ULI Logo

Cherise Burda

Director, Ryerson City Building Institute

Sector: Academia Sector
Discipline: Education
Year: 2016

Cherise Burda

Director, Ryerson City Building Institute

Magic Moment: As Ontario Director of the Pembina Institute, I transformed it from a think tank focused on electricity/energy sector to a thought leader on transit, mobility and urban planning, recognizing that the phase-out of coal meant that transportation and urban form represented the majority of Ontario’s GHG emissions.

Key Influence: M.Mgonigle, Law and Policy Institute at University of Victoria – Michael gave me freedom to run, learn, make mistakes, succeed and become a leader in my field.

Anne Golden (WLI Champion 2014) – Two decades later in my career, Anne is proof that women are brilliant, relevant and influential well past the age of 65, and have much to teach us.

Next Big Challenge As An Industry: Implementing the province’s “growth plan” goals of urban intensification in a way that is cost-effective and achievable for developers and municipalities, and actually results in complete communities – walkable, transit-oriented, great public realm with more housing options. Solutions such as a community permit system can help bring residents on board and reduce local opposition to density.

Secret Talent: When I was younger I used to play in rock bands. I apply many of those skills to my work – speaking, creative writing and communications!

On Championing Others… A large proportion of my staff and graduate students are women (not intentional). I invest a lot of time into teaching them leadership skills – speaking, media interviews, writing a good blog, and look for opportunities when they can represent RCBI instead of me at a workshop or on a panel.

One word that captures you: Strategic