Avrim Lazar has held senior policy positions in the Government of Canada in the ministries of justice, agriculture, environment, and human resource development. During this period, he was responsible for national policy in areas as diverse as climate change, biodiversity, child poverty, employment insurance, and labour force training. His other appointments include that of chairperson of the Committee of the Whole of the Second UN Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and president of the International Council of Forest and Paper Association. He also chaired the National Business Association Roundtable. From 2002 to 2012, Mr. Lazar was the chief executive officer of the Forest Products Association of Canada during a decade of turbulent creative transformation.
Presently, Avrim Lazar works as an independent consultant providing coaching for policy and communications excellence to organizations and groups. He assists diverse groups in identifying common goals and he supports them in reconciling social, environmental, and economic interests and navigating the interface between government, civil society, and business. His current clients are concentrated in the forest products and aquaculture sectors in Europe and North and South America. In addition, he advises foundations in Canada and Europe on accelerating progress toward the green economy. Avrim Lazar is a director of Tolko Industries, where he chairs the board's strategic planning committee. He also sits on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Canadian Council of the Academies and the external audit committees of Industry Canada and Natural Resources Canada.
Mr. Lazar holds a bachelor's of science degree from McGill University and a doctorate in education from the University of Ottawa. He taught high school in Vancouver and Zambia from 1969 to 1973. Over the years, Mr. Lazar has given many courses in the graduate studies programs of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.