Halifax – Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) president and CEO, Marco Navarro-Génie, announced today that John Williamson has joined the Institute to lead its research efforts throughout Atlantic Canada. Williamson’s appointment at AIMS as Vice-President of Research is effective immediately. He will be based in New Brunswick – ensuring AIMS has a prominent presence in the Picture Province.

“John Williamson has a wealth of experience and that’s the reason we approached him to join AIMS,” said Navarro-Génie. “Deploying his talents in New Brunswick increases our research capacity to generate more of the high-quality policy research and commentary that has become the hallmark of our Institute. As a New Brunswick native, John instinctively understands the region’s policy challenges and its untapped opportunities.”

Mr. Williamson is the former Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest. Prior to his election to the House of Commons in 2011, he was National Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) – the country’s leading taxpayer advocacy organization – from January 2004 to September 2008, and CTF Ontario Director, based in Queen’s Park, from September 2002 to December 2003. Williamson is a former National Post editorial writer and was a founding member of the newspaper’s editorial board. Has also worked as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Director of Communications in 2009-2010.

After graduating from McGill University with a bachelor of arts degree in economics and political science, Williamson went on to receive a master’s (MSc) degree in economic history at the London School of Economics. Britain’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office named him a Chevening Scholar during the 2008-2009 academic year. Williamson’s academic concentration is the convergence of underperforming regional economies – so-called laggards – with leading national economies.

“I am pleased to join AIMS and be able to contribute to its pro-growth research, which is geared toward making Atlantic Canada a more prosperous place,” said Williamson. “This Institute provides a much needed alternative to traditional public policy thinking in our region. It is important we continue to do this because the high tax, high debt and government-oriented growth model isn’t working for us. But Atlantic Canada can change this and do better just as other once-lagging regional economies have successfully done.”

John Williamson’s extensive experience is well-suited to an Atlantic Canadian public policy think-tank. At AIMS, he will contribute to public policy solutions that confront the Atlantic region, including public finance and fiscal federalism, energy and the environment, labour markets, immigration and temporary foreign workers, and social policy reform.

“We are thrilled John has agreed to join the Institute,” said Navarro-Génie. “His experience and education, his passion for market-driven principles informing policy, combined with outstanding strategic and communication skills, will serve the region and the Institute greatly in the days ahead.”