Associate director, programs
Kirsten Dales, MSc., in environmental management, is an expert in science-policy integration with nearly 10 years’ experience in artisanal and small-scale mining, multilateral environmental governance and global resource policy. With a strong technical background in natural science, Kirsten has served as a technical expert for the design, development and review of over 30 projects on international waters, chemicals and waste management, sustainable forests, land degradation, restoration ecology, and climate change in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, Mongolia, Russia, China, Iran, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and Madagascar. She is an emerging authority on Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM), supporting technical and resource policy issues for pre-ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), UN Environment program (UNEP) and UNESCO. She has held academic and research positions with Duke University, Dartmouth College, University of California Irvine, University of Calgary, Royal Roads University, The Asia Foundation, The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, Liu Institute for Global issues, Yale’s Center for Industrial Ecology, the African Forest Research Initiative for Conservation and Development (AFRICAD), and the University of British Columbia. Over the past 12 months, Kirsten has provided strong leadership to CIRDI’s Artisanal and Small-scale Mining portfolio and beyond, calling attention to issues related to environmental justice, gender equality, indigenous resource rights, post-conflict resource governance and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She is currently leading CIRDI’s portfolio on ASM and pursuing a joint PhD in Mining Engineering and Anthropology. Her doctoral research focuses on science-policy implications for the Minamata Convention on Mercury to assess the impact of artisanal gold mining on river ecosystems and cultures at risk in the global south.