Jill Watkins is a Project Director at the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA). She is responsible for leading assessment projects, including the development of operational plans and budgets, completion of assessment-specific research, and oversight of report development.
Jill has over 25 years of experience managing projects and small scientific teams. Prior to joining the CCA in 2017, Jill was responsible for managing the threat of aquatic invasive species across Canada at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and contributed to the review of the Fisheries Act, both of which relied heavily on science. For almost 10 years, Jill was Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s senior advisor on Arctic science, during which time she represented Canada on the Arctic Council’s Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program ― Marine Steering Group, which she also chaired for two years. Previously, while at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Jill contributed to science-policy initiatives, such as the International Polar Year, and led the human health dimensions of the Northern Contaminants Program, as well as the department’s involvement in Northern Science and Technology.
For 10 years prior to joining government, Jill operated a consulting company, Enviroscope, which provided services and support to governments, Indigenous groups, and non-governmental organizations on diverse topics related to the natural environment including the Species at Risk Act. She has produced several publications that required the synthesis of large amounts of information from various sources and is the author of numerous scientific publications.
Jill holds a PhD in Meteorology from Reading University and a B.Sc. in Physical Geography and mathematics from the University of Toronto.
Jill has led the Medical Assistance in Dying for People with Mental Disorders and Prioritizing Climate Change Risks to Canada assessments.