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Canada’s First Muslim Lieutenant Governor Appointed in Alberta

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has named business owner and philanthropist Salma Lakhani as the province of Alberta’s new lieutenant-governor.

When she formally takes over the role, Lakhani will become Canada’s first Muslim lieutenant-governor.

Salma Lakhani is a long-time resident of Edmonton. She is a distinguished community advocate with a passion for education, health care, human rights, and support for new immigrants. 

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A proud Ismaili Muslim, the values of pluralism and inclusion have guided her lifelong commitment to championing opportunities for those who face barriers in life.

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Lakhani has been long recognized for her work and philanthropy in a range of fields, including healthcare and human rights.

Lieutenant-governors are the highest-ranking officers in each Canadian province. They carry out a variety of official duties including swearing in the premier and cabinet, opening each session of the legislative assembly and signing bills into laws.

Mentoring Youth

Lakhani was one of the first mentors in NorQuest College’s Youth in Transition program, providing valuable guidance for students with English as a second language. 

She received the NorQuest College Honorary Diploma in Community Services Leadership in 2019.

In addition to being a founding member of NorQuest College’s 1000 Women: A Million Possibilities movement and sitting on its advisory committee for the past decade, she has supported the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, Kids Kottage, Sorrentino’s Compassion House, and Aga Khan Foundation Canada. 

She has also served as a board director for John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights for a decade.

Born in Uganda, her home country which expelled her family in 1972, Lakhani completed an honors degree in Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Manchester. 

She moved to Edmonton with her husband, Dr. Zaheer Lakhani, in 1977. The couple has two daughters.

In recognition of her services to the community and civil society, Lakhani received the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005. She also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.