Mikaela McQuade

Mikaela McQuade

Policy Advisor, Environment at Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)

Describe a typical day

The best part about working at CAPP is that there are no typical days! Every day starts off with the same hustle and bustle around the office, as the media scans and member calls start rolling in. Dealing with environmental public policy is equal parts proactive and reactive – we are constantly working with our industry counterparts, undertaking analysis to understand how provincial and federal policy and regulatory changes may impact industry operations. Every day I’m in touch with industry representatives, multiple levels of government, and a wide array of other stakeholders. No matter what the day brings at CAPP, I learn something new about the industry.

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

I love my current role, as I am constantly faced with new challenges and able to meet and interact with new people. I am proud to say that I work the best and the brightest in the industry – CAPP represents dozens of companies, large and small, that explore for, develop, and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada. The knowledge and expertise that I’m exposed to by working with representatives of these companies on a daily basis is nothing short of astounding.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

While working at CAPP and as a research associate for the University of Calgary, I recently completed by Master of Public Policy. It was a tough year, but I’m a better policy person for it!
Working in environmental policy is very rewarding, and I’m proud of the work I get to do on a daily basis. Knowing that I am advancing policies that are of critical importance to government, industry, and the public – not to mention the planet – is a great reason to wake up and go to work in the morning.

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

The environmental policy field, as it relates to the oil and gas industry, is one that will only become more important. For industry to evolve to prosper, proponents will continue to have to adopt increasingly stringent environmental standards – driven both by public pressures and government policy and regulatory action. It is now (more than ever) the status quo for oil and gas operators to consider the protection air, water, and land resources as a key business driver. I’m excited to see what comes next.

Current community involvement efforts.

In November of last year, I became a member of the Board of Directors for The SHARP Foundation, an incredible Calgary-based organization that was established in 1990 with a vision to provide quality client-focused care and secure housing for the community’s most vulnerable persons living with HIV/AIDS. It has been an absolute privilege to watch the work of a dedicated few at the Foundation have such a profound impact the lives of many Calgarians that need it most.

Why YWE?

As a young professional, I think a network like YWE offers a really unique opportunity for like-minded individuals to share their experiences. Ultimately, we all have a lot to learn – so why not connect with people that are doing the same? I’m thrilled to have joined the YWE community and can’t wait to see what it has to offer! In just a few short months of involvement with YWE, I’ve been connected to and made friends with likeminded, career-driven young women and have been connected to opportunities (like complimentary leadership training) that I would not have otherwise known about!

What are you reading?

At the moment, I’m reading Jeff Rubin’s The Carbon Bubble: What Happens to Us When It Bursts. It’s a great read and really makes you think about the economics behind energy and the environment.