UNEP Executive Directors

Elizabeth (Liz) Dowdeswell

Liz Dowdeswell is the President & CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies, an organization that provides independent evidence-based scientific assessment of matters of public policy. She has served as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program and Undersecretary General of the United Nations. Her work as the founding President & CEO of Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) resulted in a government decision on the long term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel.

As Assistant Deputy Minister of Environment Canada she was responsible for the national weather and atmospheric agency, including negotiating the Framework Convention on Climate Change. She has led a number of public inquiries into politically sensitive issues such as Canada’s unemployment benefits program and federal water policy. Her early career included terms as Deputy Minister of Culture and Youth for the Province of Saskatchewan, educational consultant, university lecturer and high-school teacher. She is a Director on the Boards of several corporations and contributes in an advisory capacity to a number of Canadian and international not-for-profit organizations.