Naheed K. Nenshi served as Calgary’s mayor for three terms between 2010 and 2021. During his time, Calgary became one of the greatest cities in the world, named as the best city in which to live in the Western Hemisphere.
His leadership saw an unprecedented investment in quality of life including transit, roads, recreation centres and libraries including the magnificent Central Library, while keeping taxes the lowest in Canada. His time as mayor also saw the City of Calgary through four states of emergency, including devastating flooding in 2013 floods and the COVID-19 pandemic. He also became an international voice on urban issues, with audiences across Canada and around the world, including the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Naheed was awarded the World Mayor Prize as the best mayor in the world in 2014 by The City Mayors Foundation. He also has received the President’s Award from the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Humanitarian Award from the Canadian Psychological Association for his contribution to community mental health. Maclean’s magazine once called him the second-most influential person in Canada, after the Prime Minister, much to the amusement of his mother.
Prior to his election, Naheed served as Canada’s first tenured professor of nonprofit management at the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University. Before entering academia, he was a management consultant for global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, and ran his own firm, Ascend Group, where his client list included the United Nations, where he worked on how corporations can help the world’s poorest people, and The Gap.
Naheed is a graduate of the University of Calgary, where he served as President of the Students’ Union, and holds a Master of Public Policy Degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he studied as a Kennedy Fellow. He is a proud first-generation Canadian of Indian ancestry, whose parents immigrated from Tanzania. His family and his Ismaili Muslim faith instilled in him the ethic of seva – service to the community, something he tries to live every day.
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