President, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
Emergency Physician, Yellowknife
Dr Courtney Howard is an Emergency Physician in Yellowknife and board president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. Motivated by work on a Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) pediatric malnutrition project in Djibouti, and by climate-related health impacts on her Northern patient population, she spends approximately half of her time working at the intersection of climate change and health.
She was the first author on the 2017 and 2018 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Briefings for Canadian Policymakers as well as being the 2018 International Policy Director for the Lancet Countdown. Recently, she has been the climate policy coordinator for CODA, a global group of acute care professionals convened by the founders of Social Media and Critical Care (SMACC).
Dr Howard has been involved in policy and advocacy work on coal phase-out, active transport, plant-rich diets, integrating health impact assessments into environmental assessments, carbon pricing, and the health impacts of fracking. She led the successful campaign to have the Canadian Medical Association divest its reserves of fossil fuels and for MD-Financial to create fossil-fuel-free equity and bond funds for Canadian physicians to invest in, and is very involved in assisting medical learners in Canada and internationally to see climate change and health included in their curricula.
Dr Howard is on the steering committee of the Planetary Health Alliance and the editorial advisory board of the Lancet Planetary Health. She has sat on the boards of Ecology North, the Canadian Medical Association, and Health in Harmony, and represented CAPE on the board of the Global Climate and Health Alliance. Dr Howard has been the co-chair of the advocacy subcommittee of the WHO-Civil Society Working group on climate change and health, which co-led the recent call for G20 leaders to target a green #HealthyRecovery from COVID-19.
Dr. Howard's passion for change led her to run for the Green Party of Canada leadership in 2020. A newcomer to politics she leaves a legacy of a fact-based campaign that included innovative and researched solutions to the challenges that Canada faces.
Director, Water Program
The Gordon Foundation
Carolyn joined The Gordon Foundation in 2012 and is currently the Director of the Water Program where she works with partners across sectors in Canada’s North. This work focuses on improving freshwater stewardship through citizen engagement in decision-making and the use of the best available evidence. Carolyn is a passionate advocate for open data and is the key leader of the Mackenzie DataStream, the Atlantic DataStream, and Lake Winnipeg DataStream. These water quality databases allow communities and researchers to access important information about the health of local watersheds, such as phosphorus levels which can be used to track algal blooms.
Carolyn holds a BSc in Biology from Mount Allison University and a Master’s in Environmental Management from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.