Executive Director – Clare Beckton

For more information about our work, visit the Executive Director’s Corner. 


Clare Beckton is currently Founding Executive Director of the Carleton University Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership and author of Own It, Your Success, Your Life, Your Future. The Centre promotes and leads research to advance women’s leadership through working with a variety of partners, develops and delivers advancement of women leaders training and creates partnerships and awareness.

She has extensive experience in a broad range of areas including leading large organizations, Strategic planning, governance, leadership to change systems, risk management, gender, diversity , inclusion, Aboriginal policy issues, and advancement of women’s leadership. She has strong interpersonal and communication skills.

From April 2007 to July 2009, Clare Beckton served as the Deputy Head of Status of Women Canada, managing the departmental agency within the government’s management accountability framework and providing advice to Ministers. She led the development of public policy for the advancement of women and assisted a number of non- profits to seek funding to benefit women. She played a key supporting role in the creation of the Canadian Board Diversity Council and We Connect Canada..

From July 2005 to April 2007 Ms. Beckton co-led, with the Aboriginal Leadership Institute(now Indigenous Leadership Development Institute) and other partners, a multi-sectoral Aboriginal Leadership Initiative to find new and innovative ways of addressing the complex challenges facing Aboriginal communities in Canada.

In 2005, as a Fulbright Scholar, she obtained an MPA, with a focus on leadership, from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. In recognition of academic excellence and her exceptional contribution to public service and leadership, Ms. Beckton was awarded the Littauer Fellowship.

She led the Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio of Justice Canada, as Assistant Deputy Attorney General, from 1998 until June 2004 managing an 80 million dollar budget and multi -billion dollar contingent liabilities, providing advice on treaty and land claim rights, positions in litigation, as well as residential school claims.

In 1996, Ms. Beckton became Senior General Counsel with Human Resources Development Legal Services, and served there until her appointment, in 1998, as Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Aboriginal Affairs, Department of Justice.

In 1984, Ms. Beckton joined the Human Rights Law Section of Justice Canada to coordinate the review of federal legislation to ensure compliance with section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 1988, she assumed the position of General Counsel with DOJ’s RCMP Legal Services, and in 1992, subsequently took on the role of General Counsel, Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Clare Beckton received her LLB and her BA from the University of Saskatchewan and spent an   LLM year at the University of Illinois. She taught law at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from 1974 to 1984, and, in that capacity, published a number of articles on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, some of which were cited by the Supreme Court of Canada, and several books including The Media and the Law in Canada. Some of her articles were cited by the Supreme court of Canada.

Clare Beckton is chair of the Board of Directors and of the Executive committee of the Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa, as well as past chair of the Governance Committee, and  Nominating committees. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Canadian Board Diversity Council. She was also a member of the Canadian Task Force for Women’s Business Growth . Clare Beckton is a mentor in the WXN program, in the Canadian Women in Communications and Technology program, the International Women’s Forum Elite Athlete program and mentors and coaches many other women and men. She has now joined UNICEF’s 25th team to promote maternal and newborn health in developing countries. She is a sought after speaker and regularly asked by the media for comments on issues affecting women.

She leads workshops on Owning Your Success for women, creating a diverse workplace, leads a one week development program to advance women’s leadership and is a regular speaker at many events. She speaks at many events and forums.

In 2008, Clare was appointed to the Women’s Leadership Board of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and received the Woman of the Year Award from the Federated Press for “exceptional achievement and outstanding leadership by a Canadian woman”.

Clare Beckton was selected by the Women’s Executive Network for a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award in both 2008 and again in 2012. She is also the recipient of a Canada 125 Medal. She has been recognized by Women of Influence as a Canadian diversity champion. In 2015 she was honoured with a leadership award for advocacy by Canadian Women in communications and Technology..

She is a blog contributor to the Huffington Post writing on issues that impact women and Canadian society. Contact information:


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