Press release

IISD Board of Directors to shape new strategic plan: new members appointed

June 11, 2008

WINNIPEG--June 12, 2008--International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) international board of directors is meeting in Winnipeg this week to shape a new strategic plan for the organization as it tackles urgent and pressing environmental issues across the globe.

The two-day meeting kicked off today with the appointment of five new members to the board, replacing James Carr, Angela Cropper and Charles Hantho, who retire after many years of dedication, hard work and outstanding commitment to sustainability and the vision and mission of IISD.

The new board members offer a wealth of sustainable development experience in the fields of education, governance, business, technology and investment.

"Patricia Moles-Rivero, Maureen O'Neil, Bruce Schlein, Vicky Sharpe and Emoke Szathmáry are exceptional and talented leaders with a great deal to offer the Institute as we work together to develop a strategic plan to tackle the multi-faceted challenges for sustainable development," said IISD board chair Dan Gagnier.

IISD president and CEO David Runnalls said public interest in environmental issues has never been more acute, as world looks for policy advice to deal with such issues as climate change, the food crisis and other emerging and ongoing issues of major importance. "There are so many important and urgent issues to address. This board will have a critical role to play in setting priorities and shaping the future direction of the institute."

With the addition of these new appointees, there are now 20 members of the board, representing nine countries. IISD's board of directors meets twice a year.

New members of the board:

  • Patricia Moles-Rivero is Brazil country manager of Singapore-based chocolate manufacturing concern Petra Foods Pte. She is an expert on environmental planning, and international finance and management, and has extensive experience in developing financial instruments to support conservation, biodiversity and other sustainable development initiatives.

  • Maureen O'Neil is president of the International Development Research Centre. She is a member of the International Board of Governors of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and chair of the Advisory Council on Corporate Social Responsibility of Canada's Export Development Corporation. She is also a Fellow of the School of Policy Studies of Queen's University.

  • Bruce Schlein is vice president of Environmental Affairs for Citigroup where he advises on corporate environmental and social policies, business opportunities and footprint, and leads the environmental portfolio for the Citigroup Foundation. He has also served as sustainable development manager at Bechtel International.

  • Vicky J. Sharpe is president and CEO of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a Government of Canada initiative to build a sustainable development technology infrastructure in Canada. Sharpe has served on numerous technology and industry association committees, in particular as an international advisor on sustainability issues.

  • Emoke J.E. Szathmáry served 12 years as the president of the University of Manitoba (1996-2008). As president emeritus and professor, she is continuing her academic appointments in the Department of Anthropology as well as in the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics. Szathmáry has published over 80 articles and reviews, and she has co-edited three books. She is an elected Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America (1989), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1995) and the Royal Society of Canada (2005). She was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2003.

Retiring members of the board:

  • Jim Carr is founding president and CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba. He is a board member of the Canada West Foundation, a board member of the Winnipeg Airports Authority, vice-president of the Performing Arts Consortium of Winnipeg, and a director of the Manitoba Arts Stabilization Fund. An accomplished media correspondent, Carr served as deputy leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party until 1992 and was a member of the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Constitutional Task Forces.

  • Angela Cropper is assistant secretary-general and deputy executive director for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). She is co-founder and president of The Cropper Foundation, a non-profit organization which contributes to public policy for sustainable development. Cropper's many accomplishments include co-chairing the Assessment Panel of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; the board of trustees of the Centre for International Forestry Research, and was past member of the board of the Trinidad and Tobago Environmental Management Authority and trustee of its environment fund.

  • Chuck Hantho is chair of the board Hamilton Utilities Corporation. As chairman of the Canadian Chemical Producers Association (CCPA), he championed and introduced the "responsible care" program for the safe handling and use of chemicals from cradle to grave—which has since been copied around the world. In 1997, Hantho was awarded the Order of Canada and has been a member of the IISD board since 2002.

For more information, please contact Nona Pelletier, IISD media and communications officer (204) 958-7740 or cell phone (204) 962-1303.

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.