Marie-Pierre Ippersiel is President and Chief Executive Officer at PRIMA Québec. Prior to this, she spent over six years working as Vice-President for the cleantech industry cluster Écotech Québec. Among other responsibilities, she managed the cluster’s operations, coordinated steering committees and developed a variety of content. As Research Advisor for the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC) between 2004 and 2010, she helped implement the primary tools used in the Greater Montréal Economic Development Plan, including the cluster strategy. In 2003, she produced a notice on innovation in Quebec municipalities for the Conseil de la science et de la technologie. Ms. Ippersiel holds a PhD in Urban Studies from the INRS – Centre Urbanisation Culture Société, where she focused on science/industry relations and technological support for SMEs in college technology transfer centres. She took part in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference in 2017. She also sits on the boards of directors for NanoCanada, Green Surface Engineering for Advanced Manufacturing Strategic Network, ADRIQ, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS).
Dr. Wicklum has 25 years of experience managing research, driving innovation, and fostering collaboration in and among industry, government, academia and civil society. Dan is currently the CEO of The Transition Accelerator, a new organization that directs disruptions to solve business and social challenges while building emissions reduction into solutions. He launched and was the CEO of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance for seven years, was Executive Director of the Canadian Forest Innovation Council, and has been a senior manager at Environment and Climate Change Canada and Natural Resources Canada. His initial career was football, as a linebacker for the Calgary Stampeders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Catherine Abreu is an internationally recognized, award-winning campaigner whose work centers on building powerful coalitions to advance action on climate change. One of the world’s 100 most influential people in climate policy as named by Apolitical in 2019, she has over 15 years of experience campaigning on environmental issues including 7 years in the heart of the climate movement. Catherine is the Founder & Executive Director of Destination Zero, a new organization focused on climate action and the global energy transition. Catherine served as the Executive Director of Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada from 2016 to mid-2021. Canada’s primary network of organizations working on climate change and energy issues, CAN-Rac is a coalition of more than 120 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Catherine joined CAN-Rac Canada after five years spearheading the energy and climate programs at the Ecology Action Centre, one of Atlantic Canada’s largest and longest-running environmental advocacy organizations. She is also the former Coordinator of the Atlantic Canada Sustainable Energy Coalition. An accomplished public speaker, Catherine is honoured to have shared the stage with some of the world’s leading environmental thinkers, including David Suzuki, Christiana Figueres, and Bill McKibbon. Her political commentary has featured in the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the Financial Post. She appears regularly as an expert guest on CBC, CTV, Global and other current affairs television and radio programs. Catherine is the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Jack Layton Progress Prize for her international leader-ship on climate policy and action, and her transformative work at CAN-Rac Canada. She is a proud honouree of Canada’s Clean50.
Kluane Adamek, she/her/hers (traditional name is "Aagé”), has served as the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Yukon Regional Chief since January 2018. She is proud northerner and citizen of Kluane First Nation. Regional Chief Adamek belongs to the Dakl’aweidi (Killerwhale) Clan and comes from a diverse background with Tlingit, Southern Tutchone, German and Irish origins. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies from Carleton University in 2009, she returned home to work with Yukon First Nations and local communities in the areas of education, economic development and governance. In 2019, she completed her Master of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University. Throughout her career she has served on a number of boards and committees including the Yukon College Board of Governors, Kluane Dana Trust, Actua, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and the Aboriginal Sport Circle. She has proven experience in both the private and public sectors, and in Government. While pursuing her Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship with the Walter and Duncan Gordon Charitable Foundation, she led and founded "Our Voices," a collective of northern Indigenous emerging leaders and is incredibly passionate about supporting youth and emerging leaders in the North and beyond. Regional Chief Adamek currently holds the AFN National Portfolios for Climate Change and the Environment, Youth and Modern Treaties. She continues to press for changes in the ways young people and the next generation are included in decision making forums, and she is committed to advancing solutions and approaching leadership from a place of values.
Linda Coady is executive director of the Pembina Institute, one of Canada’s leading non-profit think tanks on energy, climate, and environmental issues. Prior to joining the Pembina Institute, Linda was chief sustainability officer for Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. (2013-2019), vice-president of sustainability for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, vice-president of the pacific region for World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada), and vice-president of environmental affairs for the BC coastal operations of forest companies Weyerhaeuser and MacMillan Bloedel. Like Pembina, Linda has a strong background in building working relationships across diverse groups and perspectives on sustainable development challenges. She has served on several special advisory groups to different levels of government on climate and energy issues including: the Climate Leadership Advisory Panel to the Government of Alberta (2015); the Generation Energy Council (2018), and the Advisory Committee on Indigenous Economic Participation in the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (2019). Linda has taught Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, and has worked on new frameworks for sustainable finance and the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in business decision making and disclosure.
Simon Donner is an interdisciplinary climate scientist and professor in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia, where he teaches and conducts research at the intersection of climate change science and policy. He is also the director of the UBC Ocean Leaders program, and holds appointments in UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and UBC's Atmospheric Sciences Program. He has contributed over 70 publications on subjects including the ecological impacts of climate change, ocean warming, sea-level rise, climate extremes, adaptation, and international climate finance. His work is featured in international science assessments and he is currently a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report. In addition to his research and teaching, Prof. Donner has participated in hundreds of public events and media interviews, for which he was awarded a Leopold Leadership Fellowship, a Google Science Communication Fellowship and the UBC President's Award for Public Education through the Media. Originally from Toronto, Prof. Donner received a PhD in Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before joining UBC, he was a research associate at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs.
Sarah Houde is the CEO of Propulsion Québec. She spent her early career as a communications and public relations director in the private and non‑profit sectors before becoming executive director of Youth Fusion, a pan‑Canadian charity focused on youth training and employment that doubled in size in its three years under her leadership. She then joined private equity firm XPND Capital as vice president of public and government affairs, steering a number of transport electrification projects. In the fall of 2017 she was named executive director of Quebec’s new industrial cluster for electric and smart vehicles and was tasked with positioning the province as one of the sector’s global leaders. Ms. Houde holds a bachelor’s and a master’s in political science and a graduate management diploma.
An experienced leader, motivator and team builder, Gaëtan Thomas is the President and CEO of the Conseil Économique du Nouveau-Brunswick (CENB). His extensive experience is coupled with a desire to make a difference for his province in these critical times. With the objective of forming a powerful coalition with members throughout the province, he employs an inclusive approach that promotes collaboration. Through a strong, unified voice, members can come together to boost the province’s economy to new levels with concrete solutions and action. Gaëtan enjoyed a long career at NB Power, which he joined in 1982 after obtaining a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of New Brunswick. Over the years, he became Vice President of the Nuclear Division and the Distribution and Customer Service Division and subsequently served as CEO from 2010 to 2020. On five occasions, Gaëtan was named as one of the “Top 50 CEOs” by Atlantic Business Magazine. Former Chairman of the Board of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (Atlanta Centre), he is currently Vice President of the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute Board of Directors. He is married and has four daughters.
Kim Thomassin is the Executive Vice-President and Head of Investments in Québec, and Stewardship Investing, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). She has been Executive Vice-President and Head of Investments in Québec and Stewardship Investing since April 2020. She leads the teams responsible for investments in Québec, post-investment management and Espace CDPQ. She also oversees the Stewardship Investing team, whose mandate is to deploy CDPQ’s investment strategy to address climate change. She is a member of the Executive Committee and the Investment-Risk Committee, and sits on the Board of Ivanhoé Cambridge, CDPQ’s global real estate subsidiary. Prior to her current position, Ms. Thomassin held the role of Executive Vice-President, Legal Affairs and Secretariat, Compliance and Stewardship Investing. Before joining CDPQ in 2017, Ms. Thomassin was National Client Leader and Managing Partner for the Québec Region at McCarthy Tétrault. As a member of the Leadership Team, she contributed to the firm’s regional and national management while strengthening its national presence. In her 17 years at the firm, she held various important positions and specialized in project finance and acquisition transactions in the energy and infrastructure sectors. In 2018-2019, Ms. Thomassin was a member of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance.
John Wright has more than 30 years of public-sector experience, including as deputy minister of Health and deputy minister of Finance for the Government of Saskatchewan. He also served as president and CEO of several crown agencies in that province, including SaskPower, Crown Investments Corporation and Saskatchewan Government Insurance. John has served on the board of directors of the Canadian Electricity Association as well as the boards of governors for the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan. In 2018, he served on two federal advisory bodies: the Task Force on Just Transition for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities, and the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare.