The David Suzuki Foundation has named its top candidate for the executive director as an environmentalist, speaker and author Severn Cullis-Suzuki. Cullis-Suzuki is an activist with an academic background in evolutionary biology and ethnoecology and currently resides in Haida Gwaii, where she is completing a Ph.D. in linguistic anthropology on the Haida language.
She is the daughter of environmental activist David Suzuki and has been active in climate advocacy since childhood (some might even describe her as the Greta Thunberg of her generation). She made headlines first as a twelve-year-old attending the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro in 1992, addressing the delegates with a call for better environmental policy, a speech that would go on to be a ‘viral hit’ long before the existence of YouTube. In 2019, she helped welcome Thunberg to Vancouver as a part of the #FridaysForFuture climate strike.
She has been busy with her academic life and involvement with the Foundation as a volunteer in recent years and will be taking the reins from Foundation CEO Stephen Cornish effective September 2021.
Cullis-Suzuki looks ahead to the 2020’s as an extremely important time for the Foundation’s work, and she is urgently is looking to find solutions to Canadian sustainability issues through policy work and public engagement.
“COVID-19 has awakened societies to the reality that nature is the bottom line, that science and expertise are crucial to our survival, that we are all connected and that each of our actions matter.” She says. “These are all tenets of the Foundation, and reasons why this organization will play a critical role in advancing our transformation to an economy characterized by clean energy, justice and strong ecosystems.”
“Severn embodies what our Foundation is all about: the best science and environmental expertise communicated creatively and compellingly with passion, inspiring action toward a better world,” says Foundation board chair Margot Young. Without any doubt, the David Suzuki Foundation will be in good hands thanks to Cullis-Suzuki’s passionate approach towards activism.
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