The Canadian Climate Institute announces Dr. Rick Smith as new President

OTTAWA, Earth Day, April 22, 2021—The Canadian Climate Institute’s Board of Directors today announced that Dr. Rick Smith will lead the Institute as President effective June 14, 2021. 

Smith, a long-time environmental and policy thought leader, will take over from founding President, Kathy Bardswick, who is making her departure after two successful years establishing the Institute as a trusted, independent source of evidence-based climate policy research and analysis. The staff and Board wish to recognize Kathy Bardswick for demonstrating strong leadership in establishing the Institute and building a solid foundation for future growth. 

Smith brings 25 years’ experience leading non-profit organizations, having spent the past eight years building the Broadbent Institute into one of the country’s most prominent policy think tanks. He holds a PhD in biology, has published widely, including co-authoring two best-selling books on the human health impacts of pollution, and has worked across the country and around the world with a wide variety of stakeholders pursuing fact-based solutions to environmental, social and economic challenges.


“I’m honoured to take on this role at a time of unprecedented momentum on climate policy within Canada and around the world. The need for progress is an urgent one: the actions we take in the decade ahead will be critical in safeguarding our ecosystems, the health and well-being of people living in Canada, and our country’s future prosperity. I very much look forward to working with the Institute staff, Board, experts and broader network to advance the best research and engage all in Canada in shaping practical climate policy solutions.”
—Dr. Rick Smith, incoming President, Canadian Climate Institute

“It has been an immense pleasure contributing to the establishment of this Institute from the ground up, alongside a stellar team of staff colleagues and guided by many of the most committed, capable climate change leaders in the country. I am proud of the Institute’s contribution to informing discussions about Canada’s public policy choices, grounded in evidence-based, inclusive, non-partisan and practical policy research. I wish Rick Smith every success as he leads the Institute forward.”  
—Kathy Bardswick, founding President, Canadian Climate Institute

“Dr. Rick Smith is a seasoned and strategic leader and we enthusiastically welcome him into the Institute. Rick’s experience will be instrumental as we embark on important new work to inform and equip governments, industry leaders and other diverse stakeholders across the country with evidence-based perspectives on climate policy priorities. We also thank Kathy Bardswick for her incredible dedication and leadership in establishing the Institute, and we look forward to continuing to work together in the climate and clean growth policy space.”
—Peter Nicholson, Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Climate Institute


Catharine Tunnacliffe
Director of Communications
(226) 212-9883