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Meet Our Team

Craig Alexander
 
Craig Alexander
Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist

Craig Alexander brings over 19 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 macroeconomic outlook products and its custom economic and tourism research.

Most recently, Craig was the Vice-President of Economic Analysis at the CD Howe Institute. Previously, he 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. During his tenure, he led a large team of economists providing in-depth analysis to TD’s divisions and clients. 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 serves on the board of directors of several non-profit groups and is a trustee of two pension plans. A former two-term president of the Canadian Association for Business Economics, he 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.

Matthew Stewart
 
Matthew Stewart
Associate 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
Research Associate II, Education and Immigration Research

Kareem leads the Conference Board's immigration research and annual Canadian Immigration Summit. His research covers a variety of immigration issues including selection of global talent, settlement and integration, intergovernmental relations, refugees, international students, and entrepreneur and investor programs. He is often asked to share 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.