The Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD) is a Canadian think-tank at the nexus of public finance and state institutions.
Fiscal ecosystems include governments, legislatures, the public administration and other key actors and institutions in our political and economic life. This ecosystem, rooted in hundreds of years of political history and economic development, is composed of an intertwined set of incentives, public and private information and a complex and sometimes opaque set of rules and processes based on constitutional law, legislative law, conventions and struggles for power. The actors within this system depend on one another as well as the robustness and transparency of information and processes, all underpinned by a society’s standards of accountability. It is at this dynamic intersection of money and politics that the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at uOttawa aims to research, advise, engage and teach.
IFSD undertakes its work in all orders of government as well as internationally.
IFSD manages a number of specific initiatives to further its mandate:
iVote-jeVote.ca is a student led campaign, led by uOttawa students to foster political engagement among young Canadians.
e-PBO.org is an online collaboration portal, that supports the Global Network of Parliamentary Budget Officers (GN-PBO) through eLearning, administrative resources, mentorship, peer knowledge exchange and the development of practice standards for public finance officials.
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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 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, an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Lakehead University, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of York (United Kingdom).
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. Sahir holds a B.Comm. (Hon.) from Queen’s University and an MBA (finance) from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.
Helaina is a researcher, advisor, teacher and convener. Her work focuses on the state institutions that incentivize and govern the behaviour of actors, influencing the performance of organizations and public policy outcomes. 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 is an experienced financial professional passionate about optimizing performance around the core mandate and value proposition of public sector organizations. Azfar holds a B.Comm (Honours) from the University of Toronto and has a Certified Public Accounting designation from the State of Illinois.
Mostafa Askari is IFSD's Chief Economist. Dr. Askari held key fiscal, analytical, and managerial positions in the federal government, including at Finance Canada and Health Canada, and as a senior advisor to Canada’s Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund. Mostafa has a PhD. in economics from Queen's University.
Aimeric Atsin is a Sr. analyst at the IFSD. He works principally on modeling and economic forecasting, Fiscal and economic analysis. Aimeric has an M.A in economics, with specialization in applied econometrics and in advanced Macroeconomics from Sherbrooke university. In addition, Aimeric has a second M.A in applied economics, with a specialization in Computable General Equilibrium model (MECG) from Laval University.
Kimberly Paquet is the Executive coordinator at IFSD. Kimberly manages administrative duties and client relations for her colleagues at IFSD. She is the main point of contact for any client inquiries, training workshops and meetings. Kimberly holds a B.A in Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa.
Kreg Lonneberg is an analyst at the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy. A recent graduate of the Master of Public Administration program at Queen’s University, Kreg is passionate about applying a multi-disciplinary lens to evidence-based policymaking. He works primarily on IFSD’s infrastructure files, providing research and analysis to support the development of citizen-centric frameworks for understanding how infrastructure systems contribute to improving quality of life within jurisdictions.
Clara Geddes conducts quantitative and qualitative analysis to support IFSD research in policy areas such as infrastructure and child welfare. She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in Economics and International Relations and has an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Tianna Tischbein is a research analyst at IFSD. Tianna conducts research and analysis to support policy areas related to First Nations child welfare. She is a recent graduate of the MA program at Queen’s University in Global Development Studies. Tianna also has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Criminology from Western University.
Matthew McGoey is a research assistant at IFSD. He supports research and analysis on First Nations well-being and economic and fiscal issues. Matthew is graduating this year with an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in Economics from the University of Ottawa.
Eli is IFSD’s Senior Manager. Eli holds a B.Soc.Sc. (Hon.) from the University of Ottawa and a J.D. from the University of Victoria. He was called to the Alberta Bar in 2022. Prior to joining IFSD, Eli practiced law in Calgary at a national law firm.
Scott D. Pattison is the Deputy Executive Director of the Multistate Tax Commission, an intergovernmental state tax agency whose mission is to promote uniform and consistent tax policy and administration among the states, assist taxpayers in achieving compliance with existing tax laws, and advocate for state and local sovereignty in the development of tax policy.
Prior to that, Mr. Pattison served as executive director and CEO of the National Governors Association (NGA), the bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors. The group speaks with a collective voice on a wide range of issues and works to influence the federal government on innovative ideas that can be implemented nationwide. Mr. Pattison worked with governors to identify and prioritize issues facing states, identify challenges and solutions to those challenges and oversee the day-to-day operations of the association.
Mr. Pattison graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and received his law degree from the University of Virginia.
Mitchell O’Brien is an international governance subject matter expert with 20 years applied experience researching, designing, and delivering support programming aimed at building effective, open, and inclusive public institutions with a focus on strengthening their use of public finances. He has worked on legal, institutional, and process reforms aimed at strengthening policy development and public financial management with government, parliamentary, and civil society counterparts.
Mitchell has worked in over 100 countries across North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Asia/Pacific region. Prior to becoming a Fellow with the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy, he worked as a Senior Governance Specialist with the World Bank Group, which he joined in 2004. He holds a Masters in International Development Policy from Duke University, Bachelor of Law with Honors and a Bachelor of Arts from Griffith University, Australia.
Rohit Samaroo is the Director of the Economic Portfolio and Analytics in the Expenditure Management Sector of the Treasury Board Secretariat. He has extensive experience in performance data, data systems and analysis with the goal of having better insights in the performance of programs. Rohit strongly believes that greater use of objective evidence on performance in decision-making within the public sector is a desirable and achievable goal.
Rohit has worked in the private, non-profit and public sectors. He holds a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering (minor in management), and Bachelor and Master degrees in Political Science. Rohit enjoys helping public servants and potential public servants overcome challenges in their career aspirations in government.
Haydn has nearly 30 years international manufacturing and asset management experience that more recently has included managing large infrastructure portfolios in the public sector. From 2014 to 2016 he was the Programme Director for a NZ Treasury funded National Data Standards and Smart Cities / Smart Nation Programme. Today he is Head of Infrastructure Programmes at Auckland Council.
His interest now lies within smart ICT in infrastructure and the possibilities inherent in new technologies, big data, analytics and evidence-based investment decisions in public infrastructure. His application of these technologies have provided the capacity to transform the design, construction and management of infrastructure assets across a wide range of built environments.
Haydn has a Master’s of Science from Auckland University, an MBA in International Business and Finance from Melbourne, and earlier this year completed his doctorate at Victoria University’s School of Government. Haydn has recently been appointed as a Visiting Scholar to The Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD) at the University of Ottawa in Canada
Ian Wayne is an experienced strategic communications, public relations, and research professional with decades of experience on the frontlines of politics, public service, labour and business.
Ian has advised top political leaders and worked in a range of positions, serving as a senior political staffer in the areas of policy, communications, strategic research, legislative support, and issue management. His work experience includes serving as Director of Issue Management and coordinating Question Period for the Official Opposition. While on the Hill, he was named numerous times by The Hill Times to their list of Top 25 Parliament Hill Staffers.
He currently works as a communications and government relations consultant, primarily for Monk + Associates. Ian has experience serving both public and private sector clients on a variety of issues, including healthcare, the economy, infrastructure, labour, resource development, and the environment.
Ian has helped support the Institute for Fiscal Studies in Democracy (IFSD) since its founding, including serving as a strategic advisor, consultant, and an instructor helping to train public servants and others.
Prior to his work in politics and government relations, Ian successfully managed small businesses and worked as a communications consultant to the federal government.
For over two decades, Ram has provided advice to Ministers, Parliamentarians, Boards and Sr. leadership of federal government departments and Corporate Canada on public financial management (PFM), project finance, strategy, business transformation, P3 and audits. Ram transitioned from a large-scale MNC platform to financial advisory roles at EY to executive leadership roles at Canada’s Export Development Canada (EDC) to large Canadian federal government organizations: Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada, Canada's Parliamentary Budget Office, Public Services & Procurement Canada, ISED, Canada Border Services Agency and Shared Services Canada.
Senior positions held relate to strategic direction, deal structuring, transaction authorization, risk management, PFM, efficiency drives and program design and delivery.