Born and raised in Montreal and educated at McGill University in Montreal and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, William Watson has taught in McGill's Economics Department since 1977, serving as Chair from 2005-10. He is best known for his regular columns in the National Post, the Montreal Gazette (1994-2008), and the Ottawa Citizen, and for his appearances on radio and television. From 1998-2002 he edited Policy Options politiques, the magazine of Montreal's Institute for Research on Public Policy, where he is currently a Senior Research Fellow. He is also a Research Fellow at the C. D. Howe Institute in Toronto. While on a leave from McGill in 1997-8, he served as editorial pages editor of the Ottawa Citizen. He was the 1989 winner of the National Magazine Awards gold medal for humour for a piece in Saturday Night magazine about a trip to New York. His book Globalization and the Meaning of Canadian Life, published by the University of Toronto Press, was runner-up for the Donner Prize for the best book on Canadian public policy published in 1998.