Michael Harcourt

He served as Premier of the province of British Columbia from 1991 to 1996, and before that as the mayor of Vancouver from 1980 to 1986.

He was the Trudeau mentor of 2003 Trudeau scholars Jay Batongbacal and Sophie Thériault.

As former premier of British Columbia, Mayor of Vancouver and City Councilor, Mike Harcourt helped British Columbia earn its reputation as one of the most livable, accessible and inclusive places in the world.  His focus on conservation and sustainable development – and his resolve to contribute to the transformation of cities and communities around the world – has played a significant role in promoting quality of life for those in Canada and abroad. 

After stepping down from politics, he was appointed by the Prime Minister to serve as a member of the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy, where he served on the Executive Committee and chaired the Urban Sustainability Program.  He was a federally appointed B.C. Treaty Commissioner and was Chair of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee for Cities and Communities and co-chaired the National Advisory Committee on the UN-HABITAT World Urban Forum in Vancouver in 2006.

Mr. Harcourt is Honorary Co-Chair at the University of British Columbia’s President’s Advisory Council on sustainability.  In addition to acting as Chairman of Quality Urban Energy Systems for Tomorrow (QUEST; www.questcanada.org), he chairs the Canadian Electricity Association’s Sustainable Electricity Program Advisory Panel. He also was part of an advisory group that helped Whistler put together its Natural Step based on sustainable cities strategy.

Harcourt’s exemplary career as Lawyer, Community Activist, and Politician has been honoured with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service and the Canadian Urban Institute’s Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award.  He was awarded the UBC Alumni Achievement Award of Distinction for contributions to British Columbia, Canada, and the global community in November 2008.

He is the author of A Measure of Defiance, and co-author of Plan B: One Man’s Journey from Tragedy to Triumph and City Making in Paradise.