Kim Campbell | Prime Minister of Canada

Kim Campbell, byname of Avril Phaedra Campbell, (born March 10, 1947, Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada), a Canadian politician, that in June 1993 became the first female to serve as prime minister of Canada. Her tenure was short, lasting only until November.

Campbell was educated at the University of British Columbia (B.A., 1969) and at the London School of Economics, where she studied the Soviet government. She educated political science for six years before returning to the University of British Columbia to pursue a law degree; upon graduation in 1983, she practiced law in Vancouver for two years before devoting herself full-time to some political career.

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In Vancouver Campbell served on the city school board and has been chair for a period. In October 1986, nevertheless, she won a seat in the provincial legislature since the Social Credit member for a Vancouver riding. 2 years later she left provincial politics and was elected to the federal parliament as a Progressive Conservative. In 1989 Prime Minister Brian Mulroney appointed her ministry for Indian Affairs and Northern Development. In 1990 she became a justice minister and attorney general; her tenure was marked by various legislative successes, such as strengthening Canada’s gun-control legislation and passing a challenging rape law.

Her appointment as defense minister in January 1993 has been viewed as a sign of Mulroney’s confidence in her political future, particularly when he announced his own retirement soon thereafter. Campbell was chosen by a party convention to substitute Mulroney and became Canada’s first woman, prime minister, in June 1993. Back in November, the Revolutionary Conservatives suffered a devastating electoral defeat (the party won only two seats, and Campbell failed to carry her Vancouver riding), and she left office. The following month she resigned as party leader.

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After her retirement from active politics, Campbell became a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University. From 1996 to 2000 she served as the Canadian consul-general in Los Angeles. Subsequently, she resumed her fellowship at Harvard, and from 2004 to 2006 she functioned as secretary-general for the Club of Madrid, a group she helped found, which includes former heads of government and efforts to enhancedemocracy throughout the world. She was active in various nongovernmental organizations, such as the International Crisis Group and the International Centre for the Research of Radicalisation and Political Violence. Her autobiography, Time and Chance, was printed in 1996.

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