The Green Party has named Dr. Amita Kuttner as interim leader on Wednesday.
They’re the youngest and first transgender and east-Asian person to ever lead a national party, in accordance with the Greens.
The 30-year-old is an astrophysicist with expertise in black holes and is the founding father of the Moonlight Institute, a non-profit that explores responses to climate change.
Kuttner was within the running to switch former leader Elizabeth May but lost to Annamie Paul, who since faced turmoil inside the party and stepped down in November.
Kuttner ran as a candidate in Burnaby-North Seymour within the 2019 general election.
“I’m honoured to have been chosen to steer our party during this time of transition and renewal,” said Kuttner in an announcement.
“I tackle this responsibility fully aware of the magnitude of the challenges we face but convinced that we are going to overcome them and emerge stronger, more united and more confident about our vital role in national politics.”
Kuttner guarantees motion on addressing climate change, “driving progress towards decolonization” and “promoting social justice.”
Federal Council President Lorraine Rekmans said the appointment is a step towards “reinvigorating” the party that has had trouble currently with infighting.
“We are going to work closely with them and I’m very happy that they might be bringing their expertise to our collective efforts to rebuild the federal Green Party,” she said.
Kuttner was amongst 20 other candidates for the position. Paul Manly, who was backed by May and was a former MP who lost his B.C. seat within the September election, withdrew Wednesday from the leadership race.
His withdrawal was a surprise to senior leaders, prompting speculation that he might run for the everlasting position.
The party must now hold a leadership contest inside six months, in accordance with its structure.
Paul had said that being the leader of the Greens was the worst period of her life because the party saw support fall throughout the last election, losing a good portion of the favored vote and returning to Parliament with two MPs.
— with files from the Canadian Press