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CMCRI announces incoming president

Sandra Odendahl, incoming CMCRI President and CEO

Sandra Odendahl, incoming President and CEO

CMCRI is pleased to announce Sandra Odendahl will begin as President and CEO of CMC Research Institutes effective Sept. 1.

Sandra is a Canadian corporate sustainability pioneer with a passion for using the power of business to drive positive social and environmental change. Over the past 20 years she has worked with companies of all sizes – ranging from one-person start-ups to multinational corporations – to make positive environmental and social impacts within successful business models.

Sandra started her career in Montreal in the 1990s as an environmental scientist for Noranda Inc, one of Canada’s great, diversified resource companies of the time. She then worked in Toronto and Vancouver as an environmental engineering consultant, specializing in Environmental and Social Impact Assessments for large mining, energy, and pulp and paper developments in Canada and Southeast Asia.

Her work on large international projects piqued her interest in finance, and Sandra joined the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in 1997 as a resource sector analyst in the enterprise-wide risk management unit. At RBC, she led one of Bay Street’s earliest environmental risk management groups from 2000-2005 and then, between 2007 and 2016, Sandra headed RBC’s Corporate Sustainability, Social Finance and Social Innovation teams. In one of her most recent roles, Sandra oversaw a $10 million pool of capital for investing in for-profit companies that deliver social impact along with financial returns. She also rolled out a strategy for partnering with start-up accelerators that nurture early stage companies with a social or environmental purpose.

Sandra volunteers on a number of non-profit boards and advisory groups that reflect her interests in environmental sustainability, finance, and innovation. She is Chair of the Board of The (Toronto) Atmospheric Fund (TAF), which uses its $43 million endowment to develop innovative solutions and finance organizations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Sandra has been a Board member and Finance Committee member at Pollution Probe since 2012. She has served on a number of federal and international committees and advisory panels. And she recently joined the Board of Advisors of the University of Toronto’s Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead).

Sandra has an M.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto. She is a licensed professional engineer and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Sandra lives with her husband and two children in Toronto, Canada.

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