The Advisory Council offers wise counsel on strategic opportunities for the School of Environmental Studies. Composed of experienced professionals from private, public and non-profit sectors, the Council meets twice a year.
Robert (Rob) Abbott
Founder & CEO, Abbott Strategies, Victoria
As the Founder and CEO at Abbott Strategies, a boutique strategy and sustainability consultancy he founded in 1997, Rob works with senior executives and their teams across a wide range of industries nationally and internationally. He is also a trusted advisor to government agencies, NGOs, and academia. At other points in his career, Rob has served as Director of Sustainability at Stratos; Calgary Practice Leader, Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, at Deloitte and Touche; Director of Strategic Environmental Management at Golder Associates; and Principal & Practice Leader of Environmental Excellence & Sustainability at Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers). Rob has taught economics, business, and policy analysis at the University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University, and Royal Roads University, and been a visiting professor and guest lecturer at several other colleges and universities globally. He has published two books, Conscious Endeavors: Essays on Business, Society and the Journey to Sustainability (2009) and Uncommon Cents: Thoreau and the Nature of Business (2008), and is a frequent media commentator on sustainability and green economy issues. He holds a PhD in Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University, an MA in Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto, and a BA in Geography from the University of Victoria.
Principal, The Pinch Group, Victoria
Frank heads The Pinch Group, a member firm of Raymond James Ltd. The Victoria-based investment advisory practice focuses on socially and environmentally responsible investment solutions for both individuals and institutions. Founded by Brian Pinch, a now retired investment planner who was one of the early practitioners of SRI in the Greater Victoria Area, Pinch Group specializes in showing clients how socially responsible investing can be both profitable and helpful to the environment. Today, the firm manages more than $100 million in assets; most are in the SRI sector. Frank also serves on the board of Living Carbon Investments, the Land Trust Alliance of BC, and the Dogwood Initiative, and sits on the fundraising & communications committee of the Habitat Acquisition Trust. He holds a BSc in Environmental Studies and Mathematics from the University of Victoria.
Director, Sustainability Department, City of Victoria
Roy is Director of the City of Victoria's sustainability department, which leads a wide range of initiatives to move the City towards leadership in areas including emission and waste reduction, transformative sustainability and social well-being. Prior to joining the City in September 2011, Roy led sustainability initiatives in Canada and internationally. Most recently, he worked for the United Nations in Switzerland. He also led United Nations Environment Programme country activities in Rwanda. He holds a BA in political science from Queen's University and an MPhil in Geography (Environment and Development) from Cambridge University.
Conrad G. Brunk
Professor Emeritus, University of Victoria
Conrad Brunk is Professor (Emeritus) of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, and former Director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at UVic. His areas of research and teaching include ethical aspects of environmental and health risk management, risk perception and communication, value aspects of science in public policy, and philosophy of religion.
Dr. Brunk is a regular consultant to the Canadian government and international organizations on environmental and health risk management and biotechnology. He was a member of the Environment Canada/Health Canada Chemical Advisory Committee, and Vice-President of the Science Advisory Board of Agriculture Canada. He served as Co-Chair of the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on the Future of Food Biotechnology, and as a member of the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee. He is a founding member of the International Forum for TSE and Food Safety and served on the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panels on Nanotechnology and on Integrated Testing of Chemical Pesticides. He is a member of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Expert Advisory Committee.
He is co-author of Value Assumptions in Risk Assessment, a book exploring how moral and political values influence scientific judgments about technological risks. He has co-edited several other books, including The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation, Acceptable Genes, and Designer Animals. He has authored numerous articles in journals and books on ethical issues in technology, the environment, law, religion, and professional practice. Professor Brunk holds a PhD in Philosophy from Northwestern University.
Program Director, Environmental Law Centre, University of Victoria
Deborah Curran has a decade of experience working in the areas of smart growth land development and urban sustainability. She provides legal advice to local governments and community organizations interested in implementing smart growth.
Deborah is also the Hakai Professor in Environmental Law and Sustainability at the University of Victoria. She facilitates a unique field course in environmental law in the Central Coast at the Hakai Beach Research Institute on Calvert Island. As a Program Director with the Environmental Law Centre at UVic, she supervises students working on environmental law projects for community organizations and First Nations, and administers the ELC Associates Program for lawyers across the province.
Deborah is a co-founder of Smart Growth BC and served as the president of the board for five years. Deborah has served on a number of ad hoc committees advising on projects, including for the Greater Vancouver Regional District, Evergreen Canada, and the Victoria Foundation. She is a past member of the City of Victoria Advisory Planning Commission.
Deborah received a B.A. (Hons.) from Trent University, an LL.B. from the University of Victoria, and an LL.M. from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.
Arthur (Art) Hanson, O.C.
Distinguished Fellow, Institute for Sustainable Development (resides in Victoria)
Following seven years as President and CEO, Art is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). In this role, he provides initial guidance, conducts research, and offers advisory services on innovation for sustainable development, environment and economy relationships, biodiversity, oceans, and international development to a number of organizations around the world. Previously, Art was Professor and Director of the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University. Prior to that, he worked with the Ford Foundation in Indonesia. He served two terms on Canada’s National Round Table on the Environment and Economy (NRTEE) and was Canada’s Ministerial Ocean Ambassador with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for four years. Dr. Hanson served for ten years as a member of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and as a Mentor in the Trudeau Foundation. He has provided advice to the Office of the Auditor General of Canada since 1990 and has chaired various national and international initiatives. He initiated several major international development activities in Southeast Asia, and currently is a Member and Lead Expert of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). He is currently chairing a Working Party on Biotechnology, Sustainable Development and Canada’s Future Economy for the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and holds a BSc in Geography from the University of Victoria and an MSc degree in Zoology/Fisheries from the University of British Columbia, and a PhD from the University of Michigan in Fisheries Ecology and Natural Resources.
Gerard (Ged) McLean
Director, Fuel Cell, BIC Inc., Vancouver
Ged spent 12 years as a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Victoria, including four years as Director of the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems. In 2002, he founded Angstrom Power. Now owned by BIC Inc., Angstrom developed micro hydrogen fuel cell technology for portable power applications, including novel fuel cell architectures, hydrogen storage components, hydrogen generation systems and microfluidic controls. BIC is now developing accessory products for handheld portable electronics including smart phones, tablet computers cameras, and industrial devices. Ged has extensive experience in PEM fuel cell systems design, with over 50 patents and applications for inventions in stack topology, manufacturing and manifolding. He holds BSc, MSc, and PhD degrees in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
Principal, Christine Lintott Architect, Victoria
In the fall of 2009, Christine established her own architectural firm following 17 years at Merrick Architecture earning her credential under the mentorship of Paul Merrick. She is committed to developing a small-scale, resilient practice devoted to architectural work that incorporates green building practices. A LEED Accredited Professional and BuiltGreen Builder, Christine is currently seeking her Registered Specifications Writer designation with the intent of crafting project specifications that respond more specifically to the green building industry. She is the Victoria coordinator of (and mentor for) the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Syllabus Program and is a past board member of the Cascadia Green Building Council. Christine holds a BA in Art History and Geography, and a MArch, both from the University of British Columbia, and is completing a Certificate in Urban Agriculture through the University of Guelph.
Co-owner, Sooke Harbour House, Sooke
Since 1979, Sinclair has co-owned the Sooke Harbour House, a hotel and restaurant just outside Victoria renowned for serving local, seasonal, wild foods, and the foods of the region’s indigenous peoples. The inn has also been the recipient of several awards for sustainability, including Four Green Leaf Status from Audubon International, the highest eco-rating in British Columbia for a hotel. Sinclair is also the co-founder of the Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands Slow Food Convivium and a co-founder of Slow Food Canada. He is presently a member of the Canadian National Slow Food Board, and has been the Canadian representative to the International Slow Food Board in Italy for the last nine years. An active supporter of the Slow Food University, his restaurant has presented Canadian dinners in the framework of Salone del Gusto in Italy. He has also written several articles for the Slow Food Canada journal and was awarded honourary status in the Confrérie du porc noir de Bigorre in 2006 in France with Carlo Petrini. Sinclair is a board member of the Southern Vancouver Mycological Society and specializes in edible mushrooms and their cuisine, and he is knowledgeable of the edible seaweeds of Vancouver Island. He was one of the very first recipients of the Nation’s Table Award from the Governor General of Canada. Sinclair received his PhD from the University of Grenoble, and holds post-graduate degrees in Political Science and Economics.
Director of the Junior School at St. Michaels University School
Nancy is a life-long educator with almost 30 years’ experience of teaching and administration in Canadian schools. She currently holds the position of Director of the Junior School at St. Michaels University School, an independent day and boarding school in Victoria. In this role she is the instructional and operational leader of the school and is responsible for curriculum development, school-wide strategic planning, admissions, finance and fundraising. Prior to her time at St. Michaels, Nancy was Vice-Principal (K-12) and Head of the Junior School (JK-6) at Havergal College in Toronto. Nancy completed her Master of Education at the University of Toronto with a specialization in special education and curriculum. Also a life-long learner and an innovator in education, she sits on a broad range of school committees and practices continuous professional development. She is also the Chair of Education and Operations Committee for the Board of Directors of the Children’s Museum of Victoria Association.
Chief Representative, Gowlings International, Beijing
As the chief representative of the Beijing office of Gowlings International, Clark serves as the Canadian law firm’s liaison for clients and prospective clients in China who are interested or engaged in cross-border trade, investment, and other Canada-China business opportunities. His practice focuses on a broad range of corporate transactions and regulatory compliance matters particularly in the areas of mining, oil and gas, and intellectual property. He advises Canadian and international clients on a diverse range of matters including acquisitions and divestitures, resource development issues and government regulatory affairs. Clark is a former partner of Gowlings’ Vancouver office where he advised clients on strategic government relations and public policy. Previously, Clark was general counsel to the B.C. Liberal Caucus and worked for an international law firm in Taiwan, specializing in corporate commercial law and financial services. He holds a BA in Communications from Simon Fraser University and an LLB from McGill University.
Asset Manager at Nature's Path Foods Inc.
Gurdeep Stephens is the Asset Manager at Nature’s Path Foods Inc. and a licensed realtor. She was born and raised in Vancouver, but moved to the States to obtain her BA and MA at the University of Chicago in Biology and Biopsychology, co-authoring a scientific article as an undergraduate. She then spent a year doing doctoral studies in Developmental Neurobiology at the University of Barcelona.
Gurdeep also sings professionally and has performed around Europe and made several recordings. During her time in Europe, Gurdeep spent several years developing the export market for Nature’s Path’s organic breakfast food.
She is passionate about conservation, sustainable agriculture and food security. The principles of sustainability and restoration are guiding principles in Gurdeep’s real estate practice.
Climate Action Program Manager, Capital Regional District, Victoria
Sarah Webb has been a sustainability strategist for more than a decade. She heads up the CRD's Climate Action service, which supports 13 local governments and 3 electoral areas in developing and implementing emissions reduction and climate adaptation strategies. Her previous professional experience includes the University of Victoria Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability, the Ministry of Advanced Education, the Canadian Urban Transit Association, and the Centre for Urban Innovation. Sarah is currently an instructor at Royal Roads University in the Energy and Carbon Leadership Certificate Program. She volunteers on the granting council with the Victoria Foundation, is chair of The Victoria Car Share Co-op Board, and is a Director with Bike to Work Victoria. She holds a BSc in Environmental Studies and Biology from the University of Victoria and is a Certified Sustainability Professional.