: During his administration, he burnished Ontario's international reputation with numerous visits overseas, during which he tried to build economic ties.

Mr. McGuinty was best known for pumping money into education and other social programs, pursuing an ambitious environmental agenda and steering the province through the global recession.

But he left politics under a cloud, as anger mounted over his costly decision to cancel two gas-fired power plants. This week, he was grilled by opposition MPPs at a legislative committee investigating the cancellations. A former senior staffer suggested the Harvard sojourn would be a good break.

"Four months away from the fishbowl will be a healthy change," the staffer said.

At Weatherhead, he will find himself in the company of ambassadors, top business and military officials and humanitarian activists from around the world.

The fellowship program involves a major research project as well as time advising students and leading seminars.

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