Frank McKenna is one of Canada’s most respected political and business leaders.
He is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University, Queen’s University and the University of New Brunswick Law School. He was awarded a prestigious Lord Beaverbrook Scholarship in Law and has practiced in courtrooms all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada, achieving widespread acclaim for his successful defence of Canadian boxing legend, Yvon Durelle.
Frank McKenna was elected premier of New Brunswick in 1987 in a historic victory that left him with all 58 seats in the legislative assembly. His time as a premier was marked with widespread acclaim for balanced budgets and unprecedented job creation. He was the only politician in Canadian history to ever be named Economic Developer of the Year and was inducted into the Canadian Technology Hall of Fame. He retired ten years to the day after his original election, keeping his promise to the people of New Brunswick that he would only serve ten years.
Since leaving public life, McKenna has been in widespread demand as a corporate director and has acted as counsel to two national law firms. He was named by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to the Security Intelligence Review Committee and was inducted into both the New Brunswick and Canadian business halls of fame.
In 2005 he accepted an invitation from Prime Minister Paul Martin to become Canadian ambassador to the United States. Upon completing his time as ambassador, he resumed his corporate career with TD Bank Group, one of North America’s largest banks. He also became the chairman of Brookfield Asset Management, a global asset manager with $500 billion in assets, and a director of Canadian Natural Resources (CNRL), Canada’s largest oil & gas producer.
McKenna has a School of Public Policy named in his honour at St. Thomas University and the Frank McKenna Leadership Centre at St. Francis Xavier University. His charitable work, particularly in Haiti, was rewarded with the Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year award. He is a Queen’s Counsel, member of the Queen’s Privy Counsel, member of the Order of New Brunswick and member of the Order of Canada, as well as being the recipient of 15 honorary degrees.
Frank McKenna will deliver the keynote address at the conference Day One luncheon.