Stéphanie Jensen-Cormier


  • Program Year
  • 2011-12
  • Country of Current Residence
  • China
  • City/Town of Current Residence
  • Beijing
  • Current Position
  • China Program Director
  • Organization
  • International Rivers
  • Profession(s)
  • Strategic Advisor

  • Sector(s)
  • Advocacy, Environment, Government, Politics / Policy
  • Language(s)
  • English, French, Mandarin, Spanish
  • Interest(s) / Expertise
  • education, environmental policy, project management, public policy, sustainability
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Impact Statement

Stéphanie is passionate about environmental protection and sustainability. Over the past ten years, she has been exploring the relationship that Chinese government, businesses, communities and individuals have with the natural environment, and how these actors both harm and protect it.


Stéphanie was born in London, U.K. to a French/American mother and a Newfoundlander father with Irish, Lebanese and Mi’kmaq heritage. Her upbringing in Ottawa, Singapore, Hong Kong and Brussels with her parents and two younger siblings contributed to her strong drive to work on practical and proactive ways of ensuring the sustainability of the planet.

Stéphanie’s 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, civil society and businesses are tackling the issues of environmental degradation.

She completed a B.A. in Asian and Environmental studies from the University of Victoria and received a Master of Arts in the Regional Studies of East Asia from Columbia University. During her studies, she earned full scholarships to study for one year each in Shanghai and Kunming, China.

After completing the Sauvé Program, Stéphanie returned to Beijing with her partner Frederik. After working for the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, and acting as the China representative of a Canadian water treatment company, Stephanie managed the programs and strategy at a China based environmental education NGO. Stéphanie has coordinated Special Policy Studies for 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 from these studies are presented annually to the Chinese State Council.

Based in Beijing, Stéphanie is the China Program Director for International Rivers, where she works to protect Asia’s key rivers and promote higher environmental and social standards in Chinese hydropower projects around the world.

As a Fellow

As a 2010-11 Sauvé Fellow, 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. Believing that Canadian environmental policy has retreated by forty years instead of progressing, she became exasperated by the lack of government actions on one of the most crucial issues of our time. During her year with Sauvé, Stéphanie presented on these themes in Canada and the USA at Columbia University, McGill University, Concordia University, the China-Canada Business Council, Dawson College and St. Johnsbury College.

In May 2015, Stéphanie returned to Sauvé House to participate in Sauvé Encore! 2015, as part of the Foundation’s alumni outreach program. That same month, she was awarded an Alumni Collaboration Fund grant (alongside her project partner, Sauvé Fellow Joshua Monk Vanwyck) to help fund the construction of a sustainably designed courtyard home in Gucheng village, China, that will be used as a model for alternative building practices and systems. To know more about this project, click here.