Stéphanie Jensen-Cormier (2011 - 2012)

France and Canada

Stéphanie Jensen-Cormier

After the Sauvé Program, Stéphanie moved back to Beijing.  Since January 2014, she directs programs and strategy at Thirst , an environmental NGO that is an initiative of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders. Thirst is changing the way in which Chinese youth use and consume water. She has managed a team of 20, developed and implemented projects with partner organizations, managed project budgets of USD 1 million. In 2014, Thirst directly educated 21,800 kids about the importance of water conservation. 
When she first returned to Beijing, she  worked as a Trade Commissioner for the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. She continues to advise and represent the projects of a Canadian water treatment company.   Since 2013, Stéphanie has been delighted to contribute to the CCICED (China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development), a high-level advisory body which strengthens collaboration between China and the international community on environment and development issues. Recommendations are presented annually to the Chinese State Council. As the international coordinator for a special policy study on good city models, she coordinated a team of 17 experts, negotiated text and liaised with the secretariat.

As a Sauvé Scholar
Stéphanie's project entailed comparing the energy and climate change policies in China and Canada, two of the world’s energy superpowers. Stéphanie sought to inform the Canadian public of China’s firm commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies by comparing them with Canada’s actions. She learnt much about Canadian environmental policy during her Sauvé year. Believing that Canadian environmental policy has retreated by forty years instead of progressing, she is exasperated by the lack of government actions on one of the most crucial issues of our time.
As a Sauvé Scholar, Stéphanie presented on these themes in Canada and the USA at Columbia University, McGill University, Concordia University, Dawson College and St. Johnsbury College. She has also been collaborating to create a presentation deck on this topic that will be used by various presenters across Canada through the Climate Reality Project.
While expanding her own knowledge, Stéphanie  worked to promote greater understanding in Canada of environmental initiatives taken by China, noting that “it is of particular interest and relevance to me to communicate in a clear and engaging manner with Canadians and Canadian politicians on the policy planning that the Chinese government has undertaken to transition towards a greener economy and society as well as the successes resulting from these long-term and shorter-term actions.”
Her Sauvé year was not all work and no play, as Stéphanie was able to pursue some of her other interests. She took salsa dancing lessons and performed at the Place des Arts, ran regularly - participating in two half marathons in Montreal, and enjoyed moments in the kitchen, cooking with her fellow Scholars.

Stéphanie was born in London, U.K. to a French /American mother and a Newfoundlander father with Irish, Lebanese, French and Mi’kmaq ancestry, and is a Founding Member of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq Band Council in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. From her childhood Stéphanie has been inculcated with the wisdom of First Nations peoples that we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. This has contributed to her passion for achieving positive environmental changes and strong drive to work on practical and proactive ways of ensuring the sustainability of the planet. She spent her early years in Ottawa, Singapore, Hong Kong and Brussels with her parents and two younger siblings, “developing a transient concept of 'home', based on important peoples in my life, not geography.”

Her specialization in China is driven by her conviction of the importance of China in international environmental policy. She believes that there are many lessons to be learned from how the Chinese government and Chinese civil society are tackling the issue of climate change, one of the most defining challenges of our times.

Stéphanie completed a B.A. in Asian (China focus) and Environmental studies from the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She was then awarded a Canada-China Scholarship to further her study of Mandarin at Yunnan University in Kunming. In May, 2010 she received a Master of Arts in the Regional Studies of East Asia from Columbia University where her thesis on “The Social Effects of Job Creation in the Renewable Energy Sector in China” was supervised by Professor Guobin Yang. During her year at Columbia, she was also a grantee of the Women’s International Leadership Program, a merit-based fellowship awarded to women who demonstrate strong leadership ability and represent a variety of different cultural, national and academic backgrounds.

Stéphanie's prior work experience includes consulting with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Office in Beijing; work for an international environmental foundation in Geneva; an internship with the Green Jobs Initiative at the ILO in Geneva; assisting the Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) during its 42nd session; and consulting for the largest private plastic bottle recycling plant in Northern China.

Updated March 2015


Mother Tongue

English and French-- other languages: Mandarin, Spanish (advanced proficiency)

Country of origin

France and Canada

Country of Residence


Contact Stéphanie Jensen-Cormier:

View Stéphanie Jensen-Cormier's Sauvé Project Summary: Influencing Canada's Climate Change Policy by Informing Canadians about China's New Energy Sources and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies

View Stephanie Jensen Cormier's Sauvé Project Final Presentation:

“Leaders must dream of changing the world.

They must have an inspired vision of the changes they want to make and be prepared to consecrate all
their energy to that purpose. A capacity to communicate their objectives is indispensable to sustain
the enthusiasm of their collaborators and their perseverance in action.”
— The Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, Opening Speech to the National Conference for Young Leaders, June 2-8, 1991