Michael joined Renewable Cities on January 1, 2015 after a thirty-three year career as a diplomat and senior executive in the Canadian foreign service.
As Executive Director, Michael sets the strategic direction for the organization, leads the Renewable Cities team, and establishes strategic relationships with partners and donors. This includes engaging the different levels of government in Canada and international governments and organizations. He hosts many of our public events and publishes op-eds on our work. Michael also directs Renewable Cities’ work in policy analysis.
Before coming to Vancouver, Michael was Canada’s High Commissioner to Australia from September 2010 until December 2014. Before that he served in Ottawa as Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources and Assistant Deputy Minister, Global Issues, in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In the latter capacity, he co-ordinated Canada’s representation across a wide range of multilateral organizations dealing with human rights, peace and security, economic policy co-ordination and sustainable development. From 2000-2003 he was Canada’s Ambassador to Cuba. Earlier in his diplomatic career, Michael served in Malaysia, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Mexico. He was the Co-ordinator for the Canadian delegation to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Michael Small earned an A.B. in Politics from Princeton University in 1978; a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto in 1980; and a M.Phil in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University in 1981. From 2003-2004 he was a Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.
For recreation, Michael enjoys diving on remote reefs around the world, visiting different tropical rainforests, and has a keen interest in biodiversity and natural history.