President and CEO
Dr. Richard Florizone is IISD’s President and CEO. Part scientist, part strategist, he comes to this organization with a strong track record of bringing the public and private sectors together to achieve complex goals. With a reputation for collaborative leadership, Richard is a firm believer in the power of partnership to build institutions and communities that are intelligent, inspiring and inclusive.
As President and Vice-Chancellor of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, from 2013 to 2018, Richard championed CAD 500 million in innovation investment to Atlantic Canada through joint initiatives such as the Ocean Frontier Institute, a transnational research hub dedicated to finding solutions for a healthy marine ecosystem, and the Ocean Supercluster, which focuses on creating a sustainable ocean economy. He also ushered in record-breaking levels of research income, student enrolment and fundraising, while measurably advancing diversity and inclusion.
Richard has held senior leadership roles at the University of Saskatchewan, Bombardier Aerospace, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) at the World Bank Group, Boston Consulting Group and the Quantum Valley Ideas Lab. He currently serves as a Council Member for the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) and is a member of the Board of MDA. Richard holds a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is a Senior Executive Fellow at the Waterloo Institute of Sustainable Energy, and is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.