Howard Aster was born in Montreal and was educated at the Talmud Torah, Herzliah High School, McGill University, and Yale University; he received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He taught political science at McGill University, Carleton University, and McMaster University. He served as a special policy advisor to the Secretary of State, Government of Canada, and as a consultant to numerous Government of Canada departments and the Canadian Conference of the Arts. He also served on the Board of Directors of the CBC and more recently at Haifa University. He is the author, co-author or editor of 12 books, including Jewish-Ukrainian Relations: Two Solitudes with Peter J. Potichnyj (1983; revised edition, 1987) and, most recently, Affinity: Beyond Branding with Martin Goldfarb (2010), and China: Images of a Civilization (2010). He is also the author of over 100 articles.