Jim Ellis entered Alberta’s public service in 2006 after a distinguished career in the Canadian Armed Forces, commanding various missions in Canada, Germany, Bosnia, United Kingdom and Afghanistan. Following his final overseas mission as the Senior Commander Canadian Task Force for Canada’s mission to Afghanistan in 2004-2005, he became Executive Director of the Alberta Environment Support and Emergency Response Team (ASERT). In 2007, he was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for environmental regulatory affairs in Alberta.
Jim continued to serve Albertans in key senior roles within the Ministry of Environment, including Deputy Minister from 2008-2011, where he was responsible for oversight of development of provincial policy on Climate Change, Water, Cumulative Effects Management and regional planning.
During his term as Deputy Minister of Alberta Energy from 2011-2013, Jim led the development and implementation of the Provincial Energy Strategy and Policy, was the senior official responsible for Alberta’s input to the Canadian Energy Strategy and led the development of Alberta’s Oil Market Diversification Strategy. He was also accountable for the development of new legislation to establish a new single regulator for energy development, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).
In June 2013, Jim joined the Alberta Energy Regulator as its inaugural President and Chief Executive Officer. Jim’s leadership delivered the design, launch and implementation of a new approach to how the energy sector in Alberta is regulated. As the single regulator for all oil, oil sands, natural gas and coal development in the province, the AER ensures the safe, environmentally responsible development from application and exploration, to construction and development, to abandonment, reclamation, and remediation. Jim has built a regulator that takes an approach that is fair, consistent, and transparent, achieving public trust and confidence by ensuring the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of Alberta’s energy resources.
Jim’s vision is for the AER to become globally recognized for regulatory excellence, an approach emulated by other countries who now look to Alberta as a leadership model of how a trusted and effective regulator can be established.