David Hughes

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David Hughes is the President and CEO of The Natural Step Canada which serves as the host organization for Circular Economy Leadership Canada, the Canada Plastics Pact, the Energy Futures Lab and other multi-stakeholder initiatives that are fostering innovation and systems change to advance a strong economy and a healthy environment. He has previously served as President and CEO of two of Canada’s leading charities – Habitat for Humanity Canada and Pathways to Education Canada – during periods of unprecedented growth, transformation, and impact.

Prior to that, David spent 10 years in senior positions at SOS Children’s Villages International which included postings to Africa, Asia, Europe, USA, and the United Nations. Other management roles have included serving as Senior Vice President of YMCA Canada and President of AIESEC Canada.

David is a Senior Fellow of the Smart Prosperity Institute (SPI), a member of the Smart Prosperity Leaders’ Initiative, an inaugural member of the Business for Purpose Network (B4PN), and has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation, AIESEC Canada, and the Canadian branch of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.

He holds an economics degree from the University of Western Ontario, a postgraduate degree in social policy and non-profit management from the London School of Economics (LSE), and was recognized as a 2020 Clean50 Honouree for “outstanding contribution to clean capitalism”. He lives in Toronto with his wife Laura and his two children, John and Alexandra, who provide the inspiration and incentive to challenge the status quo and strive for a better future for Canada and beyond.

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