Frank Koller is an author, economics journalist and former foreign correspondent with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Over nearly thirty years with CBC, he reported from hot spots around the world with a special emphasis on the United States and East and Southeast Asia. He has long been fascinated by the ways in which economics, the world of work, family and community intersect to affect how we live our lives. It is the subject of his first book Spark, about Lincoln Electric’s guaranteed employment policy, with more to come. From 2005 to 2009, Koller was the CBC’s specialist on the changing North American workplace.
Based in Washington, D.C. from 1998 to 2005, Koller crisscrossed the US many times – covering Presidential election campaigns, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Capital Hill during the Clinton and Bush years, financial crises such as the Enron debacle, environmental battles in New Mexico, hurricanes in Florida, urban sprawl in Oregon and cowboy poets in southwestern Missouri. He also traveled regularly to South America, chronicling economic developments in Argentina and Brazil.
From 1985 until 1998, Koller was on the road in Asia – reporting from Jakarta (where he lived for three years), Seoul, Rangoon, Phnom Penh, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Hanoi and almost everywhere in between. Koller covered the 1989 democracy protests in Tienanmen Square, the Asian economic meltdown in the late 1990s, the fall of Indonesia’s President Suharto in 1998 and Cambodia’s desperate struggle to recover from the Killing Fields. During those years, he also taught journalists in Indonesia and Cambodia on behalf of the Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression and the Asian Institute of Broadcasting.
His work has been recognized with awards from the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Nurses Association among others.
Before stumbling into journalism in the early 1980s, Koller was a professional jazz musician, composer and recording artist. His 1980 album Single Malt received rave reviews in Canada: The Globe and Mail praised him as “an excellent guitarist”, while Canadian Musician magazine called him a “session man extraordinaire.” Koller earned a Master’s Degree in Transportation Systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after graduating from Carleton University in Ottawa in Civil Engineering. It is widely acknowledged, however, that he must never be given any hand tools with the hope that he might be able to fix, let alone build, anything.
Koller lives with his wife in Ottawa.