Heather Dewar - Program Director, Assistant Program Director

Heather Dewar

Program Director, Assistant Program Director

Heather is a lifelong learner increasingly open to unlearning. Her formal education is in evolutionary ecology, and while the natural world is where her heart lives, she’s focusing her efforts more on the human community.

Early in her career, Heather had the privilege of doing fieldwork on Sable Island, in Ontario's boreal forest, and in Yukon—working on bats, birds, beetles, and bigger creatures like caribou. These experiences instilled a deep appreciation for the natural world and were instrumental in convincing her that we need to step as lightly on the earth as we can!

An undergraduate bachelor of science from Carleton University and a master of science in environmental biology from the University of Guelph prepared her well for a twenty-year career in the Federal Public Service, working for several different departments. Starting with a focus on forest birds and conservation of species at risk, then led to a shift to climate change, science policy, and then ten years working as part of a team dedicated to building a research station in the Canadian Arctic.

While working on Arctic issues Heather became increasingly aware of how much the social determinants of health (things like housing, access to healthcare, and education) influence people which resulted in a shift of her focus. Heather left the public service and now works on projects that build and support community.

Heather lives in Ottawa and has two adult sons. She loves good coffee, exploring her local food scene, supporting entrepreneurship, cycling, and hiking.