Woman of Firsts

When it comes to blazing the trail for women, the Right Honourable Kim Campbell's career includes many milestones. From the age of 16 when she became the first female student body president of her high school, until 30 years later as the first female prime minister of Canada at the age of 46, Ms. Campbell has spent much of her life breaking barriers for women.

Not only does Ms. Campbell still hold the distinction of being Canada's first and only female Prime Minister, she is also the first Canadian Prime Minister to have held office in all three levels of government: Municipal, Provincial and Federal. The Right Honourable Kim Campbell has held the cabinet portfolios of Minister of State for Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Minister of National Defence--the first woman to have held such a position in any NATO country--and Minister of Veterans' Affairs. Additionally, the breadth of her international experience includes participation in major international meetings such as the Commonwealth, NATO, the G-7 Summit and the United Nations General Assembly.

After her tenure as Prime Minister, Ms. Campbell continued to serve Canada as a diplomat, and 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 John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Then, she served as the Canadian Consul General in Los Angeles from 1996-2000. In 2001 Ms. Campbell became a Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School and then was invited to join the faculty as a lecturer and remains an Honorary Fellow.

For a detailed account of Ms. Campbell's accomplishments, visit her biography.

First and Foremost

  • First female Student Council President at Prince of Wales Secondary School in Vancouver; this accomplishment won her press coverage in the Vancouver Sun.
  • First female Frosh President at UBC.
  • First female Justice Minister and Attorney General in Canada.
  • First female Minister of National Defence of Canada and of any NATO country.
  • First female Minister of Veterans Affairs.
  • First female Leader of the PC Party.
  • First female Prime Minister. [Campbell being sworn in.]⇒
  • First Prime Minister born and raised in British Columbia.
  • First former Canadian PM to serve Canada as a diplomat after leaving office.


Awards and Honors

Throughout her career, Kim Campbell has received many awards of note, including such prestigious honors as Companion of the Order of Canada, an honor held by only 165 individuals at any given time. She has also been awarded the Churchill Society Award of Excellence and inclusion in Canada's Most Powerful Women in the category of Trailblazers & Trendsetters. Kim Campbell was included in the list of 50 most important political leaders in history in the National Geographic Almanac of World History. Additionally, Ms. Campbell has been awarded several honorary degrees. A complete chronology of Ms. Campbell's awards and honors appears below: 

2018 Vancouver Metro YWCA Icon Award

2018 Doctor of Civil Laws, honoris causa, Acadia University

2018 UBC's Peter Allard School of Law Alumni Association Lifetime Acheivement Awards

2018 Global Woman of Vision Lifetime Achievement Award

2015 Women in Law Leadership (WILL) Lifetime Achievement Award ⇒

2014 Ottawa Mayor, Jim Watson, declares September 22, 2014 as "Kim Campbell Day"

2014 Famous 5 Ottawa, Nation Builder

2014 Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, Simon Fraser University ⇒ 

2013 UBC Alma Mater Society Great Trekker Award

2012 Investiture into the Order of British Columbia

2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

2011 Doctor of Law, honoris causa, Trent University

2010 Doctor of Law, honoris causa, University of Alberta

2010 Investiture into the Order of Canada—Companion ⇒

2009 UBC Alumni Achievement Award of Distinction

2009 Equal Voice, Canada's EVE Award

2008 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100

Category: Trailblazers & Trendsetters

WXN's Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ Awards and Summit is a symbol of the success women have attained and represents a unique array of proven achievers from many walks of life. Under the leadership of WXN, an independent advisory board selects winners in eight categories: Corporate Executives, Entrepreneurs, Public Sector Leaders, Trailblazers & Trendsetters, Champions, Professionals, Future Leaders, and Arts & Communications.

2008 Churchill Society Award of Excellence

2008 Named to the Order of Canada—Companion

The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement and service in various fields of human endeavor. It is Canada's highest civilian honor for lifetime achievement, and may be held by only 165 living individuals at one time. Three different levels of membership--Companion, Officer and Member--honor people whose accomplishments vary in degree and scope.

2008 International Women's Forum Hall of Fame ⇒

2005 Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

2005 Doctor of Law, honoris causa, Chatham College, Pittsburgh, PA

2004 Doctor of Law, honoris causa, Mt. Holyoke

College, South Hadley, MA

2004 The 50 Most Important Political Leaders ⇒

Kim Campbell was included in the list of 50 most important political leaders in history in the National Geographic Almanac of World History.

2003 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100

Category: Trailblazers

2003 Freedom of the City - Vancouver, BC

The Freedom of the City is the highest award given by the City of Vancouver. Reserved for individuals of exceedingly high merit, it is given only in exceptional cases, usually to someone who has gained national and international acclaim in the arts, business or philanthropy, and who has brought recognition to Vancouver through his or her achievements.

2002 Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal

The medal was awarded to Canadians who made a significant contribution to their fellow citizens, their community or to Canada over the previous fifty years.

2000 Doctor of Law, honoris causa, University of British Columbia⇒

1999 Doctor of Public Service, honoris causa, Northeastern University, Boston

1998 Doctor of Law, honoris causa, Brock University, Canada

1994 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Vancouver

1994 Woman of the Year by Chatelaine Magazine ⇒

1991 Doctor of Law, honoris causa, Law Society of Upper Canada