SDTC is staffed by a specialized team of experts in the fields of sustainable development, finance and technology investment. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors, which reflects the broad interests of the public, private and academic sectors in Canada.
The executive team is a diverse group with both public and private sector backgrounds. What links them all together, however, is their distinct passion for clean technology and innovation in Canada.
Read more about our executive team members here.
Leah Lawrence is a Canadian clean technology executive, entrepreneur and writer. In June 2015, she was appointed president and CEO of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). With just under $1 billion in projects under management, SDTC is the largest funder of pre-commercial environmental technologies in Canada. Since Leah joined SDTC, the foundation has received $450 million in additional funding from the Government of Canada. In 2018, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) recognized Leah with the prestigious Centennial Leadership Award for all of her work and mentorship with the International Women’s Form, the Ernst & Young Women Athletes Business Network. In 2016, she was named a Female Executive of the Year by the Stevie Awards for Women in Business.
Leah founded her first entrepreneurial venture in 2003. Clean Energy Capitalists Inc. focused on supporting the adoption of climate change technologies in Canada’s primary industries. A second venture, Prairie Peaks News, was a non-profit independent media organization that covered environmental and natural resource issues. It was through these efforts that Leah learned first-hand the trials and tribulations of being a start-up entrepreneur.
Leah has significant for-profit and non-profit board experience, including serving as chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). She is currently the Ottawa Chapter Chair of the International Women’s Forum of Canada.
Leah was – and continues to be – a student of engineering and economics. She received a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Regina and a Master of Economics from the University of Calgary. Her master’s research focused on the impact of environmental investment on a company’s stock price. She is an Honorary Life Member of APEGA and was named a fellow of both Engineers Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2013.
Leah is a frequently-published author, with features and columns appearing regularly in Alberta Oil and Oilweek magazines and several Canadian newspapers. Her feature article recounting her own global energy tour won a Kenneth R. Wilson Award for Canadian journalism.
Projects, Results and Finance
Partnerships and Communications
Driven by a love for innovation and collaboration, Zoë Kolbuc is continually inspired by bringing people together to change the world.
As Vice President of the SDTC Partnerships Team, Zoë works with a talented team of people to forge and foster strategic partnerships, and to ensure the important stories of SDTC are top of mind among the broader SDTC team and within technology communities across Canada.
Storytelling and communication are vital to SDTC’s ability to attract the right leaders, businesses and partnerships. When supporting the right talent, SDTC is able to provide funds and mentoring that elevate Canadian companies to be the best in the world – delivering significant environmental and economic benefits through reduced greenhouse gas emissions, clean air, clean water or clean soil.
Prior to joining SDTC, Zoë was the Director of External Affairs and Communications at Spectra Energy where she led the communications, government affairs and community investment teams for Spectra Energy’s Western Canadian Operations. Zoë also spent seven years at BP, one of the world’s largest integrated energy companies, as a Director of External Affairs and Communications for BP Canada. Zoë has also worked for many years in Alberta government, including time as a ministerial Chief of Staff.
Zoë is recognized as a leader in her field and was profiled in Oil & Gas magazine in 2015 as one of Alberta’s “Smart, Creative and Business Savvy” female leaders in the province’s energy industry. She is proud to serve as a Board Member with the Calgary Children’s Cottage Society.
Through her work at SDTC, Zoë leans on her past experience and her ability to build partnerships and bring people together to create greatness.
Investments, Screening and Evaluation
Ziyad joined SDTC in 2016. As the Vice President of Investments, Ziyad provides leadership for SDTC’s strategy and approach to SDTC’s investment process, ensuring that the organization is sourcing and nurturing innovative clean technology companies that have the potential to deliver strong environmental and economic benefits to Canada. He oversees the day-to-day operation of the SD Tech Fund investment process, from intake through to assessment, selection and recommendation of investments to SDTC’s Project Review Committee and Board (approximately $100M/year of allocated investment). He also provides oversight of SDTC’s Next Generation Biofuels Fund.
Previously, as Vice President of Partnerships at SDTC, Ziyad provided leadership for engaging SDTC’s key stakeholders, with a focus on collaboration and finding ways to effectively support SDTC’s portfolio companies and ensuring they grow and contribute to Canada’s competitive advantage in the global clean technology market.
Prior to joining SDTC, Ziyad spent 18 years at Iogen Corporation, a leading developer of advanced low-carbon biofuels, where he contributed in various roles involving progressive and expanding leadership responsibility. As EVP Operations and Engineering, and General Manager of Iogen Energy, he successfully led the commercialization of Iogen’s technology, and completed construction and start-up of a US$105M industrial scale facility with its partner Raízen, Brazil’s fifth largest company with US$25B in revenues.
Ziyad holds an M.B.A., an M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering and a B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering.