Rachel Notley

Premier of Alberta • May 2015 to April 2019


Rachel Notley was born with orange roots, in a very political world. She grew up in Fairview in northern Alberta, the oldest of three children, and was raised by her mother Sandra and father Grant Notley. Her father was the then-leader of Alberta’s New Democratic Party.

She wasn’t even 10-years-old the first time she went out protesting in Edmonton, with her mother. ”She took me on some anti-war demonstration. I honestly can’t even remember what is was,” said Notley in a Maclean’s interview in 2015. ”I remember walking across the High Level Bridge and thinking, wow, this is really a very long walk.”

After studying political science at the University of Alberta, she got a law degree from Osgoode Law School in Toronto and went to work as a labour relations officer for the United Nurses of Alberta.

Notley was first elected to Alberta’s provincial legislative assembly as a member of the NDP in 2008. She was subsequently elected as an incumbent in 2012 with the highest vote share of any candidate in Alberta that year.

Notley of course, is known by most for being the 17th premier of Alberta, a position she held in May 2015. In the 2019 election, her party lost and Jason Kenney was elected.

She is currently a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Edmonton-Strathcona and remains leader of the Alberta New Democratic Party.

Hear more about the Canadian women who have served as a First Minister by checking out our No Second Chances Podcast.