EP 38 – Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell – Icon for Democracy and Leadership

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Our guest is The Right Honourable Kim Campbell whose life has been a life of firsts: from the age of 16 when she became the first female student body president at Prince of Wales Secondary School, to the first female president for her freshman class at University of British Columbia, to holding elected office at all three levels of Canadian government and then becoming Canada’s first (and only) female Prime Minister in 1993. Clearly, Kim has spent much of her life breaking barriers for women. She was the first woman to serve as Canada’s Minister of Justice and Minister of National Defence, as well as the first woman to serve as Minister of Defence of a NATO member country. Ms. Campbell served as the Canadian Consul General in Los Angeles, taught at the Harvard Kennedy School and is a member of the International Women’s Forum, a global organization of women of significant and diverse achievement, and served as its global president (2003-2005). She was inducted into the IWF Hall of Fame in 2008.

Kim Campbell is also a founding member of the Club of Madrid, now the largest international forum of former heads of government and state who work to promote democratic values. After serving as Acting President (2002), Secretary General (2004-2006) Vice President and a member of the Board (2007- 2011) she returned to the Board in 2019.

Among her involvement in international organizations focused on democracy and security issues, Kim Campbell chaired the Steering Committee for the World Movement for Democracy in Washington, DC from 2008-2015, and is a Trustee of the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) at King’s College, London. Ms. Campbell became an international leader of leaders as Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders and is currently a member and Chair Emerita of the Council of Women World Leaders (1999-2003). The Council’s membership comprises women who hold, or have held, the office of President or Prime Minister.

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: The Peter Lougheed Leadership College. She served as its Founding Principal from the 2014-2018.

In 2016 Kim Campbell was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to serve as Chairperson of the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments, a role she has reprised three times since, most recently in spring 2021.

In 2021, Ms. Campbell joined the board of Toronto based Glen Gould Foundation ( and the advisory board of The Vancouver Anti-Corruption Institute. VACI is a project of The International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy (ICCLR), which was created during Ms. Campbell’s tenure as Minister of Justice. Also in 2021, Ms. Campbell accepted an invitation to become a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of arts, manufactures and commerce(, which was founded in 1754 in England. Additionally, Ms. Campbell received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the International Leadership Association (ILA), for her significant contributions to the understanding and practice of effective leadership which has had an exceptional impact internationally.

Kim Campbell lives with her husband – pianist, actor, playwright, composer and producer Hershey Felder – in Florence, Italy.

Join us as Kim Campbell speaks widely on issues related to leadership, international politics, democratization, climate change, gender, Canadian/American relations and much more. By discovering how someone else has learned important life lessons from lived experiences, many times we can then apply these insights to our own lives and unlock hidden potentials.

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