Advisory board

The Progress Alberta advisory board features a diverse group of talented, hard working and effective progressive people. It exists as an advice giving body and sounding board for Progress Alberta's executive director. We are proud to have such a distinguished advisory group. 

 NimraAmjad.JPGNimra Amjad

Nimra is an environmental scientist and activist with a background in youth empowerment and policy research. A Global Shaper at The World Economic Forum, she has been involved with peace initiatives and progressive politics across three continents - including municipal and provincial political campaigns in Alberta. She represented Canada at COP21, working closely with with civil society and government to push forward key human rights issues in the historic Paris Accord. She has also advised the British government on addressing radicalisation among youth.



Cardinal.MediumShot_copy.jpgLewis Cardinal

Lewis Cardinal is a communicator and educator and he has dedicated his work to creating and maintaining connections and relationships that cross-cultural divides.  His work has mirrored his personal vision of a socially just and responsive society. His long track record of public service includes co-chair of the Aboriginal Commission for Human Rights and Justice in Alberta and Trustee of the Council for a Parliament of World Religions just to mention a few. Lewis’s consulting company, Cardinal Strategic Communications, specializes in indigenous education, governance, and communications.



Dave_Cournoyer_Headshot_crop.jpgDavid Cournoyer

Dave Cournoyer is a third-generation Albertan who loves his province and his country. He currently works as a communications advisor with United Nurses of Alberta and is publisher of the Alberta politics blog He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, where he studied political science and history. 

 richardeinarson.pngRichard Einarson

Richard Einarson is a marketing and online engagement strategist with over 16 years of industry experience. Before launching his own consultancy in 2013, Richard served in the role of Vice President, product and client services for marketing/marketing research firm, Chaordix. In 2010 and 2013, Richard was the communications director for the successful Naheed Nenshi for Mayor campaigns in Calgary, Alberta. Richard is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Calgary Sexual Health Centre where he recently completed a two year term as the chair of the board.

JenGrantcrop.jpgJen Grant

Jennifer Grant has worked as a biologist, educator, advocate and researcher on environmental issues in Alberta for over a decade. Her most recent work experience in Alberta was as director of the Pembina Institute’s oilsands program where she worked to reduce the impacts of oilsands development through cross–sectoral collaboration and broad engagement across the country. Jennifer holds a Master of Science degree in ecosystem management. Prior to her work with the Pembina Institute she worked for the Miistakis Institute for the Rockies and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Calgary/Banff chapter. Jennifer recently relocated to British Columbia where she works as an applied ecologist.

KL_profile.jpgKieran Leblanc

Kieran Leblanc is an active participant in the cultural industries sector in Alberta. In addition to her role as executive director of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta, she is a founding member of the Alberta Partners for Arts and Culture, board member with the Book and Periodical Council and a member of the Member Advisory Committee with Access Copyright. Her past board involvement includes Shadow Theatre, the Forum for Young Albertans, Edmonton West Rotary Club and Creative Alberta. Kieran is moving into her third year as chair of the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton.



 Shannan.jpgShannan Little


 Shannan Little is an involved community member who believes in the power of participatory, local, grassroots action. Shannan works to creatively engage, educate, and connect community members. In 2013, Shannan was awarded the Alberta Federation of Labour's International Women’s Day Award for demonstrating outstanding commitment and leadership in the trade union movement and community. Shannan's career experience lies in research in the fields of ecology and agriculture.

CherylMaheden.jpgCheryl Meheden 

Cheryl Meheden, PhD, is a community volunteer, social advocate, and lifelong learner.  She is also a faculty member in the Lethbridge College School of Business and the founder of Urban Grocer. Her scope of experience includes a diverse career with public-sector and corporate employers, successful entrepreneurial ventures, and political engagement at both municipal and federal levels. 

Gil McGowan 

Gil McGowan is a longtime political and labour activist. He was elected the president of the Alberta Federation of Labour in 2005. Before joining the AFL McGowan was a journalist for the Canadian Press and the Edmonton Journal. 

Raj Pannu

Raj Pannu was the leader of the Alberta NDP from 2000 until 2004. He entered provincial politics in 1997 after a 27 year career as a professor in both the sociology and educational policy studies departments at the University of Alberta. From 1997 until 2008 Pannu represented Edmonton Strathcona, now currently the riding of Premier Rachel Notley. Pannu immigrated to Whitecourt from the Punjab in 1962 where we he was a teacher at the only high school in town for two years. in 1964 he moved to Edmonton and eventually completed his graduate studies at the University of Alberta.

Brian Singh

Brian Singh is the founder and managing director of zinc tank. With over 25 years in the areas of marketing and policy research, Brian is well versed in branding, digital media and quantitative and qualitative techniques. He is best known for his role as pollster and a strategist for Naheed Nenshi’s mayoral run in Calgary in 2010. This campaign is widely regarded as a game-changer in the arena of campaign engagement, branding and strategy. He was also a strategist and campaign planner for Brian Bowman’s successful run for Winnipeg’s Mayor in 2014.