President & CEO, Atlantic Institute for Market Studies
Charles Cirtwill is President and CEO of AIMS, Atlantic Canada's public policy think tank. In the more than fifteen years since its founding, AIMS has brought a distinctive and influential Eastern Canadian voice to regional and national debates over public policy in areas such as transfer payments, social policy, fiscal and tax policy, health care, education performance and accountability, equalization, regulatory burden, Canada-US relations and much more. AIMS is one of the world's most honoured think tanks. It is a four time winner of the prestigious Sir Antony Fisher Award, which recognizes excellence in public policy think tank publications and projects. No think tank in the world has won this honour more times than AIMS. In its tenth anniversary year (2004-05), AIMS also won the Templeton Freedom Prize for Institute Excellence. More than 200 think tanks world wide are eligible for the Fisher and Templeton prizes. The then Leader of the Opposition, Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, called AIMS, "dollar for dollar the best think tank in the country."
Cirtwill’s published works focus on government structure and organization, business-government relations, inter-governmental relations, performance measurement and accountability. He has spoken across Canada and the United States on the role of think tanks in society, the appropriate assessment of government activities and the use of school performance data to improve classroom practice and fully engage all education stakeholders.
His work on education, fiscal management, debt reduction, taxation, the growth of government, and the importance of government accountability regularly appears in local, regional and national media. He continues to expand his work in the area of government outcome reporting and accountability with a particular focus on education indicators/school performance, fiscal outcomes assessment, and municipal performance. He also maintains an active role as editor and contributor in AIMS research into the broader opportunites presented by the demographic shift and the associated labour shortage.
As head of AIMS Education and School Reform Initiative Charles has played a key role in building this into AIMS largest project with a focus on research and data driven discussion of school system reform, education effectiveness and accountability for results. AIMS has built an innovative and balanced approach to school performance measurement that focuses on maintaining a high standard while testing schools against reasonable expectations based on prior performance and the performance of their peers. Charles is regularly involved in district and school level outreach working with educators, administrators, parents and the public, instructing them on how to use the tools AIMS has developed to make schools better.
Cirtwill has worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors as a program manager, policy analyst, senior administrator, consultant and entrepreneur. Cirtwill has served as policy advisor to several political campaigns and has provided advice and direction to provincial and municipal administrations throughout Atlantic Canada. He served for three years on the Nova Scotia Municipal Assessment Appeal Court and has had leadership roles in multiple community organizations including Scouts Canada, local school associations and local homeowners associations. He attended Dalhousie University, earning a BA in Political Science, a LLB, and a MPA with a focus on quantitative analysis and program outcome assessment.
Email Charles Cirtwill at: charlescirtwill[at]aims.ca
See Charles' blog posts on Straight Talk
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