Dr. Brian Riddell is the President and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, an independent, non-governmental organization dedicated to creating a sustainable future for wild Pacific salmon and their habitat. Founded in 1987, the foundation operates with an annual budget of $9 million and makes grants to community-based salmon conservation projects in British Columbia and the Yukon.
Riddell is an internationally recognized fisheries scientist who has extensive experience in fisheries management and environmental policy development.
Among numerous professional distinctions, Riddell serves as a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel on Ocean Climate Change and Marine Biodiversity. He is also an appointed Canadian Commissioner to the Pacific Salmon Commission, the body formed by the governments of Canada and the United States to implement the Pacific Salmon Treaty.
Prior to joining the Pacific Salmon Foundation in February 2009, Riddell worked for 30 years in various scientific research and management positions with the Government of Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Riddell was the scientific lead in the creation of Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon, for which he received the Government of Canada’s Public Service Distinction Award in 2005. He also contributed to the development of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, the 1985 bi-lateral agreement between Canada and the United States governing management, research and enhancement of Pacific salmon.
As a scientist, Riddell is widely published with more than 100 publications in primary scientific literature and secondary literature utilized by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans. His fields of research focus on salmon population biology and genetics, international fisheries management, and formulation of science-based policy for conservation and utilization of salmon. He is a sought-after speaker for national and international conferences and is frequently contacted by news media for comment on salmon and water management issues.
Riddell earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the University of Guelph in 1974. He completed his doctoral studies in salmon biology and genetics at McGill University in 1979. He is currently a lecturer at Vancouver Island University, where he teaches a fourth-year course in fisheries science.
Residents of Nanaimo, B.C., Brian and his wife Lorna have three grown children. Lorna is a secondary school teacher while putting up with Brian’s work and travel for 35 years.