Trained as an historical sociologist, Paul has held posts in economic development in municipalities in both Nova Scotia and Ontario. He was one of the organizers of the Irish Halifax SSHRC project and did work there on the early Mechanics' Library in Halifax (1831-1864).
He did his doctorate at Dalhousie University with work on the intellectual genealogy of the Antigonish Movement. His research is focussed now on the theory of civil society. He has considerable experience with non-profits at both the Board and staff level.