Daniel Trefler was born and raised in Toronto. He completed his B.A. at the University of Toronto, his M.Phil. at Cambridge University, and his Ph.D. at UCLA. He then returned home to teach at the University of Toronto’s Department of Economics (1989) and, after a two-year stint at the University of Chicago, he moved back to Toronto’s Rotman School of Management (1997). There he is given full scope to pursue his many Canadian public policy initiatives, including membership in the Ontario Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress. In 2004, he was awarded the prestigious Canada Research Chair.
Trefler is associated with many research organizations. In Canada, he is a Senior Research Fellow at the remarkable Canadian Institute for Advanced Studies (CIFAR), a research fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and serves as an advisor to the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity. Internationally, he is a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Mass.), the Centre for Policy Research (Europe), and the International Growth Centre (London, England).
Trefler has received all three major awards of the Canadian Economics Association (the Harry Johnson Prize, the John Rae Prize, and the Innis Lecture, the latter in recognition of contributions to economics in the broadest sense). His advocacy on behalf of children earned him the Noma McDonald Award from the Canadian Paediatric Society. He was the 2011 Ohlin Lecturer (Stockholm), the most internationally prestigious lecture in his core field of international economics. He has received major funding from SSHRC (continuously since 1993) and the U.S. National Science Foundation.
Trefler has given countless public lectures and seminars around the world, including Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Chicago, Yale, LSE and Peking University. In Canada, he gives public lectures and keynote speeches from coast to coast.