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The Right Honourable Kim  Campbell

The Right Honourable Kim Campbell

Served as Canada's First Female Prime Minister


The Right Honorable Kim Campbell knows leadership. She served at all three levels of government, ultimately becoming Canada’s first female prime minister. She went on to become a “leader of leaders” internationally, and more recently founded a ground-breaking leadership program to cultivate the next generation of change makers. Her dynamic career has spanned media, academia, law, government, and world leadership. Read More >

Before becoming prime minister in 1993, Campbell held cabinet portfolios as Minister of State for Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and Minister of National Defense and Minister of Veterans’ Affairs. She was the first woman to hold the Justice and Defense portfolios, and the first woman to be Defense Minister of a NATO country.

As Secretary General [CEO] of the Club of Madrid, she led an influential organization of former heads of state and government that convenes the best thinkers and advisors in order to strengthen democracy worldwide. She was a founding member and remains active in their programs today.

Internationally acknowledged for her experience and savvy, she has participated in high-level meetings of NATO, the Commonwealth, and G-7. The recipient of numerous honors, including over ten honorary doctorates and Canada's highest honor, the Order of Canada, Campbell also has expertise in the social sciences that explain effective leadership and she has taught courses on gender and power and democratic transition at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is a trustee of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR) at King’s College London.

A respected advocate for women's rights and leadership, Campbell has led organizations such as the Council of Women World Leaders, whose members are female heads of state and government, as well as the International Women's Forum, which advances leadership across careers, cultures, and continents by connecting the world's most preeminent women of significant and diverse achievement.

Ms. Campbell’s most notable achievement in recent years has been the design and launch of a ground-breaking leadership program for undergraduates at the University of Alberta, called the Peter Lougheed Leadership College. She served as its Founding Principal from the spring of 2014 through June of 2018.

Campbell’s views are sought in many international fora, in which she works on and speaks about many global issues such as leadership, the advancement of women, international politics, democratization, climate change, nonproliferation, and Canadian/American relations. Stimulating, articulate, and clear in purpose, Kim Campbell combines a wealth of experience with the vision and determination of a true world leader. Renowned for her wit and natural charm, she tackles even difficult subjects with tact and good humor leaving audiences and organizers alike inspired to achieve their own goals. 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

Can Leadership Be Taught?

As Founding Principal of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College, Campbell 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 as well as the most up to date social science, former Canadian Prime Minister Campbell explores aspects of effective leadership across sectors, and how to develop creative, flexible, and innovative leaders.

The Social Dimensions of Climate Change

In the past decade, climate change has come to be recognized globally as one of the most serious challenges facing our planet. In The Social Dimensions of Climate Change, former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell discusses the impact of the physical changes of global warming on human societies. She addresses the security risks to developed countries as well as 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. Read More >

As a member of the Global Leadership for Climate Action (GLCA), a task force of world leaders committed to addressing climate change through international negotiations, Campbell has had access to the most up-to-date scientific information as well as the latest developments in the UNFCCC negotiations that are driving toward a global response in order to go beyond the "Kyoto Protocol." 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. Read Less ^

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? Read More >

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. Read Less ^

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, until 30 years later as 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, Kim knows what it's like 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 and in her course, Gender & Power, she brought together a mix of social science and her personal 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. Social science research confirms that there are deep underlying preconceptions about femininity that dramatically affect the way women are perceived and which can override empirical observation. Read Less ^

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