Linda J. Keen (2001–2008)

Chemist, agrologist and former Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) President

Linda Keen
Linda Keen

Linda Keen was the CEO and President of the CNSC from 2001 to 2008. A scientific background and extensive experience in natural resources management rendered Keen well suited to the challenges inherent to the nuclear sector.

Originally from western Canada, Keen graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and a Master of Science degree in agricultural sciences. Beginning her career as a chemist, Keen worked within several fields, namely: agriculture, mining and nuclear.

As a certified agrologist, Keen worked for the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and for the International Development Research Centre in West Africa. Within this field, Keen gained experience in scientific research, trade policy, and international marketing and strategic planning – leading to her appointment as Director General of Strategic Planning and Coordination for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Linda Keen IAEA Vienna Austria
Linda Keen (left) and Judith Melin (middle), Director General of the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate, presenting the digital Cerenkov viewing device to the IAEA. (Vienna, Austria, Sept. 17, 2003)

Keen then spent a brief period of time at Industry Canada as a Director General, before being appointed to Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of Minerals and Metals at Natural Resources Canada. As the ADM of Minerals and Metals, she was responsible for the development of the Mining Sustainable Development Policy, the regulation of explosives in Canada, task forces on risk management and risk communications, and the CANMET laboratories.

After 20 years of working in the federal public service, Keen was appointed to the position of CEO and President of the CNSC. Keen faced many challenges during her term, including the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 2003 eastern intercontinental blackout and the closure of the National Research Universal reactor.

Keen was actively involved in the community of women in science. As the Honorary Chair of the 2006 Women in Nuclear Global Conference, a member of Women in Science, the first Canadian president of the International Nuclear Regulators Association and the first Canadian to win the Women in Nuclear Global Award, Keen was committed to the promotion of the women in science community.

For additional information regarding Linda Keen's term as CNSC president, or for a closer look at the CNSC's history, please refer to the 65th anniversary timeline.