Ryan Compton

MDE, 1997

Ryan C

I’m a proud Dalhousie alum and forever thankful for my time at Dalhousie!

I graduated from Dalhousie with a Master of Development Economics (MDE) in 1997. During my degree I met my wife Janice Yates (MA Economics) and together we headed to Ottawa following our graduation. In Ottawa I worked as an economist in the Federal Government’s Accelerated Economist Training Program (AETP). The AETP gave me the opportunity to work at Finance Canada, the Treasury Board, Privy Council, and importantly the Canadian International Development Agency which allowed me to put my development economics training to good use as well as work alongside Dalhousie economics alums John Kozij and Bill Gunn. Following the AETP, I settled into the financial markets division of Finance Canada where I enjoyed reporting on Canadian and international financial market developments.

After 3 years of working in Ottawa, I decided to go back to school for a PhD in economics (well really Janice decided to pursue a PhD in economics so that she could become a professor and so I figured I may as well too). I spent 5 years from 2000 to 2005 at Washington University earning a PhD in Economics. Janice and I had our first child while completing  our PhDs.  Following our studies we moved to Winnipeg to be closer to my family (which has been very useful now that we have 3 kids). Janice and I are both currently professors in the economics department at the University of Manitoba where I research and teach in the areas of macroeconomics, development, defence economics, and sports economics.

Moving to Halifax to study at Dalhousie was a big leap for me at the time, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision. The unique nature of the MDE program exposed me to the application of economic tools in studying broad topics. I’ve carried this training, and this mindset, throughout my time in government as well as academia.  Further, the education I received at Dalhousie prepared me well to succeed later in my doctoral studies at Washington University.

I remember the economics department as a lively place, where faculty members worked closely with graduate students and encouraged them to attend the Friday Seminar and Economizer Social where we could learn from visiting speakers and interact socially with the members of the department. The environment among graduate students was one of studying hard and partying hard, which made for a fantastic student experience! I made great friends during my time there, especially Glenn Purves and Darren Byers, and have always appreciated the influence professors Talan Iscan, Kuan Xu, Barry Lesser, and Ian McAllister had on me during my time at Dalhousie, and importantly their support in the years that have followed. I am also grateful for the experience the department gave me working with the Baltic Economic Management Training Program, which gave me my first experience overseas in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and allowed me to see economic transition first hand.

I’m a proud Dalhousie alum and forever thankful for my time at Dalhousie!