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 administrative 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 is a current registered full time student on the MSc Economics for the academic year 2020/21 at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
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.