Dr. Karen Bakker is Professor at the University of British Columbia, where she is the Director of the Program on Water Governance. She was named a Fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation in 2017, and is both a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies in 2022-23.
An interdisciplinary environmental scientist, Karen earned her B.A&Sc. from McMaster University in 1995, and her PhD in 1999 from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Karen is a former Canada Research Chair in Political Ecology at the University of British Columbia and was named one of Canada's Top 40 under 40 in 2011. In 2015, she was awarded Annenberg Fellowship in Communication by Stanford University's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; in the same year, she was also a Cox Visiting Professor at Stanford's School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences. Her research was recognized by a SSHRC Impact Award in 2017.
Karen regularly acts as an advisor to national and international organizations, and is a past board member of the International Institute of Sustainable Development, as well as the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Council of Canadian Academies. Karen also currently serves as Vice‑President, Strategy for Vancouver-based Riipen, a Future of Work tech platform.
Dr. Bakker was appointed to the NRC Council in June 2019. She was re-appointed for a second mandate in September 2022.