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Elizabeth Dowdeswell

Key contributions: As a senior federal bureaucrat in the 1980s, she contributed to Canada’s role in establishing the United Nations climate strategy and was the country’s delegate to the International Panel on Climate Change.

Now Ontario’s lieutenant governor, she has served as Undersecretary General of the United Nations and as executive director of the UN Environment Program.

In a career that spans provincial, federal and international borders, she served as Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Ombudsman before moving to serve federally in Ottawa, and in 1992 represented Canada as the principal delegate to the IPCC in Rio de Janeiro.