Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell

Canada's First Female Prime Minister

Kim Campbell, Prime Minister of Canada 1993
Kim Campbell, Prime Minister of Canada, 1993. Christopher Ruppel / Getty Images

Kim Campbell was the prime minister of Canada for only four months, but she can take credit for a number of Canadian political firsts. Campbell was the first female prime minister of Canada, the first female minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, and the first female minister of national defense. She also was the first woman elected to lead the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.


Kim Campbell was born on March 10, 1947, in Port Alberni, British Columbia.


Campbell received her bachelor's and law degrees from the University of British Columbia.

Political Affiliation

At the British Columbia provincial level, Campbell was a member of the Social Credit Party. At the federal level, she led the Progressive Conservative Party as prime minister.

Ridings (Electoral Districts)

Campbell's ridings were Vancouver - Point Grey (British Columbia provincial) and Vancouver Centre (federal).

Political Career of Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell was elected trustee of the Vancouver School Board in 1980. Three years later, she became chairperson of the Vancouver School Board. She served as vice-chairperson of the Vancouver School Board in 1984 while she completed her law degree.

Campbell was first elected to the British Columbia Legislative Assembly in 1986. In 1988, she was elected to the House of Commons. Later, Campbell was appointed Minister of State for Indian Affairs and Northern Development by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. She became Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada in 1990.

In 1993, Campbell took on the porfolio of Minister of National Defence and Veterans Affairs. With the resignation of Brian Mulroney, Campbell was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 1993 and was sworn in as prime minister of Canada. She was Canada's 19th prime minister and began her term on June 25, 1993.

Just a few months later, the Progressive Conservative government was defeated, and Campbell lost her seat in the general election in October 1993. Jean Chretien then became prime minister of Canada.

Professional Career

After her election defeat in 1993, Kim Campbell lectured at Harvard University. She served as Canadian Consul General in Los Angeles from 1996 to 2000 and has been active in the Council of Women World Leaders.

She also has served as the Founding Principal of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College at the University of Alberta and remains a frequent public speaker. In 1995, the queen awarded Campbell a personal coat of arms in recognition of her service and contributions to Canada. In 2016, she became the founding chair of a new non-partisan advisory board tasked with recommending candidates to the Canadian Supreme Court.

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