President and CEO
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Kevin Page is the founding President and CEO of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at the University of Ottawa.
Mr. Page was appointed Canada's first Parliamentary Budget Officer on March 25, 2008 where he served a five-year term providing Canadian parliamentarians and taxpayers with independent analysis on trends in the national economy, the state of nation's finances and the estimates of the government. Mr. Page led a small but talented team that built the first legislative budget office in Canada and one that was viewed as a leading practice among peer nations by such organizations as the IMF and OECD.
Following his tenure as Parliamentary Budget Officer and a 27-year career in the federal public service (many of these years were spent in central agencies, e.g. Department of Finance, Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat and Privy Council Office), Mr. Page was appointed Chair of the Jean-Luc Pepin Research Chair at the University of Ottawa. As Chair, Mr. Page designed and taught courses in public finance and economics and oversaw research and advisory projects in Canada and around the world.
A globally recognized authority on fiscal matters, Mr. Page serves as advisor to the South African Parliamentary Budget Office, the Slovakian Fiscal Council, as well as the Global Network of Parliamentary Budget Offices (GN-PBO).
Mr. Page was born in Fort William (Thunder Bay), Ontario. His undergraduate education took place at Lakehead University (Ontario) & Simon Fraser University (British-Columbia) and he has an M.A. in Economics from Queen's University. Mr. Page lives in Ottawa, is married and is the father of three children.
Sahir has been a public finance executive, teacher, advisor and speaker for the last 12 years. The focus of his work has been on budgetary and financial analysis, reporting and organizational performance.
Prior to co-founding the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) affiliated IFSD, Sahir was a Senior Visiting Fellow at uOttawa. He has been a budget official for both the executive and legislative branches of government, having served over five years as the Assistant Parliamentary Budget Officer and three years at the Privy Council Office where he provided the Prime Minister with analysis and advice on budget, economic, tax and expenditure management issues. Sahir got his start in the public sector as Director of Oversight and Expenditure Management at the Treasury Board Secretariat.
Professionally, Sahir is a turnaround and restructuring specialist having joined the public sector in 2004 from New York-based RKG Osnos Partners LLC (c.k.a. Deloitte LLP), where he was a Managing Director. He has also worked with Deloitte Consulting’s New York office and has led turnarounds in manufacturing, technology, real estate and consumer products.
Sahir holds a B.Comm. (Hon.) from Queen’s University and an MBA (finance) from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.
Director, Governance and Institutions
Helaina is a researcher, advisor, teacher and convener. Her work, at the intersection of politics and public money, focuses on the state institutions that incentivize and govern the behaviour of actors, ultimately, influencing the performance of organizations and public policy outcomes.
A co-founder of the IFSD, Helaina previously held the position of Senior Research Associate at the Jean-Luc Pepin Research Chair at the University of Ottawa.
Helaina has led a number of key research initiatives focused on the development, sustainability, evaluation and performance of fiscal institutions, public policies and public administrations, in Canada and abroad, in countries such as the United Kingdom and Myanmar.
With a commitment to thriving international networks of peers and advisors to support research and capacity development, Helaina leverages relationships with partners such as the World Bank, the National Governors Association, the International Budget Partnership and the OECD, as well as research communities in the International Political Science Association.
Helaina holds an Hon. B.A. from Western, an M.A. from Queen’s University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa.
Azfar Ali Khan
Azfar is an experienced financial professional passionate about optimizing performance around the core mandate and value proposition of public sector organizations.
For the last 17 years, Azfar has been a senior public sector executive, teacher and consultant. His public sector experience has centred on financial oversight and due diligence, benchmarking, business transformation, marketing and sales operations (with a crown corporation) and corporate planning. He has specialized experience in expenditure management best practices and in instilling these practices to enhance the performance culture of public sector organizations. Specific accomplishments include identifying hundreds of millions of dollars of savings to the fiscal framework of one public sector client as a direct result of due diligence and benchmarking performed.
Prior to joining the public sector, Azfar worked in the private sector in external auditing, internal auditing and corporate finance. This experience was a combination of Canadian and international experience gained in the Middle East working for a Swiss corporate finance boutique.
Azfar holds a B.Comm (Honours) from the University of Toronto and has a Certified Public Accounting designation from the State of Illinois.
Randall is a leading economic and fiscal policy expert, both in Canada and internationally. As Chief Economist of the IFSD, he oversees the development of tools and insights that are used to inform public- and private-sector decision makers on economic and fiscal policy. Randall also regularly provides economic commentary to the media and frequently gives presentations to IFSD clients and external organizations.
Prior to joining the IFSD, Randall held the position of Director, Economics, Research & Market Strategy with PSP Investments, where he led a team responsible for global economic analysis and forecasting. He has also worked at TD Economics, the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, and the Canadian Department of Finance, where he focused on forecasting the Canadian economy and developing the federal fiscal outlook. In these capacities, Randall has written extensively on economic, monetary, and fiscal policy issues.
Randall holds an Hon. B.A. in Mathematical Economics from the University of Guelph, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Toronto, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder.
Alex Reeves is an analyst at the IFSD. Alex works principally on the Federal and Provincial Public Accounts, contributing to the IFSD team by data mining, fiscal and economic analysis, and forecasting.
Prior to joining the IFSD, Alex spent five years in the Canadian Armed Forces as a non-commissioned member of the Combat Engineers. In 2017, he had the privilege to receive advanced training in humanitarian operations from the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldier Initiative’s Veteran Trainers to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldier (VTECS) program. Alex is currently finishing his Bachelors of Social Science with a double major in Economics and Political Science from the University of Ottawa.
Janoah Willsie is an analyst at the IFSD. Janoah supports strategic program and policy development and leads primary research on matters related to First Nations child welfare. Her work has been featured in national news magazines and in IFSD publications. Prior to joining IFSD, Janoah led research initiatives both with federal government agencies and in the Netherlands. Janoah brings her expertise as a capable stakeholder and research manager developed through her work in domestic and international contexts on a range of policy issues from Indigenous affairs to trade law. Janoah holds a Bachelor of Social Science, with a specialization in International Economics and Development from the University of Ottawa.
Jessica Rached Mikhail
Jessica is a writer, editor and translator who has worked in these areas since 2007, holding various related positions in private and not-for-profit institutions as well as through self-employment. Fluent in 7 languages and armed with an appreciation for language as an art, she has written, edited and translated in both professional and artistic realms, contributing copy to the campaigns of many leading Canadian and international companies and institutions. Jessica is also a proud United Nations volunteer, a position that has allowed her to devote her talents to international charities, relief organizations, and not-for-profit institutions.
The daughter of Lebanese immigrants, Jessica mentors other immigrants who seek to start their own businesses or who work in the writing, editing, or translating fields.