Board of Directors

The David Suzuki Foundation is governed by an exceptional volunteer board of directors. Their considerable knowledge and expertise from a wide range of backgrounds, including education, public engagement, law, finance, business, economics, environment and social justice, guides the strategic direction of the Foundation. In addition to considerable time commitments, our board members contribute financially to the Foundation. A summary of each board member's expertise and background is presented below.

Dr. Tara Cullis, President and Co-Founder

tara-cullis.jpgAn award-winning writer and former faculty member of Harvard University, Dr. Cullis is president and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. She has been a key player in environmental movements in the Amazon, Southeast Asia, and British Columbia. She was a founder of the Turning Point Initiative of Coastal First Nations in BC (now known as the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative) which links the First Nations of the Central and North Coast of British Columbia into an historic alliance, protecting the ecology of the region known as the Great Bear Rainforest. Tara has been adopted and named by the Haida, the Gitga'at, the Heiltsuk and the Nam'gis First Nations.

An active campaigner and remarkable organizer, Tara founded or co-founded nine organizations before starting the David Suzuki Foundation in 1990.

Peter Ladner, Chair

Peter LadnerPeter Ladner is a former politician and business owner who lives in Vancouver, B.C.

His book, The Urban Food Revolution, Changing the Way We Feed Cities, was published in October, 2011 by New Society Publishers.

A frequent public speaker, he also writes a regular column for Business in Vancouver newspaper and is a frequent media commentator on civic issues.

From 2010-2013 he was a Fellow at the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue, teaching, researching and hosting public events around the theme Planning Cities as if Food Matters.

He was first elected to Vancouver City Council in 2002, was re-elected in 2005 and ran for mayor in 2008. He is a former member of the TransLink Board, and was vice chair of the Metro Vancouver Board.

As a city councilor, he worked with the Vancouver Food Policy Council in initiating the city's program to add 2,010 food-producing community garden plots by 2010.
Peter has been the publisher, president and part owner of the Business in Vancouver Media Group, which he co-founded in 1989. In 1999 he was a category finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

He is chair to the board of The Natural Step Canada. He previously served on the boards of the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society, Leadership Vancouver, the International Centre for Sustainable Cities, the University of British Columbia Alumni Association, New Media BC, the International Association of Area Business Publications, and the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs.

He has a B.A. from UBC and did graduate work at the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning.

James Hoggan (Past Chair)

Jim-Hoggan.jpgJames (Jim) Hoggan is one of Canada's most respected public relations advisers. As founder and president of Vancouver-based Hoggan & Associates, Hoggan is the guy companies big and small call when a serious PR crisis hits. Whether it's a food-poisoning incident, bank fraud, Taser death, court case or scandal, he has helped people and corporations navigate through the glare of TV lights, tough news interviews, social media scrutiny and front-page investigations. Over three decades, Hoggan & Associates has built a reputation for helping clients manage risk and survive crisis situations. Hoggan has also won numerous awards for his work.

He is equally well-known as a tireless advocate for honesty, ethics and integrity in public relations. He founded the influential website DeSmogBlog to expose misinformation campaigns polluting the public debate around climate change and the environment. He has written three books on the topic of integrity in public communication. His most recent, I'm Right and You're an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It Up, is set for release in early 2016.

Hoggan has been called to assist a wide range of organizations, including Shell Global's External Review Committee, Al Gore's Climate Project Canada, Canadian Pacific Railway, the Dalai Lama Center, the B.C. Law Society, Vancouver Canucks and the B.C. Treaty Commission. In addition to his ongoing role as president of Hoggan & Associates, Hoggan is the secretary of the Board of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Elaine A. Wong, Treasurer

Elaine WongElaine Wong, one of WXN's Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada in 2010, is a former executive vice-president of Westport Innovations Inc., a publicly traded, Vancouver-based company. Elaine joined Westport in 2001 as director of corporate performance and was the company's chief financial officer from 2003 to 2009. From 2010 to 2014, Elaine was involved in a number of strategic projects and ran one of Westport's largest business units. Before joining Westport, Elaine worked in a variety of roles for TELUS Enterprise Solutions where she was involved in strategy, planning, mergers and acquisitions and other corporate development projects. She was a member of the boards of directors of Cummins Westport from 2005 to 2012 and Canadian Business for Social Responsibility from 2002 to 2009. She currently sits on CPA Canada's Sustainability Advisory Board. Elaine has her chartered accountant (1993) and certified public accountant (Illinois 2001) designations, as well as a bachelor of commerce degree with honours (1990) from the University of British Columbia. Elaine joined the David Suzuki Foundation Board in 2009. She is the treasurer and chairs the finance and audit and investment committees.

Pauline D'Amboise

Pauline D'AmboiseMs. D'Amboise is Secretary General and Vice-President Governance and Social Responsibility, for the Desjardins Group, the largest cooperative financial group in Canada, and the 5th worldwide. She is responsible for coordinating the development, implementation and improvement of governance, organizational ethics, cooperation and sustainable development programs. Pauline has an M.A. in Applied Ethics from the Université de Sherbrooke and and has graduated in 2013 from Laval University as Administrateur de sociétés certifies (ASC). In 2012, Pauline has been designated «Sustainable Development Ambassador» by the Université de Sherbrooke and one of the «Top 25 Women of Influence in Canada» by WOI Magazine. In 2015, she was nominated as one of the «Clean50 Leaders in Canada» by Delta Group Management and in 2016, she received the Women of Distinction Awards by the Y Foundation of Montreal (Environment Category). She has a wealth of expertise in the areas of corporate governance, organisational ethics and corporate social responsibility. Pauline is a trained climate change presenter for The Climate Project and a speaker in Quebec and Europe. She chairs the «Hydro Québec Environment, Development et Society Institute» of Laval University and is a board member of Coop Carbone and a member of the advisory council of Quebec SWITCH Alliance. Pauline joined the David Suzuki Foundation Board in 2010.

Dr. Sarika Cullis-Suzuki

Sarika Cullis-SuzukiSarika Cullis-Suzuki is passionate about oceans, fish and the conservation of biodiversity. Her research in marine conservation has taken her from French Polynesia to the Gulf of Mexico. She completed her PhD at the University of York, UK, with Callum Roberts, where she investigated the effects of boat noise on a singing fish found off Canada's west coast. Her MSc on global fisheries with Daniel Pauly at UBC culminated in a speech at the United Nations on the state of high seas fish stocks. Away from academia, Sarika writes and works in environmental media, hoping to inspire viewers and listeners to effect change. She is currently a visiting scientist at Ocean Networks Canada at the University of Victoria. Sarika joined the David Suzuki Foundation Board in 2011.

Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Vice-Chair, BC

Severn Cullis-SuzukiSevern Cullis-Suzuki, Culture and environment activist and writer.

Cullis-Suzuki is host of the APTN TV series Samaqan Water Stories, board member of the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society and the David Suzuki Foundation, and council member of Earth Charter International. She has been an activist for intergenerational justice her whole life.

Deeply concerned about the environment as a child, she started the Environmental Children's Organization with friends in Grade 5, which culminated a few years later in a speech to the UN Earth Summit in 1992 when she was 12. As a youth, Cullis-Suzuki continued to advocate for future generations, earning UNEP's Global 500 award, and travelling extensively to speak about the legacy of our destructive time, and about returning to our deepest human values and human scales.

Cullis-Suzuki has spearheaded many projects, including Powershift 2000, a cycling trip across Canada for clean air and climate change awareness, and the Recognition of Responsibility pledge, brought to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg 2002. She returned to Rio for the UN Rio+20 conference as a Champion for We Canada in 2012.

In Japan she is an advocate for the slow movement and the post-Fukushima Million Mothers Movement, and has collaborated with the Sloth Club on four speaking tours. She is an Action Canada Fellow (2004-05), and co-editor for the book Notes from Canada's Young Activists (Greystone, 2007).

She holds a B.Sc. in biology from Yale University, and an M.Sc. in ethnoecology from the University of Victoria, where she studied with elders from Kwakwaka'wakw First Nations. Today she is focused on the nexus of decline in diversity of worldviews, biodiversity, economies, language, traditional knowledge and identity.

Cullis-Suzuki lives on the archipelago of Haida Gwaii off the coast of British Columbia, where she is studying the Haida language (Skidegate dialect) with her husband and two sons.

Dr. Samantha Nutt

Dr. Samantha NuttSamantha Nutt is an award-winning humanitarian, bestselling author and acclaimed public speaker. A medical doctor and a founder of the renowned international humanitarian organization War Child, Dr Nutt has worked with children and their families at the frontline of many of the world's major crises — from Iraq to Afghanistan, Somalia to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone to Darfur, Sudan. A leading authority on current affairs, war, international aid and foreign policy, Dr Nutt is one of the most intrepid and recognized voices in the humanitarian arena. With a career that has spanned more than two decades and dozens of conflict zones, her international work has benefited many thousands of war-affected children globally.

Samantha is the author of the critically-acclaimed book Dammed Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies and Aid, which was a #1 bestseller in Canada. Her work on behalf of war-affected communities around the world has been widely recognized. Samantha is a recipient of Canada's Top 40 under 40 Award (Globe and Mail) and has been featured by Time Magazine as one of "Canada's Five Leading Activists." She received the Order of Ontario in 2010, and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2011, for her contributions to improving the plight of young people in the world's worst conflict zones. Dr. Samantha Nutt is a staff physician at Women's College Hospital in Toronto and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Samantha joined the David Suzuki Foundation Board in 2009.

Miles G. Richardson

Miles RichardsonMiles G. Richardson is a citizen of the Haida Nation and Canada. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Victoria in 1979. From 1984 to 1996, he served as President of the Haida Nation.

Mr. Richardson was a member of the British Columbia Claims Task Force, which, in June of 1991, made recommendations to the Governments of Canada, British Columbia, and First Nations in BC on a mutually agreed process to conduct Treaty negotiations to build a New Relationship and define what the New Relationship should include.

From 1991 to 1993, Mr. Richardson was a member of the First Nations Summit Task Group, which is an executive body representing First Nations in BC. In October 1995, Mr. Richardson was nominated by the Summit and appointed as a Commissioner to the BC Treaty Commission. He was elected to a second term in April 1997. In November 1998, he was chosen as Chief Commissioner by agreement of Canada, BC and the First Nations Summit for a three-year term and was reappointed in November 2001.

In 2007, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Currently, Mr. Richardson owns and operates his own business providing strategic advice on relationship building and business development between First Nations and the private sector; First Nations governance development in partnership with the Institute on Governance; and Sustainability policy and business development.

Mr. Richardson is one of the original members of the David Suzuki Foundation and has been a board member since 1992. He is also a member of the Program Committee.

John Ruffolo, Vice-Chair, Ontario

John RuffoloMr. Ruffolo is the Chief Executive Officer of OMERS Ventures, the venture arm of OMERS, one of Canada's leading pension funds. OMERS Ventures invests in early to late stage companies in the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications sectors. In addition, he is also the Executive Managing Director with OMERS Platform Investments, the innovation investing arm of OMERS.

Mr. Ruffolo serves as a board member of both Hootsuite and D2L (Desire2Learn). He is the Chairman of OMERS Energy and serves on the Member Council of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). John is the co-founder and Vice-Chair of the Council of Canadian Innovators. He also serves as a board member of OneEleven and Communitech, respectively, both leading innovation hubs in Canada. John is the Vice-Chair of the David Suzuki Foundation and is a board member of Canadians for Clean Prosperity and The Next Big Thing Foundation. He is a member of the Toronto chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization.

Prior to joining OMERS Ventures, Mr. Ruffolo was a Partner at Deloitte, as well as the Global Thought Leader, the Global Tax Leader and the Canadian Industry Leader for Deloitte's Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) practice. He was also a member of the firm's Tax and TMT Global Leadership teams and a member of Deloitte's Board of Directors.

A chartered accountant, Mr. Ruffolo was formerly a partner with Arthur Andersen LLP and has also spent time as an instructor for both the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and York University's Schulich School of Business, from which he holds a Bachelor of Business Administration.

Dr. David Schindler

David Schindler Killam Memorial Chair and Professor of Ecology (Emeritus)
Dept. of Biological Sciences
University of Alberta, Edmonton

David Schindler received his doctorate at Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career as an assistant professor at Trent University (1966-1968). He then joined the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, founding and directing the internationally renowned Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) in northwestern Ontario, where the impacts of pollutants can be studied in whole ecosystems. Schindler's work with eutrophication and acid rain at the ELA has been the basis for environmental policy in Canada, the USA and Europe. He left ELA in 1989 to take the University of Alberta's Killam Memorial Chair in Ecology. Schindler has served as president of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, and as Canadian National Representative to the International Limnological Society. He is the author of 335 scientific publications, which have been cited over 29,000 times.

Schindler chaired the International Joint Commission's Expert Panel on Ecology and Biogeochemistry (1975-1978), and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Atmosphere and the Biosphere (1979-1981). He was a member of the review panel for the Alberta Pacific pulp mill (1989-90), the Science Advisory Panel of the Northern River Basins Study (1991-1996), Environment Canada's Science and Technology Advisory Board (1998-2001), Sweden's review of eutrophication management in the Baltic Sea (2005-2006) and Alberta's Environmental Protection Commission (2005-2008). He was a member of the 2009 and 2012 Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy's panels on Northwest Territories and Alberta water issues.

Schindler's international awards include the GE Hutchinson Medal of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), the Naumann-Thienemann Medal of the International Limnological Society, the first Stockholm Water Prize (2001), the Volvo Environment Prize (1998), the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2006), the International Society of Conservation Biology's LaRoe Prize (2010), and Natureserve's Conservation Award (2015). In Canada, he received the 2001 Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal, Canada's highest honour for science and engineering. In May 2009, he received the Royal Canadian Institute's Sandford Fleming Medal for public communication of science. In May 2011, he received the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution's President's Award. He has been named by Alberta Venture as one of the 50 most influential Albertans for three years, most recently in 2011.

Schindler is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Royal Society of London, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a foreign fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He has received 14 honorary doctorates from Canadian and U.S. universities. He is an Officer in the Order of Canada and a founding member of the International Water Academy. In 2008, he was appointed to the Alberta Order of Excellence. Trent University has recently named an endowed professorship in aquatic sciences after him, and ASLO has named its young investigator's award the Yensch-Schindler award.

Schindler has worked periodically on the Athabasca River and Peace-Athabasca Delta since 1973. His studies in 2008, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that the oil sands industry is contributing to the contaminant burden of the Athabasca River, contrary to the claims of industry and government. As a result, monitoring of the river has been upgraded, and more stringent management of the oil sands industry is occurring.

Margot Young, Secretary

MargotMargot Young is professor in the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. After studying at UBC, the University of Toronto and the University of California, Berkeley, Young began her teaching career in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria. In 1992, she moved to UBC.

Young teaches in the areas of constitutional and social justice law. She is faculty adviser for the Social Justice Specialty at the law school and has organized the Law and Society Speakers Series for close to a decade. She is in her third term as chair of the university-wide Faculty Association Status of Women Committee. She is a research associate with Green College, the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies and the Centre for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC.

Young's research interests focus on equality law and theory, women's economic equality, urban theory and local housing politics and rights. She is also working on the intersections between environmental justice, social justice, feminism and human rights. Young was co-editor of the collection Poverty: Rights, Social Citizenship and Legal Activism and was recently co-principal investigator of the Housing Justice Project ( She is widely published in a variety of journals and books.

Young is a member of the editorial boards of the Canadian Journal of Women and Law, the Review of Constitutional Studies and Studies in Housing Law and is on the advisory board of the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice.

She is active in a variety of professional and community organizations. She sits on the boards for Justice for Girls and the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice. She is research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, B.C. office. Young works with provincial and national women's equality groups during United Nation committees' periodic reviews of Canada's human rights record, travelling as an NGO representative to these meetings in New York and Geneva. More specifically, she works with the BC CEDAW Group and the Feminist Alliance for International Action.

Young is a frequent commentator in the media on a variety of issues to do with social justice and socio-economic rights issues. Interviews include local, national and international print, television and radio coverage of key constitutional, equality and civil liberties issues.

In Memory of Jim Fulton, Executive Director (1993-2004)

When Jim first stormed into the tiny office that contained this then-fledgling foundation, he injected an air of energy, of possibility and, often most important, of bonhomie, that came to define the DSF. With Jim in the room, there was always a sense that, whatever we did, things would probably turn out for the better.

The David Suzuki Foundation is, today, the most influential environmental organization in the country — one of the most influential on the continent — and this is in large part due to Jim's legacy of credible, compelling and unquestionably intelligent policy analysis and advice. It's a legacy that will continue to serve this organization as we seek to serve all Canadians and, through the pursuit of sustainability, all the citizens of the world.

On behalf of those people — all the beneficiaries in all the years to come — the Board of Directors of the David Suzuki Foundation would like to say that we are deeply grateful: we are thankful to have called Jim Fulton a friend and colleague, grateful for his leadership and, perhaps above all, hopeful that his legacy will help guide us into a more truly sustainable future.