Paul Samson

Paul Samson is president of CIGI. He has 30 years of experience across a range of policy issues with partners from around the world. He is a former senior government official and also served for many years as co-chair of the principal G20 working group on the global economy.

Paul Samson


Paul Samson is president of CIGI and has more than 30 years of experience across a range of global policy issues, working with international partners from around the world. He is currently focused on the transformation of the global economy through digitization, scenarios for an evolving world order and institutional global governance challenges.

During 24 years with the Government of Canada, Paul’s positions included director general of strategic policy at the former Canadian International Development Agency and assistant deputy minister-level roles with Global Affairs Canada and with International Trade and Finance, Finance Canada. At the Privy Council Office, he held several positions during the tenure of three different prime ministers. Previously, he worked at Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada. His last position was as associate deputy minister with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Paul served as director for Canada, Egypt and Ethiopia at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (2018–2019). He served as Canada’s deputy for finance at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum from 2015 to 2019 and frequently led Canadian delegations for meetings with multilateral development banks, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the Global Environment Facility. He was co-chair of the G20 Framework Working Group on the global economy from 2015 to 2019. During 2018–2019, Paul served as co-manager of the Canada-UK Policy Forum on the Modern Economy, which focused on the emerging digital economy. He also previously served on the Board of Directors of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Earlier in his career, he worked at several think tanks and universities in Geneva; Washington, DC; Oslo; and Boston. In Geneva, Paul worked with Mikhail Gorbachev at Green Cross International and in Washington he was a fellow within the US Department of Energy’s National Laboratory network. In Oslo, Paul was a fellow with the Peace Research Institute; in Boston, he was a research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government.

Paul completed a doctorate and an M.A. in international relations at the Graduate Institute, University of Geneva, and a B.A. at the University of British Columbia. He completed post-doctoral studies in global environment assessment at Harvard University.

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