David Runnalls is a Distinguished Fellow of IISD and the Global Fellow of the Sustainable Prosperity project and Visiting Professor of Geography at the University of Ottawa.
He served as President of IISD for eleven years before stepping down in 2010. During this period the Institute experienced an unprecedented growth in programs and budget and became one of the half dozen premier institutions of its kind in the world.
He is Chair of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, and a member of the Board of the Institute of Advanced Studies of the United Nations University. He is a member of the Advisory Council for Export Development Canada; a member of the Council for Sustainable Development Technology Canada; and a member of the Committee for the Business Network for Sustainability. He also serves on the International Sustainability Innovation Council of Switzerland (ISIS), and the Shell Report External Review Committee.
He has served as Co-Chair of the China Council Task Force on WTO and Environment. Runnalls was the Leopold Fellow at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a member of the federal External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation (EACSR). He served as Chair of the Adjudication Panel for the ALCAN Prize for Sustainability.
Runnalls has served as Senior Advisor to the President of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, Canada, and to the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. He was Director of the Environment and Sustainable Development Programme at the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Ottawa. He worked with Barbara Ward to found the International Institute for Environment and Development and directed both its London and Washington offices.
Runnalls was the Canadian Board member of IUCN-the World Conservation Union for six years and the Chair of the Committee for the World Conservation Congress in 1996. He served as a member of the Boards of the World Environment Center (New York), IIED (London) and Pollution Probe (Toronto).
An occasional writer and broadcaster, he has served as environment columnist for the CBC radio program, As it Happens and for CTV’s Canada am. He was a member of the Discovery Channel’s regular environment panel and political columnist for the Earth Times, the paper of record for the United Nations Earth Summit in 1992.