The Knowledge to Act


New Horizons for IISD President and CEO, Scott Vaughan

Share This

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and its Board of Directors announce that Scott Vaughan, our President and CEO, will be leaving the organization to become the new International Chief Advisor of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). The move is effective end-January 2019.

Over the past five and a half years, Scott has energized IISD, fostering an environment of innovation, collaboration and excellence at the world-class sustainable development think tank. While we are sad to see him go, the Board and staff would like to extend gratitude for his tireless efforts in enabling IISD’s creativity and impact to flourish.

“I speak for the entire Board when I say we are full of great respect and deep appreciation for Scott’s unwavering determination over the last five years. Thanks to his remarkable dedication, IISD stands strong, looking forward to a bright future,” said Alan Young, Chair of IISD’s Board of Directors.

During Scott’s tenure, IISD saved the Experimental Lakes Area, a one-of-a-kind Canadian research facility, from imminent shuttering. IISD now also proudly acts as the Secretariat for the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Metals, Minerals and Sustainable Development, the National Adaptation Plan Global Network—each of which has significantly bolstered IISD’s position to advance the world towards a more sustainable future.

Scott championed the SDG Knowledge Hub, one of the preeminent sources of information for the public on implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Working with staff across the globe, Scott pioneered diverse funding models and cemented the Institute’s dedication to gender equality and women’s empowerment, both internally and in every aspect of our work.

“IISD is one of the world’s leading sustainable development think tanks, and I am so proud that we continue to attract and retain the best and brightest talent. The time is right for a change, given our strategic plan renewal and the rise of a new generation of leaders,” Scott said. “I have truly looked forward to coming into the office every single morning, to be inspired by our smart, gutsy and principled team.”

As Board Chair, Alan will lead the succession planning process.

“We thank Scott sincerely for his visionary leadership, substantive contributions and the very human approach he brought to the presidency,” he said. “We wish and anticipate only the best for him in his new endeavour and look forward to working with him in future.”

About the International Institute for Sustainable Development

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an independent think tank that delivers the knowledge to act. Our mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability. Our big-picture view allows us to address the root causes of some of the greatest challenges facing our planet today – ecological destruction, social exclusion, unfair laws and economic and social rules, a changing climate. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa and Toronto, our work impacts lives in nearly 100 countries.

For more information, please contact: or +1 (613) 238 2296 ext. 114