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Chief Executive Officer
Elaine Pura’s varied and impressive career is deeply rooted in environment, development and education. She specializes in global program design and start-up, focuses on planning for impact and excels at building and managing remote multi-disciplinary, multi-geography and multi-language teams.
She has travelled to over 40 countries on five continents and worked as a fisheries researcher, a park ranger, a fundraiser and a high school teacher, before joining World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2004. For more than a decade at WWF, she supported, designed and launched a wide variety of impactful, international program missions.
Before joining CIRDI as COO and director of International Programs in 2015, Ms. Pura was director of global operations for the Forest and Climate Program of WWF International (2009-2014). In that role, she designed and built the structures, systems and team for a new, highly complex global program, which delivered global conservation results on the United Nations collaborative program Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), and related forest and climate issues.
As director of operations for WWF Canada (2004-2009), Ms. Pura established WWF’s presence on Canada’s west coast with its first “green” office in Vancouver. In that role, she provided operational leadership and support to a regional team, which included the design and development of a marine-focused community engagement program on the north coast of British Columbia.
As CIRDI’s CEO, Ms. Pura now provides leadership and oversight on global program strategy and implementation, new program design, and organizational development and sustainability, while playing a key liaison role with funders and strategic partners.
Ms. Pura holds a Masters Certificate in Project Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University and Bachelor’s degrees in both Applied Science (Chemical Engineering) and Education from the University of British Columbia.