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International Women’s Day Dinner and Discussion with Donna Kennedy Glans,
Former MLA for Calgary Varsity & Associate Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy
DONNA KENNEDY GLANS
As MLA for Calgary-Varsity (2012-2015), Donna championed citizens’ voices in decision-making. For example, Donna was Chair of the provincial results-based review of economic diversification programs, and within the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations’ mandate, Donna spear-headed First Nations and Métis Women’s Economic Councils. Her expertise in energy and economics led to other appointments:
• Associate Minister, Electricity and Renewable Energy;
• Chair, Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship;
• Member, Treasury Board;
• Member, Ministerial Working Group on Natural Resources and Environment; and
• Member, Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future.
Following lengthy discussions with her constituents, in the spring of 2014 Donna decided to sit as an Independent rather than support government policies and practices that weakened government’s accountability to voters and the ability of electors to participate in their government. Donna returned to the PC party upon the election of a new leader that fall but did not seek re-election in 2015.
Donna has since continued to advocate for Albertans. She was invited by a group of young Albertans, including millennials, to mentor and build their capacity in the “how” of politics. In 2015 Donna launched Viewpoints AB, an initiative that asked Albertans’ opinions on carbon and energy policy and she personally delivered the viewpoints of nearly half a million Albertans to COP21 in Paris.
Donna continues to focus on sustainability as an advisor to the Energy Futures Lab of The Natural Step and sharing ideas through teaching and mentoring. Her most recent project is aimed at ultimately getting Albertans back to work; she has co-founded In My Opinion, a citizen outreach and engagement initiative to educate and promote a more open dialogue about energy among Canadians.
Donna has 30 years’ experience as a lawyer, businesswoman and leader in the energy sector on projects in more than 35 countries. Highlights of her career in this sector include serving as:
• A lawyer and negotiator with TransCanada Pipelines’ exploration and production company during the deregulation of energy markets in the 1980s;
• A corporate executive and first female Vice-President with Nexen Inc., an upstream oil and gas company, where she was responsible for managing above-ground risks in domestic and international projects from 1991-2001;
• An independent consultant, advising global energy operators on how to manage non-technical risks in resource projects over the past decade from 2002-2012 — the “social licence” concept that is growing as a universal operating standard.
• In 2002, Donna’s professional work overseas led her to found Bridges Social Development, a non-profit volunteer organization where experts from Alberta trained and mentored local community leaders in health care, law, journalism, education and politics in Yemen. This non-profit now works with youth from immigrant, First Nations and Metis communities in Alberta.
Corporate Integrity: A Toolkit for Managing beyond Compliance, lead author, published by John Wiley & Sons, 2005; Unveiling the Breath: One Woman’s Journey into Understanding Islam and Gender Equality, published by Pari Publishing, 2009.
Woman of Vision, Global Television, 2007; ”Compelling Calgarian” by Calgary Herald, 2010;
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012; One of “Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People” by Alberta Venture magazine, 2014; One of “Canada’s 50 Most Powerful Business People” Canadian Business magazine, 2014.
Audiences include: industry and professional organizations, international conferences, women’s groups, faith communities and post-secondary institutions.
Donna has called Alberta home for more than three decades and lives in Calgary with her husband, Laurie Glans. Together they have raised three sons. In addition to volunteering with local community, inter-cultural and inter-faith groups, Donna enjoys hiking, photography and digging in her garden.