Don Iveson, who served as Mayor of the City of Edmonton from 2013 to 2021, has come on board as the first Canadian Urban Leader at the SofC. Owing to his consistent and unwavering focus on building a better world for future generations, Don's long-termism has become encoded in Edmonton's City Plan, and Council's Energy Transition Strategy and Carbon Budget. It also propelled him to find End Poverty Edmonton- an equity and social justice-seeking community initiative that centers on using evidence, community engagement and the traditional Indigenous ways of knowing to approach poverty and find ways to ensure prosperity for all residents. Don's efforts to effect change at both the municipal and federal levels through his roles on the board of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities led to the creation of Edmonton Global - a collaborative organization bringing together 14 municipalities in an effort to promote the economic growth of the region.
While Mayor Don served as Chair of Canada's Big City Mayors for five years, advocating for and shaping the National Housing Strategy while playing a part in securing the commitment to end chronic homelessness nationwide from the Federal Government. He currently serves on the board of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. Don also fulfilled the role of an Honorary Witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and implemented the first trauma-informed all-staff Indigenous awareness and reconciliation training program at a major Canadian city.
Don's extensive work with public institutions over the past 14 years is a testament to his commitment to seeking equitable solutions to a myriad of urgent challenges faced by cities. During his part-time appointment as a School of Cities Canadian Urban Leader, Don will primarily focus on building a new case for governance and financial empowerment of Canadian cities, particularly our major Metropolitan City Regions, with an eye on the larger picture of general local governance. He aims to build an extra-constitutional case for change that a visionary Canadian province could adopt to drive inclusive growth, resilience and sustainability, and prosperity for their citizens. He will also make policy recommendations local governments could advance on their own and that the federal government could support and/or induce with incentives, with case studies including but not limited to housing policy.
A father of two - Don hopes to build the sort of city where his children could aspire to thrive and contribute to their community in their own way.
We welcome Don to the School of Cities team!
Canadian Urban Leaders are influential and prominent former-government (municipal, provincial, national and inter-governmental organizations) officials, senior city-staff, city planners, and senior staff on provincial and federal ministries focused on urban and city issues. Canadian Urban Leaders will bring knowledge expert practitioner insights to the School.