PRIME Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday announced the appointment of Salma Lakhani as the new Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.
A long-time community advocate and successful business owner, Lakhani has dedicated her life to helping people in need and those who face obstacles to success in society. Through her work to advance education, health care, women’s empowerment, human rights, and support for new immigrants, she continues to be a champion of diversity, pluralism, and inclusion.
An immigrant to Canada, she has mentored young students with English as a second language. She is a founding member of a movement that helps vulnerable women access education, and has served on its advisory committee for the past decade.
Lakhani will be the first Muslim Lieutenant Governor in Canadian history. She will assume office upon her installation.
Trudeau said: “Ms. Lakhani is devoted to supporting people in her community, from new immigrants and young people, to women and families. As Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, I know she will serve the people of her province and our country well, and continue to be a source of inspiration for all Canadians.”
Lakhani is a long-time resident of Edmonton. A proud Ismaili Muslim, the values of pluralism and inclusion have guided her lifelong commitment to championing opportunities for those who face barriers in life.
Lakhani was one of the first mentors in NorQuest College’s Youth in Transition program, providing valuable guidance for students with English as a second language. She received the NorQuest College Honorary Diploma in Community Services Leadership in 2019.
In addition to being a founding member of NorQuest College’s 1000 Women: A Million Possibilities movement and sitting on its advisory committee for the past decade, she has supported the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, Kids Kottage, Sorrentino’s Compassion House, and Aga Khan Foundation Canada. She has also served as a board director for the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights for a decade.
Born in Uganda, her home country from which her family was expelled in 1972, Lakhani completed an honours degree in Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Manchester. She moved to Edmonton with her husband, Dr. Zaheer Lakhani, in 1977. The couple has two daughters.
In recognition of her services to the community and civil society, Lakhani was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.