Guest Speakers – 2023 Liberal National Convention | Liberal Party of Canada

Guest Speakers

Justin Trudeau headshot

Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau is the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister.

Justin’s vision of Canada is a country where everyone has a real and fair chance to succeed. His experiences as a teacher, father, leader, and advocate for youth have shaped his dedication to serving Canadians – and his commitment to make Canada a place where everyone has the opportunities they need to thrive.

The oldest of three boys, Justin was raised speaking both French and English, growing up with the profound influence of his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and his mother, Margaret Trudeau. This background helped spark his passion for public service and shaped his conviction that diversity is Canada’s strength.

Justin earned a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from McGill University in 1994. He went on to complete the University of British Columbia’s education program, and spent several years teaching French, math, and other subjects in Vancouver.

Justin entered politics to make change that would better serve all Canadians. In 2007, he built a community-based, grassroots campaign to win the Liberal Party nomination in the Montréal riding of Papineau. He was elected in 2008, and re-elected in 2011, 2015, 2019, and 2021.

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Sophie Grégoire Trudeau headshot

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is a loving, inspired, adventurous woman and a mother of three children. For the past 20 years, she’s been an engaged advocate for gender equality, mental health, emotional literacy, and the importance of physical activity in nature.

The book she wrote on mental health and well-being is in the works and should hit the shelves in the coming months.

Sophie is a Youth Leadership Global Ambassador for Plan International and was recently named the first-ever National Volunteer for the Canadian Mental Health Association. Sophie is a trained speaker, interviewer, as well as television and radio host.

Over the years, she has lent her voice to the FitSpirit Foundation, The Shield of Athena, and Parks Canada as an Honorary Guide for Families. In 2017, she was named influencer for the Deliver Good campaign for Women Deliver championing gender equality and the health of girls and women worldwide. Nature Canada also named her « 100th Woman for Nature » personifying its mission to connect more Canadian youth and families to Nature.

In 2018, Sophie received the Humanitarians Award from the United Nations Association of New York.

Sophie is a trained hatha yoga instructor for both adults and children and teaches on a volunteer basis.

As an outdoor enthusiast, Sophie loves to push physical and emotional boundaries by practicing various sports such as surfing, hiking, skiing, skating, mountain biking, swimming, and scuba diving. And to maintain balance, she practices and leads relaxing Yoga Nidra sessions. Embracing life, one breath at a time.

Hillary Clinton headshot

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton has spent over five decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State, and presidential candidate. As 67th U.S. Secretary of State, her “smart power” approach to foreign policy repositioned American diplomacy and development for the 21st century. Clinton played a central role in restoring America’s standing in the world, reasserting the United States as a Pacific power, imposing crippling sanctions on Iran and North Korea, responding to the Arab Awakening, and negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East. Earlier, as First Lady and Senator for New York, she traveled to more than 80 countries as a champion of human rights, democracy, and opportunities for women and girls. She also worked to provide health care to millions of children, create jobs and opportunity, and support first responders who risked their lives at Ground Zero. In her historic 2016 campaign for President of the United States, Clinton won 66 million votes. She is the author of ten best-selling books, host of the podcast You and Me Both, founder of the global production studio HiddenLight Productions, Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, and a Professor of Practice at the School of International and Public Affairs and Presidential Fellow at Columbia World Projects at Columbia University. She is married to former U.S. President Bill Clinton, has one daughter Chelsea, and three grandchildren: Charlotte, Aidan, and Jasper.

Suzanne Cowan headshot

Suzanne Cowan

Suzanne is the President of the Liberal Party of Canada and has served in this role since being elected in 2018. She served as a senior political advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his leadership campaign and has held senior roles in the 2015, 2019 and 2021 federal elections.

Suzanne is an accomplished corporate executive and a communications and marketing professional. She holds more than 25 years of experience in the political, public, and private sectors. She was educated at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, and Université de Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France. She was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and currently lives in Toronto with her family.

Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien headshot

Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien

Jean Chrétien was born in Shawinigan Falls, Quebec in 1934, the 18th of 19 children, a number larger than every federal cabinet until 1912. He was first elected to Parliament in 1963, and served in the House for more than 30 years as MP, Minister, and Prime Minister. He navigated the 1995 referendum on sovereignty in Quebec, brought in the Canadian Firearms Registry, revamped the youth justice laws, introduced key environmental policies, and introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

Dr. Katherine Smart headshot

Dr. Katharine Smart

Pediatrician, Medical Leader, Passionate Advocate

Dr. Katharine Smart is an experienced medical leader and advocate who constantly challenges the status quo in medicine. A pediatrician in Canada’s north, her work focuses on innovative and collaborative partnerships between community and government to serve marginalized children in rural and remote areas. An outspoken advocate against misinformation, Dr. Smart regularly uses her voice to bring evidence and facts to the forefront of health communication.

Dr. Smart is the past president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), where in 2021 she became the 10th woman to serve in the organization’s 155-year history. A Fierce and authentic leader, she has become a recognized and respected medical voice in Canada. Dr. Smart has been recognized as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women, with the Medical Post’s Changemaker Media Award and theWaterfalls Global Award. In recognition of her advocacy for primary care and family medicine she received an honourary membership from the Canadian Family Physicians of Canada. She has held many leadership positions including president of the Yukon Medical Association and sits on the board of RonaldMcDonald House charities and Actua, Canada’s largest STEM outreach organization.

Dr. Smart is a passionate communicator and sought-after media expert, keynote speaker, panelist and podcast guest. She is the host ofSPARK: Conversations, Children’s Healthcare Canada’s monthly podcast series.

Dr. Smart’s clinical work has spanned the breadth of Pediatrics. She started her career as a pediatric emergency medicine physician at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. She has worked in Australia,Vancouver and across Canada’s north. Her current clinical focus is providing care to children who have experienced adverse childhood events using a model of social pediatrics in the Yukon.

Patrick Frank headshot

Patrick Frank

Patrick Frank has served as Outreach Director for Datadat since 2021 working to help campaigns and organizations adopt small donor fundraising strategies. Prior to this, he worked as the Outreach Director at ActBluefor 7.5 years where he oversaw the growth of the progressive online fundraising giant from $360 million to over $9 billion. He also has extensive experience as a field campaigner including in both the 2008 and 2012 Obama Campaigns. Currently, he splits his time between Boston in the US, and Vienna, Austria.

Garima Verma headshot

Garima Verma

Garima Verma is a digital strategist and creative storyteller with a decade of experience in entertainment, politics and social impact. Most recently, she served as Chief Digital Officer for the Stacey Abrams for Governor campaign, where she built, scaled and oversaw a digital fundraising program that raised $38M+ and $12M digital-first persuasion and mobilization program.

Prior to the Abrams campaign, Garima worked in the White House for Dr. Jill Biden as her first Digital Director, on the Biden-Harris 2020 social media team and with various nonprofits and impact-oriented organizations in her consulting work. Before working in this space, Garima worked in digital marketing for television and film on projects like Mission: Impossible Fallout, black-ish and The Oscars.

Alastair Campbell headshot

Alastair Campbell

Alastair Campbell is a writer, communicator and strategist best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy. Still active in politics and campaigns in Britain and overseas, he now splits his time between writing, speaking, broadcasting, charities and consultancy.

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Dan Arnold headshot

Dan Arnold

Dan is a long-time Liberal activist, having spent his Young Liberal days volunteering on many, many losing Liberal campaigns in Alberta. More successfully, he led the Trudeau Liberals’ research program during their 2015, 2019, and 2021 election victories. He moderated focus groups, led the nightly tracking, and used polling data to map the path to government.

In between these campaigns, Dan served as Director of Research, Advertising, & Correspondence in the Prime Minister’s Office. Through this role, he kept tabs on what mattered to the “real people” outside the Parliament Hill bubble.

In 2022, Dan rejoined one of Canada’s leading polling firms, Pollara, as Chief Strategy Officer. Dan also acts as a Senior Advisor at the Alar Strategy Group.

Michael Whitney headshot

Michael Whitney

Michael Whitney is an expert digital fundraiser and campaigner with nearly 20 years of experience running advocacy and fundraising programs for political candidates and nonprofit organizations, and has raised more than $500 million USD. He served as Digital Fundraising Manager for the most successful fundraising program in U.S. presidential primary history with Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016, and reprised that same role for Bernie’s 2020 campaign. He’s trained hundreds of staff from agencies and nonprofits on email fundraising, data analysis, and online advertising in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K. Michael lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the U.S. with his wife Nicole and their son Carson.

Ryan Thompson headshot

Ryan Thompson

Ryan Thompson is a seasoned American Democratic Party political strategist. Throughout his career, Thompson has raised nearly 400 million USD for the Democratic Party and Democratic federal candidates, executed integrated voter mobilization programs, and managed some of the largest teams in American politics. Thompson has served in multiple roles at the U.S. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), serving as the committee’s chief digital officer in the 2020 election cycle and most recently served as the deputy campaign manager for Congresswoman Val Demings’ U.S. Senate bid in his home state of Florida. Thompson started in campaigns by organizing predominately African American communities in southeast North Carolina to re-elect Kay Hagan to the U.S. Senate.

Geneviève Hinse headshot

Geneviève Hinse

Geneviève is truly passionate about politics. She has been an active member of the Liberal Party of Canada for over 15 years and played key roles in all 3 Team Trudeau victories during the most recent general elections.

In 2015, Geneviève was Deputy Director of Communications for the national campaign, responsible for Québec. In 2019, ran a hard-fought campaign against the NDP’s Alexandre Boulerice as the Liberal candidate in Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie in Montreal. More recently in 2021, she was Director of Communications for the national campaign. Perfectly bilingual, a proud francophone, Geneviève also served as Vice-President (French) of the National Board of Directors of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Public service is a priority for Geneviève. During her career she worked at all 3 levels of government. From 2015 to 2018, she had the great privilege of serving as Chief of Staff to 2 federal Health Ministers, where she helped deliver major progressive public policies, including legalizing cannabis and medical aid in dying. Since 2020, she has been Chief of Staff to the Québec Lieutenant.

Aside from her government experience, Geneviève has also worked in the private sector as a communications expert for a major public relations firm in Canada and for a world-leader in IT.

Komal Minhas headshot

Komal Minhase

Komal is a columnist for Fortune magazine and the founder of Karseva, a company focused on building individual, economic, and societal resilience through advisory, media production, and investing. She curates powerful experiences and conversations as an interviewer, business strategist, resilience educator, and investor, and was named to Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul 100 list for this work.

As an interviewer, she has been in conversation with Michelle Obama, Glennon Doyle, Rupi Kaur, Angela Duckworth, and more. As a business strategist and resilience educator, Komal supports the leaders behind the brands, companies, and organizations you love to scale their revenue, impact, and protect their well-being as they work to transform the systems we live in.

Tabatha Bull headshot

Tabatha Bull

Tabatha is Anishinaabe, a proud member of Nipissing First Nation. As CCAB’s president and CEO she is committed to help rebuild and strengthen the path towards reconciliation and a prosperous Indigenous economy to benefit all Canadians. As an electrical engineer, Tabatha is committed to supporting Indigenous inclusion and diversity in Canada’s energy sector.

Serving the Indigenous community through CCAB’s commitment to support the Indigenous economy, Tabatha is often asked to provide input to the federal government, including through her attendance at the 2023 North American Leaders Summit with delegates from Canada, Mexico, and the USA. She participated on the Indo- Pacific Advisory Committee, providing perspectives and recommendations on the Indo-Pacific strategy that aims to advance Canada’s goal within trade diversification, inclusive growth, and climate change. And as a past member of the government’s COVID-19 Supply Council, advocating for Indigenous businesses to be included in Canada’s response to the pandemic.

In 2022, Tabatha received the award of CEO of the Year from for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAA). The award is given to a CEO who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership.

Tabatha advocates for the Indigenous economy through her work with various organizations, committees, and boards on Indigenous economic development.

An appointee of the Catalyst CEO advisory board in Canada, Tabatha collaborates with some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and leading companies to help build workplaces that work for women. Also, a member of Queen’s University Dean of Engineering’s Circle of Advisors, Centennial College’s Indigenous Circle, C.D Howe Institute’s Energy Policy program, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce board, and the Board of the Dexterra Group, Tabatha is dedicated to diversity and removing systematic barriers to improve opportunities and business competitiveness across all industry sectors.

Tabatha is an appointee of CN’s inaugural Indigenous Advisory Council. The Council is comprised of accomplished and respected representatives of Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities of every province and territory. Their mandate is to advise CN’s Board and company President and Chief Executive Officer on issues relevant to CN’s relationship with the more than 200 Indigenous communities in which CN operates.

Tabatha has appeared on numerous occasions in the Senate and House of the Parliament of Canada, discussing, advocating, and advising on various Indigenous business issues. She was recommended to the Deputy Minister of International Trade at Global Affairs Canada to join the Trade Advisory Council where she is one of a 12-member panel. The Council’s overarching mandate is to advise on issues related to export promotion, investment attraction, trade policy and negotiations, and international science, technology, and innovation.

Tabatha is also a main judge on Bears’ Lair, an Indigenous TV series that aired on APTN, which was dedicated to the growth of Indigenous entrepreneurs.

Above all else Tabatha is a mom to two incredible young men and is most comfortable cheering them on from the side of the hockey rink or lacrosse field.

Farah Alibay headshot

Farah Alibay

Farah Alibay is an aerospace engineer from Quebec. Born in Montréal (Quebec, Canada), she spent much of her childhood in Joliette (Quebec) and much of her teenage years in Manchester (United Kingdom) tinkering with all sorts of projects and being fascinated by space and exploration. These passions led her to pursue a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Aerospace and Aerothermal Engineering from Cambridge University (Cambridge, United Kingdom) before returning to North America to pursue a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Boston, United States) with a concentration in Systems Engineering. In 2014, she joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) where she is currently part of the Mars 2020 mission, working on the Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars in February 2021, and the Ingenuity helicopter, which performed the first powered flight on another planet in April 2021. Prior to joining this team, she worked on several other missions, including the InSight Mars Lander and the Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats.

Outside of her daily work, Farah has a passion for scientific communication, having appeared in numerous newspapers, television and radio shows, and conferences around the world. She promotes the involvement of women and minorities in STEM and is dedicated to helping make the field more diverse and equitable. She is also active in her local community, acting as a Big Sister in the Big Brother Big Sister program in Los Angeles and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), helping children navigate the foster care system. In her spare time, Farah spends time exploring the mountains near her home where she enjoys hiking, rock climbing and mountaineering.

Farah has been a senior systems engineer for the SPHEREx mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) since 2022.

Liz Plank headshot

Liz Plank

Liz is an award-winning journalist, the international bestselling author of For the Love of Men and host of the Man Enough podcast where she interviews influential figures about their journey to manhood. She is also the director of NOT SO SPECIAL, a feature film about disability rights. She’s been listed as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Mediaite’s Most Influential in News Media, and Marie Claire’s Most Powerful Women, and was named one of the World’s Most Influential People in Gender Policy by Apolitical.

Through her activism and creative approach to journalism, Liz has made it her mission to elevate the voices of those who are often not heard. Before becoming a journalist, Liz worked at a community center for people with disabilities in Montreal and was a researcher and behavioral science consultant at the London School of Economics, from which she holds a master’s degree in policy with an emphasis in global gender politics.

More guest speakers to come!