Stewart Elgie is a professor of law and economics at the University of Ottawa, and director of the University’s interdisciplinary Environment Institute. He received his Masters of Law from Harvard, and his doctorate (J.S.D.) from Yale. He is also the founder and chair of Smart Prosperity Institute (formerly Sustainable Prosperity), Canada’s major green economy think tank and policy-research network. His research involves environmental and economic sustainability, with a particular focus in recent years on market-based approaches.
Elgie started his career as an environmental lawyer in Alaska, litigating over the Valdez oil spill. He returned to Canada and founded Ecojustice, now Canada’s largest non-profit environmental law organization; he was counsel on many precedent setting cases, including four wins in Supreme Court of Canada on constitution and environment issues. He was later hired by Pew Trusts as founding executive director of the multi-stakeholder Canadian Boreal Initiative. Prior to his faculty position at University of Ottawa (2004), Elgie held appointments at several Canadian universities (U.B.C., Alberta, York). He has served on or chaired many advisory bodies in the environment/sustainability area. In 2001, Elgie was awarded the Law Society of Upper Canada medal for exceptional lifetime contributions to law – the youngest man ever to receive the profession’s highest honour.