Toddi Steelman
Stanback Dean, Nicholas School of the Environment

Dr. Toddi Steelman served five years (2012-2017) as the first permanent Executive Director (Dean) at the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS), University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.  Prior to her appointment in SENS, she served 11 years on the faculty in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University (2001-2012) and four years in the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado at Denver (1997-2001). She holds a Ph.D. from Duke University’s Nicholas School of Environment, a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Sciences and International Studies from West Virginia University.

She served six years as the editor of Policy Sciences, one of the premier journals in her field, where she remains on the International Editorial Board. She is past president of the Society of Policy Scientists. She is past Board Chair of the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatchewan. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Wildland Fire as Vice President.   As a Fulbright Scholar, she spent 2008 at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Working at the intersection of science, policy and decision making, her expertise in environmental and natural resource policy is well-recognized nationally and internationally. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and Canadian Tri Agencies as well as a variety of federal and state agencies. The author of four books, Steelman has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, as well as opinion and editorial pieces in Nature, the Globe and Mail, and the Los Angeles Times.  

She is best known as a wildfire expert and has brought her expertise to bear in a variety of venues including the Royal Society (UK), National Academy of Sciences (US), National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (US) and an invited keynote speaker in Canada, Germany, Australia and the United States. Her research agenda has focused on understanding community responses to wildfire, and how communities and agencies interact for more effective wildfire management.  Steelman is Co-director, with Dr. Branda Nowell, of the Fire Chasers project at North Carolina State University (

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