The NWMO celebrates women leaders at Women in Nuclear Global Conference

Collage of Laurie Swami, Karine Glenn, Lise Morton, and Jessica Perritt.

NWMO female leaders who will participate at the Women in Nuclear (WiN) Global Conference. From left to right: Laurie Swami, President and CEO; Karine Glenn, Strategic Project Director; Lise Morton, Vice President of Site Selection; and Jessica Perritt, Section Manager of Reconciliation & Indigenous Knowledge

This month, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is excited to showcase the work of its female employees in leadership roles at the Women in Nuclear (WiN) Global Conference. The NWMO is proud of its diverse workforce, which includes some of the nuclear sector’s leading women subject matter experts.

“I am humbled to be one of the three women leading nuclear organizations in Canada. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had in my career, and I think it’s important that we at the NWMO champion diversity in the industry, and work toward seeing more women in positions of leadership. It’s also important we encourage women to pursue STEM careers and to support them to become strong, compassionate leaders,” said Laurie Swami, President and CEO of the NWMO. 

The 28th annual WiN Global Conference will be held virtually from October 17-21, 2021. This year’s conference theme is “Positively Charged for Success” and will celebrate and promote gender diversity in the nuclear industry.

Conference participants have the opportunity to hear from the following NWMO female leaders:

Laurie Swami, President and CEO

Laurie Swami was appointed to the role of NWMO’s President and CEO in 2016 and is responsible for implementing Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.

Ms. Swami will take part in Plenary II: Preparing for the Future = Waste Panel (October 18) to discuss the mounting global imperative to develop safe and effective solutions for used nuclear fuel and the NWMO’s approach to engage the public.

At the session titled, Plenary X: Indigenous Women Reclaiming Their Traditional Roles (October 20), Ms. Swami will introduce as keynote speaker Elder Diane Longboat, Founder, Soul of the Mother. Discussed will be the role of Indigenous women within Indigenous Nations, how those roles have shifted over time and the importance of Indigenous women reclaiming their traditional roles. Elder Longboat is a member of the Council of Elders and Youth, an independent advisory body to the NWMO that provides counsel on the application of Indigenous Knowledge in the implementation of Canada’s Plan to safely store used nuclear fuel. 

Lise Morton, Vice President of Site Selection

Lise has over 30 years experience in the nuclear industry and has devoted over 20 years to the safe management and oversight of nuclear waste.  Her passion is working with the leaders and residents of Indigenous communities and municipalities on nuclear waste projects in their territories or regions.  Lise has mentored many young women throughout her career.

Lise will take part in M3: Radiation & Waste Panel (October 18), to discuss the ongoing process to find a site for a deep geological repository – a permanent solution to safely store Canada’s used nuclear fuel.  

Jessica Perritt, Section Manager of Reconciliation & Indigenous Knowledge

Jessica is member of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and a proud Anishnaabe-kwe (Ojibway women). She has brought respect for Indigenous perspectives to life at the NWMO and works to ensure interweaving Indigenous Knowledge and contributing to Reconciliation are core to NWMO’s corporate culture. 

Jessica will be joining the Elders in the Opening Ceremony (October 17), a traditional Indigenous opening to provide a safe, brave and inclusive space for learning. 

She will co-present the M5: Communications & Public Engagement Panel (October 18) with Chris Vardy, NWMO Director of Management System and Performance Improvement, highlighting the NWMO’s Continuous Learning and Improvement Program (CLIP), which provides the NWMO with the ability to capture Opportunities, Recognition, Incidents, Observations and/or Non-conformances for the purposes of learning and improving. The program is an example of how the NWMO is interweaving Indigenous knowledge and contributing to Reconciliation with the Canadian Standards Association’s Management System requirements for nuclear facilities. 

Jessica will be moderating Plenary XI: Indigenous Women Panel (October 20), which will highlight the role of Indigenous women within communities and the importance of women leaning into their inherent gifts. 


Karine Glenn, Strategic Project Director

Karine, a professional engineer, has over 20 years of experience in the nuclear sector. She believes that, as a woman, a mother and an engineer, bringing her whole self to work results in better outcomes.

Karine will participate in TH4: Communications & Public Engagement Panel (October 21), highlighting the NWMO’s innovative engagement approaches for developing Canada’s Integrated Strategy for Radioactive Waste. She will highlight how the approach ensures broad meaningful engagement, how the team navigated the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unexpected opportunities it presented. 

In addition to these NWMO leaders presenting at the conference, the NWMO will share with delegates a video tour of the Oakville Proof Test Facility. The video showcases the unique approaches developed by the NWMO’s engineers and scientists and displays a full-scale model of an underground emplacement room that mimics the dimensions and textures of those in the deep geological repository that will house the used nuclear fuel.

More information about the WiN Global Conference 2021 can be found here.

About the NWMO

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization implementing Canada’s plan to safely contain and isolate used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.

Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Ignace area and South Bruce, both in Ontario.