Doctoral Candidate, Policy Reform and Economics, UNSW Australia

Usman W. Chohan is an international economist-academic who contributes extensively to the Conversation with the aim of bringing a policy reform expertise on pressing issues of social, artistic, political, and economic consequence to a wider audience. In terms of readership, he is among the Top 50 most read academics and Top 10 economists from UNSW on the Conversation. He has written in both English and French and has contributed to four separate sites of the Conversation: Australia, France, Africa, and the United States.

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“The truth is always an abyss. One must dare to dive — like a swimming pool — from the quivering springboard of trivial everyday experience and sink into the depths, in order to later rise again — laughing and fighting for breath — to the now doubly illuminated surface of things.” — Kafka.
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Usman W. Chohan (b. Manhattan, New York) has previously been a Consultant with the World Bank (Social Accountability, WBI), working on issues of fiscal governance reform, and specifically, the implementation of Independent Legislative Fiscal Institutions (IFIs) to help bring impartial and nonpartisan financial expertise into global governance systems [1].

His work with the World Bank has led him to collaborate with and inform experts around the world, and his ideas have been used to challenge and contextualize the laws underpinning legislative budget institutions in even the strongest democracies [2], such as in Canada, where his work was used to inform the landmark parliamentary debate on amending the Parliamentary Budget Office Act (C-476, 2013).

Prior to this he was the Special Situations Analyst in the Global Equities Team at Natcan Investment Management, the investment arm of the National Bank of Canada. The Global Equities team had six global investment professionals including Usman and $3 billion dollars in Assets under Management (AuM).

Usman is currently pursuing a PhD in Economics on a full scholarship from UNSW (Australia) [3], where he is creating the world's first multidisciplinary synthesis of Independent Legislative Fiscal Institutions. Usman has an MBA from McGill [4]; and he has done Masters coursework at MIT-Tsinghua [5].

Given his rich 'tri-sector experience' that encompasses private sector, public sector and academia [6], Usman enjoys consulting, research, and teaching in equal measure. He delivered the 2015 Foreign Affairs Lecture in the Global Leadership Program (GLP) at Macquarie University in Sydney [7].

Usman is also a current Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum [8].

Yet Usman's "quirkiest" aspect may be that he is fluent in seven Indo-European languages (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi) and conversant in a Sino-Tibetan language (Mandarin) [9][10][11][12]. He studies an Altaic language (Japanese), a Finno-Ugric language (Finnish), and an Afro-Asiatic language (Arabic) when he finds the time.

Given that his last four residences were Montreal, Buenos Aires, Canberra, and Beijing, you will likely find him roaming somewhere between these four coordinates at the ends of the earth.

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REFERENCES:
[1] http://www.revparl.ca/36/3/36n3e_13_chohan.pdf
[2] http://www.parl.gc.ca/legisinfo/BillDetails.aspx?billId=5997160&Language=E&Mode=1&View=10
[3] https://www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/our-people/mr-usman-chohan
[4] http://usmanchohan.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/my-tsinghua-grades.html
[5] https://www.mcgill.ca/desautels/programs/mba-programs/meet-our-community/meet-our-students/usman-waqqas-chohan
[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anmWMFN4_aI
[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiikCBP5u48
[8] https://www.globalshapers.org/shapers/usman-chohan
[9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anmWMFN4_aI
[10] http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ofHZaoq_eJQ/U8qBzcgcWfI/AAAAAAAAA_U/uewcULOkqS8/s1600/Tsinghua+Grades.png
[11] http://www.revparl.ca/36/3/36n3f_13_chohan.pdf
[12] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ECAyLcTtjA&list=UU5LIjx6HsLEK2QuRUb03kYA&index=2

Experience

  • 2015–present
    Global Shaper, World Economic Forum
  • 2013–2014
    Consultant, World Bank
  • 2008–2012
    Special Situations Analyst, National Bank of Canada

Education

  •  
    UNSW , Doctoral Candidate, Economics, Fiscal Policy Reform
  • 2014 
    McGill University, MBA
  • 2014 
    MIT-Tsinghua, Masters MBA Coursework

Publications

  • 2016
    The Idea of Legislative Budgeting in Iraq, International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies
  • 2013
    Canada and the Global Network of Parliamentary Budget Officers, Canadian Parliamentary Review
  • 2013
    Le Canada et le Réseau mondial des directeurs parlementaires du budget, Revue Parlementaire Canadienne
  • 2013
    Fostering a Community of Practice Among Parliamentary Budget Offices of the Commonwealth, The Parliamentarian Journal - Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

Honours

Full PhD Scholarship (UNSW, 2015); Global Shaper Canberra (World Economic Forum, 2016); Graduate Award in Governance (World Bank & McGill, 2013); Accelerated Status - MBA Program (McGill, 2013); Two Parliamentary Citations in "Act to Amend Parliament of Canada Act", C-476, (Parliament of Canada 41-1, 2013); MBA Entrance Award (McGill University, 2013); Chief Administrator, Wikipedia Urdu (2005); Speaker, The World Bank Conference on Parliaments & Extractive Industries (2013)

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