Jim Peterson was elected Member of Parliament for Willowdale in 1980 and re-elected in 1988, 1993, 1997 and 2000.
He chaired the Parliamentary Task Force on Regulatory Reform, served in major Parliamentary Secretary and Critic posts, and from 1993 through 1997 was Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance, where he played a key role in shaping government economic policy. He was Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions) from June 1997 to January 2002. In December 2003 he was appointed Minister of International Trade.
Mr. Petersonís professional experience spans the legal, teaching, international development and business sectors. He practised international tax and business law from 1970 to 1980, and was a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto from 1974 to 1979. He served as legal counsel and consultant to the United Nations on joint ventures and major development projects.
Mr. Peterson holds a Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.) from McGill University, a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Columbia University, and a B.A. and LL.B. from the University of Western Ontario, as well as diplomas from LíAcademie de Droit International in The Hague and La Sorbonne in Paris. He was appointed Senior Resident of Massey College and the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto in 2002.
Mr. Peterson and his wife Heather reside in Toronto.