Tracy Walstrom Briggs

GlobalInt - Executive Director

Tracy Walstrom Briggs has worked in the environmental security and development field since 1996. Tracy specializes in environmental assessment and facilitation, having a background in environmental geography from Carleton University and University College London, and a certificate in environmental impact assessment from Oxford Brookes University.

Tracy was a publication coordinator and editor for a UN Environment Program Rapid Impact Assessment development project, in cooperation with the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI) from 2009-2010. This project involved assisting with the coordination and editing of documentation gathered by FOI using environmental assessment methodologies to establish green ‘bootprint’ measures for deployed UN forces world-wide. She was an advisor at the US Dept of Energy, and was both a researcher and technical editor on foresight and risk assessment publications. In Wisconsin she was the statewide coordinator and facilitator for the Standards Oversight Council, a multilevel process that created environmental technical standards for local, county, state and federal agencies. 

From 2010-2012 Ms Briggs was the Minerva Associate Chair of Energy and Environment Initiative for the US Air Force. In this capacity she was a liaison with international military officers, and worked to highlight climate security and vulnerability risks on a global scale. At the Air University (USAF/AL), Lehigh University (PA) and Cal State University Fullerton (CA) she has designed new curriculum structures for environmental and interdisciplinary programs, and as Associate Chair at CSUF was responsible for instruction and administration at every stage of graduate education.

Vanderhoof is  a small town located at the centre of British Columbia.  Its inhabitants are included amongst the mere 10% of the Canadian population who are scattered throughout the vast hinterland regions of the country. Growing up in a small single-resource town dependent almost entirely upon the forest industry 1000 km north of Vancouver, had a profound influence over how I still view the world. I even put myself through university working at a lumber mill.   Needless to say, small communities such as mine are located far from the decision-makers who greatly control the policies governing them. 

Leaving home to travel extensively and study issues of human development and the public understanding of environmental change also had a great impact on me.  With experience, I have gained a greater appreciation for processes that include a diversity of voices in decisions which affect the environment and the lives of people who otherwise lack sufficient political agency to control the stewardship of the environment in their own backyard. 

This perspective has left me with a strong commitment to championing transparency and inclusiveness in environmental policy decision-making. This is not simply a democratic matter, rather, it is a recipe for making better decisions when local experts are included as part of a broader and more inclusive process.

   Copyright 2013 Global Interconnections LLC

Power comes with understanding the forces behind the outcomes. This involves understanding how to effectively communicate with all people involved and better understanding the environment in which they live and work. Partnership building and opening one’s mind to the perspectives and insights of others is the cornerstone of a good decision making process.  It also opens the door to obtaining what otherwise might be the gathering of unexpected information which can help avoid unwanted future ‘surprises’.