Alison Merrilla Redford, Q.C., MLA, (born March 7, 1965) is a Canadian lawyer and politician. She is the 14th and current Premier of Alberta, Canada, having served in this capacity since October 7, 2011. Redford was born in Kitimat, British Columbia and grew up all over Canada and overseas before settling in Calgary as a teenager. In the 2008 provincial election, Redford was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the district of Calgary-Elbow. She served in the cabinet of Ed Stelmach as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Redford became premier upon winning the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, and on April 23, 2012, she led her party to victory in the 2012 provincial election. Redford is the first female premier in the province's history and the eighth woman to serve as a premier in the history of Canada.
Redford was born March 7, 1965 in Kitimat, British Columbia to Merrill and Helen (neé Anderson) Redford.Her family moved to Nova Scotia and Borneo, and to Calgary by the time Redford was 12.She graduated from Bishop Carroll High School, Calgary, and from the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan in 1988.She articled for Jim Prentice at the law firm Rooney Prentice.
In the 1980s Redford served as Senior Policy Advisor to former Prime Minister Joe Clark, who was the Secretary of State for External Affairs. She went on to work in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada from 1988 to 1990, under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.In this capacity, Redford organized a series of national foreign policy consultations facilitating public input on the Government of Canada's White Papers on Foreign Affairs and Defence. In the Canadian Parliament, she was also the Principal Legislative Advisor to the Secretary of State for External Affairs.In 2004, Redford unsuccessfully challenged Member of Parliament Rob Anders for the federal Conservative nomination in Calgary West.
On March 13, 2008, after being elected MLA for the constituency of Calgary-Elbow, Redford was named Minister of Justice and Attorney General by Premier Ed Stelmach. In addition, she also served as a member of the Agenda and Priorities Committee, the Treasury Board, and the Cabinet Policy Committee on Public Safety and Services. She resigned from the cabinet in early 2011 to devote herself to her campaign to succeed Stelmach as leader of the governing Progressive Conservative Party.
On February 16, 2011, Redford announced she would be a candidate in the Progressive Conservative Association leadership race to succeed Stelmach, who had announced in January he would resign as leader and premier once his successor was chosen. Redford was sworn in as Alberta's 14th Premier at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on October 7, 2011.
On March 26, 2012, Redford met with Lieutenant Governor Don Ethell, who dissolved the current legislature and called an election for April 23, 2012. With this win, Redford became the fourth woman in Canadian history to lead a political party to victory in an election, after Catherine Callbeck in Prince Edward Island, Pat Duncan in Yukon, and Kathy Dunderdale in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Redford has been an active member of many community boards, including the Lycee Louis Pasteur Society, the Heritage Park Foundation and the Calgary Winter Club. She previously served on the Board of the Lakeview Community Association and the Alberta Human Rights Education Advisory Board.
She was married to Robert Hawkes, son of former Calgary West MP Jim Hawkes, between 1985 and 1991. They met while working for former MLA (and later Alberta PC leadership contestant and Senator) Ron Ghitter. Redford remains friends with her ex-husband and in 2011 he led her transition team when she became premier. Redford lives in Calgary with her husband Glen Jermyn, a lawyer with the federal Department of Justice, and daughter Sarah.