Julie Gelfand

Julie Gelfand

Distinguished Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy


Julie Gelfand is the former federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. Julie led a historic collaborative audit on climate change with the provincial Auditors Generals as well as audits on subjects such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), toxic substances, biodiversity and the federal oversight of industrial activities (mining, aquaculture, nuclear energy, pipelines).   She also worked with Auditors General from around the world to promote the SDGs.

Prior to this, Julie was the Vice President of Environment and Social Responsibility at Rio Tinto, Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) where she was a member of the Executive Team and had full responsibility for all environmental and social responsibility files.

Prior to joining IOC, Julie was Vice President, Sustainable Development at the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) from 2008 to 2011 and President of Nature Canada for from 1992 to 2008.

At MAC, Julie led the development of the mining industry’s social responsibility initiative, Towards Sustainable Mining.  Julie also led the development of the industry’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives related to how Canadian companies operate overseas.

At Nature Canada, Julie led campaigns to get new National Parks established, new laws to protect nature (including the federal Species at Risk Act) and founded and chaired the Green Budget Coalition, an alliance of twenty-two national environmental NGOs working to achieve ecological fiscal reform.

Julie has significant experience sitting on boards of directors of charitable organizations both nationally and internationally.  She is fluently bilingual, is a certified Coach and has a MBA from University of Ottawa.   She has recently been confirmed as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

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