Press release

David Runnalls to be Interim President of IISD

October 29, 1998

WINNIPEG — David Runnalls has been appointed Interim President of IISD, replacing Dr. Arthur Hanson who stepped down from the post to become the Institute's Distinguished Fellow and Senior Scientist. The announcement was made today by Jim MacNeill, the Chair of the Institute's Board of Directors. The Institute's Executive Committee has appointed a Search Committee, chaired by Jack MacLeod, to immediately begin an international search for IISD's next full-time CEO.

"IISD is indeed fortunate in having someone of David's experience ready and willing to step in at such short notice," Mr. MacNeill stated. "He is one of the handful of Canadians who was active at the beginning of the international environmental debate. He worked with the British economist and writer, Barbara Ward, in the production of the award-winning book, Only One Earth, which set the tone for the first global conference on the environment in Stockholm in 1972."

Runnalls was one of the cofounders of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in 1973 and acted as the Director of the IIED office in London until 1981. He helped to establish its keystone programs in energy, human settlements, information and in monitoring the environmental performance of the foreign aid agencies. In 1981 he moved to Washington where he made the Institute's North American office into one of the premier players in the environment and development debate in the United States.

He returned to Canada in 1988 to help establish an environment program at the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP). While at the IRPP, Runnalls became a frequent media commentator on environmental issues leading up to the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. He was a regular columnist on CBC Radio's As It Happens and a frequent contributor to Canada AM.

In 1993 Runnalls left the IRPP to become a Senior Fellow of IISD, directing its Trade Program. He also became Senior Advisor to the President of the International Development Research Centre and to the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. He is also the Co-Chair of the Trade and Environment Working Group of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.

Mr. Runnalls is a Director of IIED (London), the World Environment Center in New York and Pollution Probe, a Canadian ENGO. He was for six years the Canadian member of the Board of IUCN/The World Conservation Union and the Chair of the Planning Committee for the organization's World Conservation Congress in Montreal in 1996.

IISD was established in 1990 with funding from the governments of Canada and Manitoba. The head office is in Winnipeg. IISD carries out sustainable development activities in Canada and worldwide, supported by more than 40 funding sources.

For further information, please contact Jim MacNeill, Chairman of the Board, at 204-958-7707.

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.