Canadian Man and the Biosphere Committee Members

Maureen G. Reed, Chair

Maureen G. Reed  is currently Professor and Assistant Director, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan. Her research specializations are social resilience, community-based ecosystem management, environmental governance, rural community sustainability, and gender-based analysis. Professor Reed is particularly passionate about social and equity dimensions of environmental and land use policies as they affect rural places. She also served as Deputy Chair on the Canadian Man and Biosphere Committee during the last six years. Ms. Reed has worked tirelessly to strengthen the international scientific network of Biosphere Reserves by participating in events such as EuroMAB and the World Congress of Biosphere Reserves. One of her key contributions included leading the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)-funded project on ‘‘Creating Networking and Social Learning Strategies in Canadian Biosphere Reserves’’. More recently, Ms. Reed has worked to raise public awareness through other media as Executive Producer of the 8-part documentary series, Striking Balance, and as the author of the accompanying e-book, Sustaining Home, which was published to supplement the documentary.

Larry McDermott, Co-Chair

Larry McDermott is the Executive Director of Plenty Canada, a non-profit organization devoted to environmental protection and healthy communities. Plenty Canada facilitates access to, and shares resources with, Indigenous Peoples and other community groups around the world, in support of their environmental protection and sustainable development goals. As a member of Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, Mr. McDermott served as an Ontario municipal politician for 28 years, including occupying the position of the first-ever national Rural Chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). Mr. McDermott is the Co-chair of the Canadian Environmental Network Biodiversity Caucus and has served as a commissioner for the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He seats as well on the Indigenous Working Circle, which is related to the Canadian MAB network.

Debbie Pella Keen

Debbie Pella Keen was the Director of the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the convenor of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve, during the last three years (2012-2016) (now retired). She also worked for the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) as a district manager (2009-2012), and led teams that delivered sustainable development programs, ensuring conservation of biodiversity, providing education and awareness in environmental and natural resource management and built capacity with various partners (e.g., Ontario Nature, Ducks Unlimited, Eastern Habitat Joint Venture, Canada Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes) in the delivery of these programs.

Rebecca Hurwitz.

Rebecca Hurwitz (BA, MA) is the Executive Director of the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) and Vice Chair of the Canadian Biosphere Reserve Association (CBRA). She has been a member of CBT since 2005, the organization responsible for the spirit and intent of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC. Ms. Hurwitz uses a model of participatory leadership and consensus decision-making in working with both Board and staff. Her master’s thesis in Conflict Analysis and Management, including her certificate in Non-profit Management, provides an excellent foundation for her work. She strives to cultivate collaboration and partnerships in a region with diverse voices and interests.

Sébastien Goupil

Sébastien Goupil is the Secretary General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Prior to joining the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Sébastien Goupil worked for over 12 years in the federal public service, mostly as a leader in policy development. He also spent two years outside the federal government, including as Senior Advisor to Montfort Hospital’s CEO. His most recent position was Acting Corporate Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Librarian and Archivist of Canada at Library and Archives Canada. Between 2010 and 2014, Sébastien was the first man to sit on the executive committee of Status of Women Canada, including as Director General of Policy and External Relations. In this position, he led policy development, research, intergovernmental affairs and international relations.