International Institute for Sustainable Development

Institut international du développement durable

 

Distinguished Fellow; Friend of the Institute

Maurice Strong, a senior advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and former senior advisor to the President of the World Bank, is one of the world's most influential political and environmental activists. He is a Distinguished Fellow at IISD.

Strong served on the board of directors for the United Nations Foundation, a UN-affiliated organization established by Ted Turner's historic $1 billion donation. He is also a director of the World Economic Forum Foundation, Chairman of the Earth Council, former Chairman of the Stockholm Environment Institute, and former Chairman of the World Resources Institute.

In his native Canada, Strong's career has spanned over five decades at some of Canada's most prestigious companies. He has run several companies in the energy and resources sector, including the Power Corporation of Canada, Ontario Hydro, and Petro-Canada (the national oil company). He is currently the chairman of Technology Development, Inc., which funds research in the groundbreaking field of applying nanotechnology towards creating energy sources that are both affordable and ecofriendly.

He first worked with the United Nations as a junior officer in 1947, when he was just eighteen, and returned in 1972 to lead the Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, after which he became the executive director of the UN's environmental program. Strong also coordinated the UN's emergency relief efforts in Africa in the mid'80s and was in charge of the historic 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. He recently took part in the reorganization of the UN's University for Peace, located in Costa Rica, and continues to help the university redefine its mission for the 21st century.