The Pembina Institute names new executive directorLong-time climate advocate Chris Severson-Baker to head Canada’s leading clean energy think-tank

Aug. 10, 2022

A photo of Chris Severson-Baker, Executive Director of the Pembina Institute

CALGARY — Chris Severson-Baker has been named the new executive director of the Pembina Institute, succeeding Linda Coady, with whom Severson-Baker worked closely in advocating for accelerated action on climate change in Canada.

Severson-Baker has a long history with the Pembina Institute, most recently as senior director of the Industrial Decarbonization Group. Severson-Baker joined the organization in 1996, initiating and growing numerous climate action campaigns, including the phase out of coal power, and mapping a path to carbon-neutral oilsands. He left Pembina in 2016 to work with the Alberta Energy Regulator’s environmental sciences group before returning to the Pembina Institute in 2020.

Severson-Baker is a leading expert on responsible energy development and is widely respected for his expertise in the oil and gas and electricity sectors. His deep knowledge of the challenges inherent in sector-wide decarbonization efforts coupled with his pragmatic approach to climate solutions has led to impressive climate wins for Canada.

As executive director, Severson-Baker will increase the Pembina Institute’s impact as a leading advocate of Canada’s transition to a net-zero economy, one that initiates dialogue with all levels of government, the corporate sector and civil society to produce cross-sector support for policy recommendations that align with a clean energy future.


“I am deeply grateful to the Board of Directors for choosing me to lead the Pembina Institute. I am thrilled to be working with this team of brilliant and committed people. Pembina produces critical research and analysis on the most urgent climate issues of the day, and we bring practical policy recommendations directly to government. Canada must show up as a global leader on climate action in order to persuade the international community to act in time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. It is critical that Canada prove to the rest of the world that it will achieve its 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

“As executive director, I will work tirelessly to deliver on our mission while ensuring that our work reflects the more inclusive and equitable organization we are becoming.”

— Chris Severson-Baker, Executive Director, Pembina Institute

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am extremely pleased that Chris will be the Pembina Institute’s new executive director. His stellar reputation among a broad group of stakeholders speaks to his commitment, his depth of knowledge, and his ability to bring disparate groups to the table to collectively find solutions to the most complex challenges we face. I look forward to seeing the Pembina Institute continue to advance us toward our most immediate climate goals and beyond under Chris’s wise guidance.”

— Tom Marr-Laing, Board Chair, Pembina Institute

Quick facts

  • Founded in 1984, the name “Pembina Institute” was chosen for the Drayton Valley-based organization to recognize local roots in the Pembina oilfield along the Pembina River in Alberta.
  • The Pembina Institute has made significant contributions to the Canada’s most progressive climate policies and legislation, including the federal industrial carbon pricing system, the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, and British Columbia’s Climate Change Accountability Act, the strongest climate accountability legislation in North America.
  • The Pembina Institute continues to bring industry, government, and civil society together to build understanding and a pragmatic path for prosperity in a low-carbon economy.



Victoria Foote
Director, Communications, The Pembina Institute


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