Lebel joined IDRC in 1997 and became team leader of the Ecosystems and Human Health program in 2001. He has been Director of the Agriculture and Environment program since 2003. Lebel is an associate editor of the Ecohealth Journal and IDRC’s representative to the Board of Directors of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, as an advisory participant, and to the Fund Council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.
As a pioneering environmental health specialist, Lebel frequently comments on issues ranging from agriculture and food security to the impact of the environment on health, as well as the management of natural resources and climate change. Lebel earned a master’s degree in occupational health sciences and a graduate diploma in industrial hygiene from McGill University in Montréal, as well as a PhD in environmental sciences from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). In 2001, Lebel received the first Prix Reconnaissance from the faculty of sciences at UQÀM for his work on protecting ecosystems and human health in developing countries.
Lebel replaces Rohinton Medhora, who leaves IDRC after 20 years as program officer, team leader, and Director of the Social and Economic Policy program. With his wide-ranging experience directing and conducting research for development, Medhora has contributed greatly to IDRC's success and growth.