Lee earned his PhD in public policy at Carleton University in 1989. Previously, he was employed in financial services in the 1970s in Ottawa.
He has appeared multiple times before the House of Commons Finance and Senate Banking committees since 2007. He has been in every Government of Canada budget lockup since 2008. He attended pre-budget consultations with the Minister of Finance in 2009 and 2010 and attended the Finance Minister’s annual strategic retreat in 2011.
Lee authored a seminal article, “Pink slips and running shoes” on the Chretien-Martin downsizing of the public service in the 1996 How Ottawa Spends. He authored a similar piece on the Harper government downsizing of the public service in the 2013 How Ottawa Spends. He authored an article analyzing corporate income tax reductions and the 2011 federal election in 2012 How Ottawa Spends. He authored “Striking Out: The New Normal in Canadian Labour Relations?” in the Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law, June 2012“. His article reviewing the first five years of the PBO has been accepted for the 2014 edition of How Ottawa Spends.