Bio (Cairine MacDonald)

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Cairine MacDonald

Cairine MacDonald


Executive Leadership - Business and Government

Cairine has 20 years’ experience as Deputy Minister and President/Vice-President in Alberta and British Columbia, providing senior executive leadership for both business and government organizations.  She serves on the TELUS Victoria Community Board and the School of Business Advisory Council for Royal Roads University.  She also provides pro bono board consulting through Volunteer Victoria.  Cairine was awarded Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100TM in 2010 and Diversity 50 TM by the Canadian Board Diversity Council in 2013.  During 2012/13 she served on the Expert Advisory Panel for the University of Waterloo Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation.

Cairine served as Deputy Minister with the Government of British Columbia from 2003 to 2013.

  • 2012 – 2013 Deputy Minister of Innovation and Technology working closely with the innovation community to increase visibility and focus on BC’s technology business, the 2nd largest and fastest growing sector.
  • 2010 - 2012 Deputy Minister of Environment providing environmental management, protection and stewardship of water and air, advancing sustainable use of natural resources and working in partnerships across government, with First Nations, the private sector and BC communities through BC Parks, Conservation Officer Service, Climate Action Secretariat and the Environmental Assessment Office.
  • 2008 – 2010 Deputy Minister for Housing and Social Development, expanding on the foundation built        
  • 2005 - 2008 as Deputy Minister of Employment and Income Assistance. The 2,600 staff provided services to clients through 100 regional offices across British Columbia and a network of community-based external service providers.   The $2.6 billion budget encompassed five discrete lines of business as well as major crown corporations including BC Lottery Corporation, BC Housing, Community Living BC and the Liquor Distribution Branch.
  • 2003 – 2005 Deputy Minister for Management Services and CEO for Solutions BC leading transformation initiatives in information technology including bridging the digital divide and outsourcing computer and payroll services, Alternative Service Delivery and procurement, Service BC and shared services.

From 1997 – 2002, Cairine was responsible for the transition from regulation to competition for the largest retail electricity company in Alberta as VP, Distribution and Transmission, and then as President, EPCOR Energy Services Inc. During the first half of 2003, she was EPCOR Executive in Residence at the School of Business at the University of Alberta.

Cairine spent 14 years in telecommunications, culminating as President of TELUS Advertising Services (Edmonton) Inc. from 1993 – 1996. She developed an integrated, customer-focused approach to the marketing and delivery of network, data, business and residential services, extending that operational approach to the mobility and advertising sectors.

Cairine took her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta, MBA at the University of Western Ontario and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard.