The Right Honourable Kim Campbell

Distinguished Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
Kim Campbell


Main bio

The Right Honourable Kim Campbell, PC, CC, OBC, QC, served as Canada's 19th prime minister in 1993. Previously, she 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, the first woman to be defence minister of a NATO country, and Canada's first and only female prime minister. While in office, Campbell participated in major international meetings including the Commonwealth, NATO, the G-7 Summit and the United Nations General Assembly. After her tenure as prime minister, Campbell was a fellow at the Institute of Politics (Spring 1994) and the Joan Shorenstein Center for the Study of Press and Politics (1994-1995) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She served as the Canadian consul general in Los Angeles (1996-2000). In 2001, Campbell became one of the inaugural fellows of the Centre for Public Leadership at Harvard University's J. F. Kennedy School of Government. Asked to join the faculty, she taught there for three years, developing courses focused on democratic transition and consolidation as well as gender and power. While on faculty, she worked with many leading leadership scholars and experts and also sat on the admissions committee for the Kennedy School. 

Campbell continues to visit and speak at the Centre for Public Leadership, where she remains an honorary fellow and regular guest speaker. Campbell is a founding member of the Club of Madrid, an organization of former heads of government and state who work to promote democratic values. She served as its secretary general (2004-2006), acting president (2002), vice-president (2003-2004), and on its board of directors (2007-2011). 

Campbell is a member and chair emerita of the Council of Women World Leaders (1999-2003). The council's membership consists of women who hold or have held the office of president or prime minister. Campbell is a member of the International Women's Forum, a global organization of women of significant and diverse achievement. She served as its president (2003-2005) and was inducted into the IWF Hall of Fame in 2008. 

Updated July 2023