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Kim Campbell          

Former Prime Minister of Canada

The Right Honourable Kim Campbell knows what it takes to achieve success in today's challenging political and corporate arenas, and serving as Canada's first female prime minister marks only one of the many firsts that make up her dynamic career spanning media, academia, law, government, and world leadership. In 2004, she was included in the list of 50 most important political leaders in history in the Almanac of World History compiled by the National Geographic Society. She was cited for her status as the only woman head of government of a North American country.

Prior to 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 Defence and Minister of Veterans’ Affairs. She was the first woman to hold the Justice and Defence portfolios, and the first woman to be Defence Minister of a NATO country.

As a founding member and Secretary General [CEO] of Club of Madrid, she led this influential organization of former heads of state and government, and convened the best thinkers and advisors in order to strengthen democracy worldwide. Today, she continues as an active member of the Club, but now chairs the World Movement for Democracy, a global network of democracy promotion organizations.

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 nine honorary doctorates and Canada's highest honor, the Order of Canada, Campbell also has expertise in the social sciences that explains effective leadership and she has taught courses on gender and power and democratic transition at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

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.

Today, Campbell devotes the majority of her time to serving as the founding principal of the new Peter Lougheed Leadership College at the University of Alberta. She is also a trustee of the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) at King’s College London. She serves on advisory boards of numerous other international organizations, such as the Arab Democracy Foundation, the Middle Powers Initiative (MPI) and the Forum of Federations.

Campbell’s views are sought in many international fora, in which she works on and speaks about many global issues such as international politics, democratization, climate change, nonproliferation, the advancement of women 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.


Speech Topics

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Business Case for Women Leaders

Security & the Protection of Liberties: Not a Zero Sum Game

Democratic Transition & Consolidation



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