During his 11-year tenure as mayor, Naheed Nenshi led Calgary through one of its most prosperous and tumultuous decades. Alongside unprecedented investment in quality of life, Calgary also saw four states of emergency called that included a devastating flood and a worldwide pandemic. Nenshi’s leadership earned him both national and international recognition, with him being ranked #2 on Maclean’s 2013 Power List and awarded the 2014 World Mayor Prize. Drawing on his extensive experience, Nenshi shares insights into Canada’s political landscape and shows leaders how to empower their teams for success no matter the circumstances.
Nenshi served as Calgary’s mayor for three terms between 2010 and 2021, during which Calgary was named one of the best cities to live in the Western Hemisphere. In recognition of his leadership, Nenshi was awarded the World Mayor Prize in 2014 by the City Mayors Foundation. He is also the recipient of 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.
Prior to his election, Nenshi served as Canada’s first tenured professor of non-profit 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. His client list included the United Nations, where he explored how corporations can help the world’s poorest people, and the Gap. Today, Nenshi is an intentionally known voice on urban issues. He has presented to audiences across Canada and the world, including the World Economic Forum.
Nenshi is a graduate of the University of Calgary, where he served as president of the students’ union, and holds a master’s in public policy 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, or service to the community, something he tries to live every day.