August 28, 2013
R.J. (Bob) Fessenden, formerly the Deputy Minister of the Premier’s Council for Economic Strategy of the Government of Alberta, is a Fellow of the Institute for Public Economics of the University of Alberta.
Previously a staff member at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Forestry, Dr. Fessenden taught courses in forest soil science from 1967 to 1978. Following this, he became Head of the Terrestrial Environment Section in the Environmental Affairs Department of Syncrude Canada Ltd where he was responsible for land reclamation planning and research and environmental impact assessment. Later, from 1982 to 1995, Dr. Fessenden held a variety of positions at the Alberta Research Council, including Head of the Soils and Terrain Sciences departments and Vice-President of Natural Resources, Resource Technologies, Development & Planning, and Research Operations.
Appointed as President of the Alberta Science and Research Authority in October 1995, Dr. Fessenden served in that position until 1999 when he took on the position of Deputy Minister of Alberta Economic Development for the Government of Alberta. Subsequently, from 2001 to 2008, Dr. Fessenden served as Deputy Minister in three different departments — Sustainable Resource Development, Innovation and Science, and Advanced Education and Technology. He was then appointed as Deputy Minister of the Premier’s Council for Economic Strategy in March 2008.
Dr. Fessenden completed his BScF at the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Toronto in 1965, his M.Sc. in Microbiology at the University of Guelph in 1967, and his PhD in Microbiology at McGill University in 1976.