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The Right Honourable Kim  Campbell

The Right Honourable Kim Campbell

Canada’s First and Only Female Prime Minister

Biography

The first and only female prime minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Kim Campbell has spent her ground-breaking career shattering barriers for women, cultivating the next generation of leaders, and speaking out on human rights and the impact of climate change. Considered a "leader of leaders," she was elected Secretary General of the venerated Club of Madrid, the largest forum of former democratic presidents and prime ministers. A respected member of a very small club of women former heads of state, Ms. Campbell has led a number of global organizations, including the Council of Women World Leaders and the International Women’s Forum. She is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost thinkers and speakers on gender issues and leadership. A member of Global Leadership for Climate Action, a task force of world leaders, she is a stalwart champion for the environment, making a strong business and economic case for sustainability. Straight-speaking, independent-minded and always thought-provoking, Ms. Campbell combines the stature and knowledge of a former head of state with an inspiring voice for women’s leadership and protecting our planet. Read More >

A woman of many firsts, Prime Minister Campbell’s estimable career has spanned media, academia, law, government and world leadership. Before rising to her nation’s highest office in 1993, she was the first Canadian Prime Minister to have held office in all three levels of government: municipal, provincial and federal. She has held cabinet portfolios of Minister of State for Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Minister of National Defence—the first woman to hold the top defense position in any NATO country—and Minister of Veterans’ Affairs. Her extensive experience on the world stage includes participation in major international meetings such as the Commonwealth, NATO and G-7 Summits and the United Nations General Assembly. After her tenure as Prime Minister, Ms. Campbell continued to serve as a diplomat, Counsul General and as a Fellow, lecturer and faculty member at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where remains an Honorary Fellow. From 2014-18, she was the Founding Principal of the Lougheed Leadership College at University of Alberta, creating a world class, interdisciplinary leadership program for undergraduate programs that is empowering change-makers. She currently serves as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at University of Toronto.

Since leaving government service, Ms. Campbell has worked with a number of organizations including Club of Madrid, World Movement for Democracy, Council of Women World Leaders, the Climate Action Reserve, Global Security Institute and International Crisis Group. Her many honors include the Companion of the Order of Canada (Canada’s highest civilian honor), the Order of British Columbia, the Churchill Society Award of Excellence and the 2018 Global Woman of Vision Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also been included in a number of lists, including Canada’s Most Powerful Women and 50 Most Important Political Leaders in World History (National Geographic Almanac of World History). Her honorific title, “Right Honourable” is reserved for only three positions in Canada: Prime Minister, Governor General (Queen’s Representative) and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Praised as a leader who "occupies a special place in the world of leadership, not only as a woman of many extraordinary firsts…,but as a woman who’s created a rich legacy of inspiration and expanded opportunities for girls and women across the globe," former Prime Minister Campbell brings a deep understanding of the major issues of the day. Whether diving into trade, geopolitics, gender equity, Canadian/American relations or climate change, her keynotes inspire and illuminate. Most of all, they treat audiences to an encounter with one of the most extraordinary and accomplished women of our time. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Why Do We Lead?

Redefining Privacy

Gender & Power

The Leadership Power of Women

Social & Security Dimensions of Climate Change

The Business Case for Women Leaders

Earth's Need for Cooperation Over Scarce Resources

Speech Topics

Creating the Next Generation of Leaders

The Right Honourable Kim Campbell knows leadership. She demonstrated it as Canadian Prime Minister and during a respected career in which she was the first woman in many high-level leadership roles. As Founding Principal of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College at the University of Alberta, Campbell also created an interdisciplinary program to cultivate the next generation of leaders who are facing a world driven by intense competition, rapid technological change, and unprecedented leadership challenges. Drawing on her personal experience and latest studies, former Canadian Prime Minister Campbell explores aspects of effective leadership across sectors, and what it takes to develop creative, flexible, and innovative leaders in your organization.

Gender & Power

As Canada's first and only female Prime Minister, Kim Campbell's life has been a life of firsts. From the age of 16 when she became the first female student body president of her high school, to becoming the 19th Prime Minister of Canada at the age of 46, Ms. Campbell has spent much of her life breaking barriers for women. Through her deep and lengthy political career, she has experienced what it takes to make it in a man's world, and is widely regarded as one of the foremost thinkers and speakers on gender issues. After leaving politics, Campbell went on to teach at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Her course, Gender & Power, combined social science with her own career experiences. Read More >

In virtually all societies, leadership is gendered masculine. This is not because women do not lead, but because the positions that define leadership have been dominated by men. Prime Minister Campbell examines the dynamics of gender relations, particularly as illuminated in recent social science research, to help explain and understand barriers women face in being recognized as leaders. Read Less ^

We’re Already in World War III: Examining the Social & Political Dimensions of Climate Change

Climate change has come to be recognized globally as one of the most serious challenges facing our planet. Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell discusses the impact of the physical changes of global warming on human societies. Prime Minister Campbell was invited to address the security implications of climate change at the World Bank’s first internal seminar on the social implications of climate change in 2006. She continues to explore the implications of what she calls "the trifecta of disadvantage" where countries most at-risk from global warming are also among the world's poorest economies and weakest states. Campbell helps explain the effects of climate change on people, and offers insight into the actions that will be necessary in order to save cultures, lifestyles and lives.

The Culture of Power

Leadership, diversity, culture and the way we do business have all become intertwined. But what can science tell us about who gets to lead? Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell takes a close look at leadership in politics and business as it relates to the building blocks of our respective societies. Across the globe communities embrace different values in terms of legitimacy, loyalty, and social trust – but how have these been shaped and influenced by the level of development in our democratic systems? Known for her global vision and vast experience as a world leader, Campbell probes the question of cultural sensitivity as it applies to certain business and political ties and the factors that play a role in determining who is trusted as a leader.

Extended Programs

Prime Minister Campbell is also available to create extended programs in leadership development including presentations and workshops that respond to the needs of specific organizations.

Connect with The Right Honourable Kim Campbell