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.
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Mostafa Askari is IFSD's new Chief Economist. Prior to joining the IFSD, he was the Deputy Parliamentary Budget Officer of Canada, where he led a centre of expertise engaged in providing information, expert advice and analysis on emerging and current trends and the outlook regarding the national economy and the finances of the federal government. Dr. Askari brings to the IFSD significant expertise in macroeconomics, fiscal analysis, and forecasting. Prior to his decade-long tenure as Deputy PBO, 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.
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.