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CMHR welcomes Gail Stephens as new Chief Operating Officer

News release details

Stuart Murray, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) today announced that Gail Stephens will become the Museum's Chief Operating Officer.

"I am extremely pleased to welcome Gail to our executive team," Murray said. "She brings a wealth of management experience, with a very impressive track record running two of Canada's capital cities. As we move forward towards opening as Canada's newest national museum in 2014, her leadership will be invaluable."

Stephens will begin her new role at the CMHR in August, relocating from Victoria where she has held the position of City Manager since 2009. From 1998 until 2003, she was the City of Winnipeg's first Chief Administrative Officer, replacing a Board of Commissioners and becoming the first woman to run a major Canadian city. In the intervening period, she served as Vice-President of Finance and Services at the University of Calgary, and as Chief Executive Officer for the BC Pension Corporation.

Stephens was named by the Women's Executive Network in 2003, 2010 and 2011 as one of "The 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada", the country's most recognizable award for high-achieving female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. 

As Chief Operating Officer of the CMHR, Stephens will provide leadership for a team of directors and managers, and oversee Museum operations in areas that include visitor services, communications and marketing, strategic partnerships, human resources, purchasing, facilities and security. She will share responsibility for the Museum's overall financial performance, with specific responsibility for the effective management of all revenue-generating functions. 

"I am thrilled to return to Winnipeg and contribute to a project with such amazing potential for the city and for the advancement of human rights education," Stephens said. "It is exciting to become part of this unique and inspiring museum, which I believe will be a beacon for visitors from around the world."

Currently under construction in Winnipeg, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first museum solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights in Canada. It is the first national museum to be established since 1967 and the first outside the National Capital Region. It opens in 2014.

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Maureen Fitzhenry