Brian Lee Crowley is past President and Senior Fellow of AIMS.
In the nearly 15 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. Of the nearly 100 recognized think tanks in Canada, AIMS is one of only 5 to make the 2008 global “Go-To Think Tanks” list published by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. While still the Leader of the Opposition, Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, called AIMS, “dollar for dollar the best think tank in the country.”
Among his many books and other publications, Crowley co-authored two projects on the Canadian health-care system both of which won the Sir Antony Fisher Award. In recognition of his health-care work, he was named to the most influential recent provincial health-care inquiry in Canada, the Alberta Premier’s Advisory Council on Health (the Mazankowski Committee). The Council’s Chairman, former Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Don Mazankowski, called Crowley the “intellectual architect” of the committee’s report. Crowley is a much sought-after media commentator on health-care policy and has spoken to scores of national and international conferences in recent years on health-care reform in Canada. In March, 2008 his health care policy work was further recognised when he was named Senior Fellow at the Galen Institute, a health policy think tank in Washington, DC.
Other major institute projects where Crowley has taken a leadership role include its work on equalization, Canada-US relations, and especially Atlantica (the natural economic region that straddles the Canada-US border in the northeast corner of the continent), public school performance and accountability, EI reform, natural resources and public finances, and regional development policy.
In March 2008 Crowley returned to the Institute after a year and a half on secondment as the Clifford Clark Visiting Economist with the federal Department of Finance. This is the most senior independent economic policy advisory position within the federal government and carries with it the rank of an Assistant Deputy Minister. During his time in Ottawa, Crowley worked on a broad range of policy files and redesigned the pre-budget consultation process. In 2007 he was named one of the 100 most influential people in Ottawa by The Hill Times.
Crowley has headed the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC), taught politics, economics and philosophy at Dalhousie University, University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, le Collège Universitaire de Saint-Boniface, the City of London Polytechnic (UK) and the Université d’été at Aix-en-Provence (France) and been constitutional advisor to the governments of Nova Scotia (Charlottetown negotiations) and Manitoba (Meech Lake negotiations). He has been a Salvatori Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, a diplomat for the EEC Commission, an aid administrator for the UN in Africa, an advisor to the Quebec government on parliamentary and electoral reform and a Parliamentary Intern at the House of Commons in Ottawa.
Crowley is a frequent commentator on political and economic issues for the CBC, Radio-Canada and many other media, and is a former member of the Editorial Board of The Globe and Mail (one of Canada’s two national newspapers) and of the National Political Panel on Morningside with the late Peter Gzowski on CBC Radio. His articles appear in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, La Presse and numerous regional and local newspapers. He holds degrees from McGill and the London School of Economics, including a doctorate in political economy from the latter.
Crowley is President of Civitas, which promotes an understanding of the principles of free and ordered society; and is director of the Maine Public Policy Institute. In addition, he is a member of the “Conseil scientifique” (Research Advisory Board) of l’Institut Turgot (Paris, France); the Research Advisory Board of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy (Winnipeg); and the Nigerian Institute for Public Policy (Lagos, Nigeria). He is an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Center for Media and Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC.
In September 2009, Key Porter Books published Crowley’s book Fearful Symmetry: xx which quickly rose on the Canadian best sellers lists.