VANCOUVER — Stephen Cornish, former executive director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières Canada, joined the David Suzuki Foundation today as chief executive officer. He succeeds Peter Robinson, who served as the Foundation’s CEO for nearly a decade, and Andrea Seale, who served as acting CEO since June.
“The impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss and toxic pollution are among the most serious issues facing our planet, and the decisions we make to address these challenges today will have a direct impact on our ability to survive and thrive into the foreseeable future,” Cornish said. “This iconic Canadian organization exists to raise awareness of these challenges, empower people to take action toward solutions in their communities and create lasting change on national and international levels, and I’m honoured to play a part.”
Cornish joins the David Suzuki Foundation after five years as executive director of MSF, where he led tremendous change. This included overseeing strategic growth by improving public recognition of MSF in Canada, growing the number of staff by 40 per cent to support field operations globally and increasing revenue-generating activities by 76 per cent. He has also held senior leadership positions with CARE Canada and the Canadian Red Cross, and was named one of the top 30 charity CEOs on social media in 2016. Cornish has been at the front lines of crises throughout the world, problem solving under intense pressure.
“Stephen is the ideal candidate to lead our Foundation into the next, vitally important chapter,” board chair Peter Ladner said. “He is a visionary leader who brings a global perspective to local problems and understands the importance of empowering people to speak up and help create change. He embodies exactly what our Foundation needs to be if we want to find real, long-lasting solutions.”
Cornish’s immediate priorities as CEO include strengthening the Foundation’s campaign for the legal right to a healthy environment in Canada, promoting community-based renewable energy projects, deepening relationships with Indigenous Peoples and protecting biodiversity.
Cornish is a board member of Youth Challenge International and an honorary board member of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. He holds a BA high honours from Carleton University and a master’s degree in global risk and crisis management from Université de la Sorbonne. He is fluent in French and Spanish.
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The David Suzuki Foundation (davidsuzuki.org) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, collaborating with all people in Canada, including government and business, to conserve the environment and find solutions that will create a sustainable Canada through evidence-based research, public engagement and policy work. The Foundation operates in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Tracey Friesen, David Suzuki Foundation | (778) 772 3401 | email@example.com