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Jackie Forrest, director of global oil for IHS CERA, is taking a short mid-career break before pursuing her next opportunity.

A Calgary energy researcher who's become an prominent voice in the debate over oil sands development and transportation is leaving her U.S.-based consultancy after seven years.

Jackie Forrest, director of global oil for IHS CERA, is taking a short mid-career break before pursuing her next opportunity, one she hopes allows her to resume her role as a commentator on energy issues.

Ms. Forrest was instrumental in developing IHS CERA's oil sands dialogues, which bring together experts from all sides of the debate to discuss a range of environmental and economic issues surrounding development of the resource.

The consultancy, which was founded by Daniel Yergin, the author and economic researcher, will keep hosting the dialogues and issuing reports on them following her departure, she said.

"I might have been the most external person, but there are lots of people who supported it," the 39-year-old engineer-by-trade said. "There still needs to be fact-based information around oil sands, and so CERA's going to continue to be a voice in that space."