The Canadian Climate Forum values independent, objective feedback and guidance from its distinguished national Advisory Committee members. Each brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our decision-making and we thank them for their time and support.
Janet recently retired from the Council of Canadian Academies where she was Acting President and a Program Director. Prior to joining the Council, Janet served as Executive Director of the Federal Healthcare Partnership Secretariat in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Previous to that, she worked for six years in the Department of Public Safety where she was responsible for emergency preparedness and recovery. Before joining the Government of Canada, Janet worked in various capacities in the Government of Ontario, including the positions of Executive Secretary of the Ontario Quebec Permanent Commission, as a senior representative for Ontario in Brussels, as a special advisor to develop an overseas higher education marketing strategy for the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, and as a director in the Ontario Women’s Directorate.
Catherine Cobden runs a consulting firm where she offers strategic support to clients on an array of issues related to Canada’s natural resource development. She spends her time creating common purpose amongst diverse stakeholders, helping organizations minimize conflict, develop strategic partnerships and navigate the complex landscape of governments and civil society. Previously, Catherine spent 13 years at the Forest Products Association of Canada where, as Executive Vice-President, she was dedicated to advancing the industry’s objectives of achieving world-leading environmental performance, strong global competitiveness and vibrant rural communities. She championed the development of the progressive, dynamic Forest Sector Vision2020 which serves to bring together governments, industry, communities, ENGOs and academia on a shared view of that sector’s potential. Throughout her 26 years in industry, she has been a strong champion of action to address complicated environmental challenges and has a long record of environmental leadership within the industry on key files such as climate change, water issues, air quality and the bio-economy.
Paul Dufour is Principal of PaulicyWorks, a science and technology policy consulting firm based in Gatineau, Quebec. He is one of Canada’s leading experts in S&T policy and international development. He is a Fellow and Adjunct Professor with the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa where he teaches science policy to undergraduates. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board and Investment Committee of Grand Challenges Canada. Having spent 30 years in the public sector as a science advisor with several agencies and departments, Mr. Dufour served as interim executive director of the Office of the National Science Advisor to the Government of Canada. He was with the International Development Research Centre as special programme director. Other professional activities included senior advisor at Natural Resources Canada, Ministerial Assistant to Canada’s Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development, senior analyst with the Science and Technology Strategy Directorate at Industry Canada and international S&T’s relations’ advisor with the Secretariat to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology. Mr Dufour was for several years, research advisor for the Science Council of Canada, where he gave guidance on science policy and developed reports on Canada’s international and domestic technology perspective. He writes regularly for policy magazines and newsletters and is the author of the Canada chapter in UNESCO’s 2015 Science Report.
David is currently the Director of Sustainable Business Solutions at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has more than 14 years experience in the field of sustainability performance management, within the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. A skilled facilitator with extensive experience in public consultation, David has led numerous multi-stakeholder dialogues, deliberations, roundtables and working groups on issues concerning energy, water resources, climate change, corporate sustainability, and aboriginal affairs. In the area of climate change, he has worked with numerous clients to successfully develop climate-change policy, risk management and implementation frameworks, and has assisted clients through sometimes challenging and contentious multi-stakeholder conflicts.
As executive director of ACT (the Adaptation and Climate Change Team) at SFU’s School of Pubic Policy, Deborah Harford is responsible for development of the initiative’s pioneering vision and its unique partnerships with the public and private sectors, as well as overall coordination and management of the program. She also directs and produces ACT’s policy recommendations for effective adaptation strategies at all levels of government, as well as communication and promotion of the program’s outcomes. Through Deborah’s efforts, ACT has created networks between local, national and international climate change research practitioners, NGOs, industry representatives, all levels of government, First Nations groups and local communities. Deborah’s work with ACT has gained her national recognition as a resource for those seeking information on climate change adaptation and practical coping strategies. Deborah is also a Climate Solutions Fellow at the prestigious Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue.
Merran Smith is the executive director of Clean Energy Canada and a fellow at the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue. For decades, she has worked to unite industry, government, and civil society organizations to solve pressing social and ecological challenges. Her leadership in the landmark Great Bear Rainforest conservation agreement helped ensure the protection of thousands of kilometers of British Columbia’s coastal ecosystem. She is the founder of Clean Energy Canada, the nation’s leading climate and energy think tank on clean energy solutions. Merran is currently one of Canada’s representative on the International Clean Energy Ambassador Corps, and served on BC’s Climate Leadership Team in 2015. She is also is a 2016 recipient of the Vancouver Board of Trade ‘Wendy McDonald Award’ for community leadership, and a 2014 recipient of the Clean 16 Award for Leadership in Clean Capitalism.
Carissa is an Associate Research Fellow at the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law and practices public interest environmental law, focusing on water and land use, biodiversity and climate change, in Ontario. She has over 15 years of experience in the environmental field in the United States, Canada, China and Switzerland, holding posts at the World Wildlife Fund, Ecojustice and the United Nations Environment Programme. In addition to being an advisor to the Canadian Climate Forum, she is advisor to the Ottawa Eco-Talent Network and a Board member of Water Rangers, a citizen-science water data collection web portal and mobile application headquartered in Canada. She also founded and chaired the Toronto Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology in 2003. Carissa holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from Duke University, a Common Law degree from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelors of Science in Zoology from the University of Toronto. She is a passionate advocate for the environment and social justice, has received global media attention with her publications, and has held numerous speaking engagements, including undergraduate classes at the University of Toronto and University of Ottawa.