Dr. Bob Ascah was born in Lachine, Quebec and received degrees in Commerce and Public Administration (M.A) from Carleton University. He completed his doctorate in political science at the University of Alberta in 1984. Before his appointment as Director of the Institute for Public Economics, he worked for the Alberta public service. After a short stint in Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs, he joined Alberta Treasury where he was responsible for financial sector policy, foreign borrowing, and liaison with ratings agencies. In 1996, he joined Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB Financial) as Secretary to the Board. Subsequently, Dr. Ascah was responsible for business planning, economics and government relations. In that capacity, Ascah was a frequent speaker on economics and financial institutions policy. He retired from ATB Financial in May 2009. Bob Ascah is Chair, Canadian Cancer Society, Alberta/NWT Division and is the academic liaison for the Edmonton Regional Group of the Institute for Public Administration of Canada. In 1999, the University of Alberta Press published Ascah's Ph.D. dissertation Politics and Public Debt- The Dominion, the Banks and Alberta's Social Credit. Since joining the Institute, he has become a frequent media commentator on financial and economic issues.