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Meet Our Team

Craig Alexander
 
Craig Alexander
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
Executive Director, Industrial Economic Trends

Michael Burt leads the teams that conduct research on industrial performance, trade and investment, and education and skills at The Conference Board of Canada. Mr. Burt joined the CBoC in 2004, he has moved progressively into more senior positions since joining the Board. Before joining the Board he worked with an economic consulting firm in the United States.

In his role, Mr. Burt oversees the maintenance and production of a variety of products, as well as the consulting work that the group completes. Mr. Burt is a spokesperson for the Conference Board and does presentations on a variety of topics to clients and the public, and is often cited in the media.

Mr. Burt has 20 years of experience conducting economic analysis. Mr. Burt has a Master's degree in economics from the University of Toronto, and has also completed the Chartered Financial Analyst program.

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

As Director of Economics, Matthew Stewart oversees the production of the Conference Board's Canadian Outlook publication, a quarterly report on Canada's economy, the Conference Board's Fiscal Snapshot reports, a series of reports that review of the finances and budget of each province and the Canadian Long-term Economic Outlook, a bi-annual report that details the long-term outlook for the Canadian economy. Matthew is also responsible for overseeing custom research projects on a variety of topics. Recent projects include a demand and supply model for physicians based on disease risk factors, disease incidence, prevalence, and mortality for over 250 diseases. Another recent project estimated the economic impact of a carbon tax and the cost of achieving Canada's Paris commitment. Matthew has also overseen several large international projects. Recently, he led several missions to Indonesia where he trained government officials and industry on factors that could affect and improve trade with Canada.

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 El-Assal manages the Conference Board's immigration research and annual Canadian Immigration Summit. Kareem's 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, Kareem 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. He has also worked for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.