Rona is a dynamic national leader who has received many awards for her advocacy and role in public policy. During her tenure as Leader of Canada’s Official Opposition, she gained the respect of parliamentarians of all political stripes, and led the Conservative Party of Canada to the highest membership in its history and set a new tone by becoming the first leader of the Conservative Party to back equal marriage and march in a gay pride parade.
As a key member of the federal cabinet for a decade, Rona served as a minister across nine departments & agencies. At the time of her appointment, Rona was youngest female cabinet minister in Canadian history. As a federal minister, Rona created and chaired the federal advisory council for women on boards.
Today Rona is involved in bilateral trade and competitiveness issues. In addition to serving as an independent corporate director on several boards, Rona has also recently partnered with TD Securities. She is a Global Fellow at the Wilson Centre Canada Institute in Washington DC, and serves on the advisory council of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
Rona is a passionate advocate for women in Canada and around the world and led the global movement to create the “International Day of the Girl” at the United Nations. Later this fall, she will be featured in the UN Women’s “She Innovates” campaign. Rona recently launched “#SheLeads”, a non-profit foundation in Alberta focused on encouraging women to run for office and participate in public life. She also created and co-chairs the She Leads Economic Council of Alberta, a high-powered group of women corporate leaders who provide non-partisan economic advice to high-ranking government and political officials.
She has spent her life passionately fighting for disadvantaged women and girls. She was one of the champions responsible for ensuring that aboriginal women in Canada were finally granted equal matrimonial rights. She successfully fought for the creation of a Canadian refugee program to bring Yazidi women and girls who have been sexually enslaved by ISIS to safety in Canada, working alongside Nadia Murad who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize.
When she’s not working (which is rare), Rona is usually found in the Rockies horseback riding, hiking or skiing with her husband, JP, and three kids.