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Meet Our Team

Craig Alexander
Craig Alexander
Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist

Craig Alexander brings over 20 years of experience in the private sector as an economic and financial forecaster to the position of Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. Mr. Alexander oversees the Board’s Economics Department. This group produces macroeconomic forecasts for the Canadian economy, provinces, territories, and industries. It runs centres on global commerce, tourism and municipal studies. There are also networks and centres related to immigration, skills and education policy areas that have a significant impact on Canadian labour market outcomes. Previously, Craig was Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist for TD Bank Group—the second largest bank in Canada and the eighth largest in the United States. Prior to joining the private sector, he spent four years as an economist at Statistics Canada.

Craig is a strong and motivational public speaker who crosses the country each year giving presentations on the state of the economy and policy issues. He is a strong supporter of literacy and a champion of the charitable sector, for which he received a Queen’s Jubilee Medal.

He is a former two-term president of the Canadian Association for Business Economics and holds a graduate degree in economics from the University of Toronto.

Craig joined The Conference Board of Canada in September 2016

Pedro Antunes
Pedro Antunes
Executive Director, Economic Outlook and Analysis, and Deputy Chief Economist

As the Boards Executive Director, Economic Outlook and Analysis and Deputy Chief Economist, Pedro Antunes is responsible for managing a team of economists in producing the Conference Board's medium and long-term economic forecasts along with other economic indicators and reports. Pedro is a spokesperson for the Conference Board and does presentations on the forecast to clients and the public and is often cited in the media.

Pedro joined the Conference Board as an economist in 1991 after working with the Canadian Forecasting Group at the Bank of Canada. He has moved progressively into more senior positions since joining the Board. Prior to his current role, he was Director of the Conference Board's National and Provincial forecast team; and was responsible for custom research work and economic analysis.

In addition to the regular forecast publications, Pedro has been researching the impact of demographic change on the fiscal sustainability of health care, productivity, and long-term economic growth. Pedro also worked on several international projects, helping decision-makers in Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan and Ukraine develop appropriate forecasting and policy analysis tools.

Michael Burt
Michael Burt
Director, Industrial Economic Trends

In his role as Director, Industrial Economic Trends group, Michael is responsible for overseeing the maintenance and production of regular forecasts for more than 30 different sectors of the Canadian economy. He is also the project manager for the consulting work that the group completes. Michael conducts research on a variety of topics related to industrial performance and has completed many studies examining the impact of socio-economic variables on the performance of the private sector. Michael is also a spokesperson for the Conference Board and does presentations on the industrial forecasts to clients and the public and is often cited in the media.

Michael joined The Conference Board of Canada in 2004 as the industrial forecasting product was being developed. As a result, he was deeply involved in the creation of the industry models and laying the groundwork for how the analysis would be conducted. Prior to that, Michael worked in the industry forecasting group at Moody's Analytics, an economic consulting firm in the United States. He has more than fifteen years of experience conducting industry forecasting and analysis. Mr. Burt has a Master's degree in economics from the University of Toronto, and has also completed the Chartered Financial Analyst program.

Alison Howard
Alison Howard
Associate Director, Immigration and Education

Alison Howard brings almost two decades of research and convening experience to the position of Associate Director, Immigration and Education. Ms. Howard oversees the Leaders' Roundtable on Immigration which promotes investment in and collaborative action on immigration issues. Alison has conducted extensive research on employability, language and literacy skills, credential recognition, and international education - all of which are important to Canadian labour market outcomes. She also leads the Conference Board's major annual summit on Skills and Post-Secondary Education and other related research and convening activities. Alison's research has also covered privacy issues, corporate community investment, issues in the food and drink sector, and in the culture sector.

Alison is a graduate of the University of Guelph (Masters of Management Studies and Bachelor of Arts).

Matthew Stewart
Matthew Stewart
Director, National Forecast, Forecasting and Analysis

Matthew Stewart is Associate Director, National Forecast with the Conference Board specializing in the Canadian and world economy. Matthew is currently advising international clients on the economy and has been assisting the Ukrainian federal government and city level governments in developing strategic plans. In Canada, he has been responsible for designing and building a demand and supply model for physicians based on changing disease patterns. Matthew has appeared on TV and radio numerous times as an expert on the Canadian Economy and government finances. He has recently authored two chapters in a book titled Lessons from the Recession and Financial Crisis.

Matt has a M.A. (Economics) from McMaster University and a B.A. (Honours Economics) from The University of Western Ontario.

Kareem El-Assal
Kareem El-Assal
Senior Research Associate and Senior Network Manager, Immigration

Kareem manages the Conference Board's immigration research and annual Canadian Immigration Summit. His research covers various areas including permanent resident selection, settlement and integration, temporary foreign worker programs, refugees, international students, intergovernmental relations, and entrepreneur and investor programs. He often shares the Conference Board's research findings with the media.

Prior to joining the Conference Board, he worked for the Mission of Canada to the European Union, the British Chamber of Commerce, Porter Novelli Brussels, and the International Service for Human Rights in Switzerland. Kareem has also worked for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

He is a graduate of the University of Toronto (BA) and Durham University (MA).

Daniel Fields
Daniel Fields
Economist, National Forecast

Daniel joined the National Economic Forecast team in 2013. His key responsibilities include monitoring the fiscal situation within the various levels of government and contributing to a wide variety of ongoing fiscal projects such as the Fiscal Snapshots Series. These reports look at the current condition of provincial economics and their government's fiscal challenges by providing a short- and medium term outlook in areas such as tax revenue and federal transfers as well as spending in key categories such as health care and education. This analysis feeds into the provincial forecast, where Daniel completes the output forecast for government spending. Daniel also completes the outlook for Prince Edward Island.

Daniel received his M.A. in economics from Queen's University, and also holds a B.Math. in economics and statistics from Carleton University.

2018 Conference

Canadian Immigration Summit 2018
May 30–31, 2018 | Ottawa

Past Conferences

Canadian Immigration Summit 2017
May 9–10, 2017 | Ottawa

Entrepreneur & Investor Immigration Summit 2016
December 6–7, 2016 | Toronto

Canadian Immigration Summit 2016
April 4–5, 2016 | Ottawa

Canadian Immigration Summit 2015
April 13–15, 2015

Social Media

Follow us on Twitter @ImmigrationCBoC

Contact Us

Kareem El-Assal
Senior Research Associate and Senior Network Manager, Immigration