The University of Waterloo has announced the appointment of David McLaughlin as strategic advisor on sustainability in the Faculty of Environment.
McLaughlin is the former president and CEO of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE), and is a leading public policy expert in Canada with more than 25 years of top-level experience including as a chief of staff and deputy minister at both the federal and provincial levels of government. McLaughlin headed the NRTEE from 2007 to 2013.
Prior to its disbandment in March 2013, the NRTEE was created to gather diverse and competing interests to create consensus and viable suggestions for sustainable development in Canada.
McLaughlin’s part-time role will be to promote the Faculty of Environment and School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) as Canada’s innovative centre for sustainability, policy thinking and convening. He will teach as a guest speaker and lecturer and supervise students in the areas of sustainability, public policy and governance.
“I am delighted to be joining the Waterloo team, known for its excellence and commitment to innovative public policy thinking and application in the field of sustainable development,"said McLaughlin. “There is a great need in Canada to keep bringing the environment and economy together on behalf of Canadians, and the University of Waterloo is a real leader in this field.”
McLaughlin will participate in organizing events on campus and forming partnerships with the private and public sectors, along with sustainability think tanks and environmental thought-leaders across Canada, the United States and Europe.
“As the fastest growing faculty at Waterloo we look forward to David McLaughlin being an ambassador and advocate on behalf of the Faculty of Environment and SEED,” said Professor André Roy, dean of the Faculty of Environment. “His experience and expertise will raise the profile and influence of the Faculty in public policy and sustainable development on the national scene and beyond.”
While at Waterloo, McLaughlin, who is an honorary fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, will also conduct research activities and develop material for a book on the future of sustainability policy in Canada.
McLaughlin has served in a variety of senior positions in the Government of Canada and the Government of New Brunswick, including as chief of staff to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He was deputy minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Policy and Planning, and secretary to the Cabinet Committee on Policy and Priorities in the government of Premier Bernard Lord, as well as serving as his chief of staff during the period 1999 to 2003. From 2003 to 2005 he was appointed as the deputy minister for the Commission on Legislative Democracy, charged with recommending reforms to New Brunswick’s political system. He was chief of staff to the federal Minister of Finance in 2006 and 2007, which followed an assignment with the Council of the Federation studying fiscal imbalance for Canada’s premiers.
McLaughlin is a published author and regular commentator on political and sustainability issues having been published in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Maclean's, Postmedia News, the CBC and The Huffington Post.