About the Kinross Chair Position in Environmental Governance

Funded by a generous endowment from the Kinross Gold Corporation, the Chair in Environmental Governance will be held by an established contributor to the governance of the environment and natural resources in Canada or abroad, who will bring extensive experience, professional expertise and/or scholarly excellence to campus for a period of approximately four to six months to share existing knowledge and develop opportunities for further knowledge creation. Unlike traditional chairs, this is a unique Knowledge Exchange Chair with the intent of bringing high profile experts to campus and enriching intellectual conversations both on and off campus.

The Chairs in Environmental Governance bring expertise which normally does not reside on campus to the University of Guelph environment:

  • Into our classrooms
  • Enhancing and deepening the University’s research agenda
  • Establishing networks with new partners
  • Enabling the University to take Guelph research into the community and put it to use


The term governance refers to the structures, functions, processes and actions through which societies and organizations make decisions, are accountable to and relate to their stakeholders and society more broadly, and how they exercise power. Environmental governance is about how society sees the environment and how key actors take decisions that affect the environment and discharge accountabilities at all levels of society – international, regional, national, sub-national, local/community – in the interest of the environment, and in the context of other societal objectives – social, cultural and economic.

Today environmental governance has moved beyond the realm of government responsibility and action alone to encompass direct accountability and actions taken by aboriginal groups, business, communities, not-for-profit organizations and citizens. This has led to a growing demand in the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, for people with the knowledge and experience needed to develop and implement policies, campaigns, strategies and other governance instruments and tools to contribute to greater environmental well-being and sustainability. While curriculum and research around the phenomenon of environmental governance is quickly emerging, students and faculty can further benefit from securing knowledge from professionals who regularly contribute to the contemporary governance of the environment and natural resources.

Linking to a groundbreaking interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts major in Environmental Governance and the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute, the Kinross Chair provides leadership around the processes of and mechanisms involved in environmental governance, the challenges and innovations in the field, and emerging societal concerns.

For further information contact:

Dr. Belinda Leach,  Associate Dean (Research, and Graduate Studies)
Office of the Dean, College of Social and Applied Human Sciences
Room 105, Macdonald Institute,
University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1.
Email: csahsadr@uoguelph.ca  Phone: 519 824 4120 ex. 52699