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    Who We Are


    Senior Research Staff

    Veldhuis, NielsNiels Veldhuis, President
    Niels Veldhuis is Fraser Institute President and one of Canada’s most-read private-sector economists. As an economist, Niels has written six books and more than 50 comprehensive studies on a wide range of economic topics including taxation, banking, productivity, investment, entrepreneurship, labour markets and government finances. His latest book The Canadian Century: Moving out of America’s Shadow is a national bestseller published by Key Porter in May 2010. Niels is in high demand for his opinions and perspectives on major economic and social issues, appearing regularly on radio and television programs across Canada and the United States. He has written more than 200 commentaries that have appeared in over 50 newspapers including the Globe and Mail, Wall Street Journal and the Economist. He also writes a bi-weekly column for the Financial Post. Niels is regularly asked to appear before committees of both the House of Commons and the Senate as an expert witness. He travels widely across North America, speaking to business groups, corporate gatherings, voluntary organizations and students. Niels holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and a Master Degree in Economics from Simon Fraser University. In 2010, he was named one of Vancouver’s Top 40 under 40 by Business in Vancouver and in 2011 led a discussion between former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush at the Surrey Economic Forum.

    Jason ClemensJason Clemens, Executive Vice President
    Jason Clemens is the Executive Vice President of the Fraser Institute and the President of the Fraser Institute Foundation. Before rejoining the Fraser Institute in 2012, he was the director of research and managing editor at the Ottawa-based Macdonald-Laurier Institute and prior to joining the MLI, Jason spent a little over three years in the United States with the San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute. He has an Honors Bachelors Degree of Commerce and a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration from the University of Windsor as well as a Post Baccalaureate Degree in Economics from Simon Fraser University. He has published over 70 major studies on a wide range of topics, including taxation, government spending, labor market regulation, banking, welfare reform, health care, productivity, and entrepreneurship. He has published over 300 shorter articles, which have appeared in such newspapers as The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, the Washington Post, the Globe and Mail, National Post, and a host of U.S., Canadian, and international newspapers. Jason has been a guest on numerous radio and television programs across Canada and the United States. He has appeared before committees of both the House of Commons and the Senate in Canada as an expert witness and briefed state legislators in California. In 2006, he received the coveted Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 award presented by Caldwell Partners as well as an Odyssey Award from the University of Windsor. In 2011, he was awarded (along with his co-authors) the prestigious Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award for the best-selling book The Canadian Century. In 2012, the Governor General of Canada on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, presented Mr. Clemens with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contributions to the country.

    Peter CowleyPeter Cowley, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Director of School Performance Studies
    Peter Cowley is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Director of School Performance Studies at The Fraser Institute. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a B.Comm. in 1974. Shortly thereafter, he began a long career in marketing and general management in several sectors. During his assignments in general management, process improvement was a special focus and interest. In 1994, Peter independently wrote and published The Parent’s Guide, a popular handbook for parents of British Columbia’s secondary-school students. The Parent’s Guide web site replaced the handbook in 1995. In 1998, Mr Cowley was co-author of the Fraser Institute’s A Secondary Schools Report Card for British Columbia, the first of the Institute’s continuing series of annual reports on school performance. This was followed by the 1999 Report Card on British Columbia’s Secondary Schools, Boys, Girls, and Grades: Academic Gender Balance in British Columbia’s Secondary Schools, and The 1999 Report Card on Alberta’s High Schools. Since then, he has co-authored all of the Institute’s annual Report Cards. Annual editions now include Report Cards on secondary schools in British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec, as well as Report Cards on elementary schools in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.

    Ravina BainsRavina Bains, Associate Director, Aboriginal Policy Studies
    Ravina Bains is Associate Director of the Fraser Institute Centre for Aboriginal Policy Studies. She previously served as director of policy for the federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Ravina holds an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a CN Scholar, as well as an MA in Asian Pacific Policy Studies from the University of British Columbia.

    Bacchus Barua Bacchus Barua, Senior Economist, Health Policy Studies
    Bacchus Barua is a Senior Economist in the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Health Policy Studies. He completed his BA (Honours) in Economics at the University of Delhi (Ramjas College) and received an MA in Economics from Simon Fraser University. Bacchus has conducted research on a range of key health care topics including hospital performance, access to new pharmaceuticals, the impact of aging on health care expenditures, and international comparisons of health care systems. He also designed the Provincial Healthcare Index (2013) and is the lead author of The Effect of Wait Times on Mortality in Canada, and Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada (2010–2014).

    Ben Eisen Ben Eisen, Senior Policy Analyst
    Ben Eisen is Senior Policy Analyst at the Fraser Institute. He holds a BA from the University of Toronto and an MPP from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance. Prior to joining the Fraser Institute Mr. Eisen was the Director of Research and Programmes at the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies in Halifax. He also worked for the Citizens Budget Commission in New York City, and in Winnipeg as the Assistant Research Director for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Mr. Eisen has published influential studies on several policy topics, including intergovernmental relations, public finance, and higher education policy. He has been widely quoted in major newspapers including the National Post, Chronicle Herald, Winnipeg Free Press and Calgary Herald.

    Ken Green Kenneth P. Green, Senior Director, Centre for Natural Resources
    Kenneth P. Green is Senior Director of the Centre for Natural Resources at the Fraser Institute. He has studied environmental, energy, and natural resource policy for more than 20 years at think-tanks across North America including the Reason Foundation in Los Angeles; the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC; and previously at the Fraser Institute, where he ran the Centre for Risk, Regulation and the Environment. A frequent commentator in North American print and broadcast media, he has testified before several state and federal legislative bodies in the United States including committees and subcommittees of the House of Representatives and Senate. He twice reviewed reports for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and is also the author of two textbooks: Global Warming: Understanding the Debate, for middle-school students studying climate change, and Abundant Energy: The Fuel of Human Flourishing, for post-secondary studies in energy policy. Kenneth holds a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from UCLA, a Master's in Molecular Genetics from San Diego State University, and a Doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering, also from UCLA.

    Charles LammamCharles Lammam, Director, Fiscal Studies
    Charles Lammam is Director of Fiscal Studies at the Fraser Institute. He holds an M.A. in public policy and a B.A. in economics with a minor in business administration from Simon Fraser University. Since joining the Institute, Mr. Lammam has published over 50 studies and 200 original articles on a wide range of economic policy issues including taxation, government finances, pensions, investment, income mobility, labour, entrepreneurship, public-private partnerships, and charitable giving. His articles have appeared in every major national and regional newspaper in Canada (including the Globe and Mail and National Post) as well as prominent US-based publications (including Forbes and The American). Mr. Lammam’s career in public policy spans nine years. He regularly gives presentations to various groups, comments in print media, and appears on radio and television broadcasts across the country to discuss the Institute’s research. He has also appeared before committees of the House of Commons as an expert witness.

    Fred McMahonFred McMahon, Resident Fellow, Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom
    Fred McMahon is a Fraser Institute Resident Fellow and holder of the Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom. He manages the Economic Freedom of the World Project and coordinates the Economic Freedom Network, an international alliance of 86 independent think tanks around the world. His research focuses on global issues such as development, trade, governance, and economic structure. Fred is the author of numerous research articles and several books including, Looking the Gift Horse in the Mouth: The Impact of Federal Transfers on Atlantic Canada, which won the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award for advancing public policy debate, Road to Growth: How Lagging Economies Become Prosperous, and Retreat from Growth: Atlantic Canada and the Negative Sum Economy. He has written for numerous publications including the European Journal of Political Economy, the SAIS Journal (School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University), the Wall Street Journal, Policy Options, National Post, Time (Canada), Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, and most other major Canadian newspapers. Research articles he has recently authored or co-authored include: Economic Freedom of North America, Quebec Prosperity: Taking the Next Step, The Unseen Wall: The Fraser Institute's Annual Trade Survey, and Economic Freedom of the Arab World. He has a MA in Economics from McGill University, Montreal.

    Deani A. Neven Van PeltDeani A. Neven Van Pelt, Director, Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education
    Deani A. Neven Van Pelt is Director of the Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education at the Fraser Institute. Before joining the Fraser Institute in 2014, she was the Director of Teacher Education and an Associate Professor of Education at Redeemer University where, for eight years, she taught courses in social and legal foundations of education and led several international research collaborations funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Earlier she taught mathematics and business subjects in both private and public secondary schools. She has a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Education from the University of Western Ontario where she received the Bishop Townshend Award for excellence in graduate studies. Her dissertations, publications and research foci are in education philosophy with a concentration in Charlotte Mason’s approach to education and in education policy with specific interest in diversity in educational design and delivery.

    Milagros Palacios Milagros Palacios, Senior Research Economist, Fiscal Studies
    Milagros Palacios is a Senior Research Economist at the Fraser Institute. Since joining the Institute, Ms. Palacios has authored or coauthored over 70 research studies and 70 commentaries on a wide range of public policy issues including taxation, government finances, investment, productivity, labour markets, and charitable giving, among others. She has co-written four books and her recent commentaries have appeared in major Canadian newspapers such as the National Post, Toronto Sun, Windsor Star, and Vancouver Sun. Ms. Palacios holds a BA in Industrial Engineering from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and an MSc in Economics from the University of Concepcion, Chile.