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 lifelong advocate for engineering, entrepreneurship and the environment and the president and CEO of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). SDTC invests over $100 million a year in entrepreneurs developing new environmental technologies.
Over the years, Leah has served on many corporate and non-profit boards, including serving as president of the Ottawa chapter of the International Women’s Forum, the chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, and the president of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), a professional regulator with over 50,000 members. In 2018, she was honoured to receive the Centennial Leadership Award, APEGA’s highest distinction for a member who has achieved exemplary achievements in their career.
Leah has her Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Regina and her Master of Economics from the University of Calgary. She is also a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of Engineers Canada.
Projects, Results and Finance
Christine Charbonneau joined SDTC in 2018 as the Vice President of Performance. Building on 20 years of experience in corporate financial management, risk and performance management, and information systems, Christine provides leadership and defines the strategic approach to ensure seamless implementation and continuous improvement of corporate performance.
Christine oversees SDTC’s contracts with portfolio partners once they have been selected for an investment, including related project management and monitoring activities. She also brings leadership to the Human Resources, Finance and Information management functions.
Prior to joining SDTC, Christine was the Corporate Controller at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, overseeing financial reporting, finance business systems, and internal controls. In this role, she also led the significant transformation of the Finance function’s business model, processes, and technologies. Earlier in her career, Christine held senior finance positions at the Canada Foundation for Innovation, where she led the development and implementation of policies, procedures and systems to ensure a high level of accountability for the management of public funds.
Christine has spoken at several conferences and served on the Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services’ Board of Directors and its Finance Committee. Currently, she sits on the Board and Investment Committee of Canadian Science Publishing.
Christine has her Baccalaureate of Commerce from the University of Ottawa. She also holds a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant designation.
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.