CEO, Invest in Canada
Laurel Broten is an award winning CEO, former Ontario Cabinet Minister, lawyer, legislator, advocate and community builder. Among other awards, she is a three time recipient of Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO; WXN top100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women; the Women in Communication and Technology Gamechanger Award; and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Laurel served as President and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI), the agency responsible for investment attraction and export development for the Province of Nova Scotia from 2015 to 2022. During this time, she led the agency’s transformation, delivering significant gains in both the quality and quantity of jobs created in the province and spurred material export growth in traditional and emerging sectors and industries.
From 2013 to 2015, as President and CEO of Broten Public Policy International Inc., Laurel provided strategic advice on complex public policy challenges, change management and government transformation to clients in Canada and abroad, including conducting a comprehensive review of Nova Scotia’s taxes and regulations. Her recommendations, identified in Charting a Path for Growth, continue to have a direct impact on the economic growth of Nova Scotia.
From 2003 until 2013, Laurel served in a number of senior roles in the Government of Ontario, including Minister of Education, Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister of the Environment, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, Vice-chair of Treasury Board/Management Board, and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier, to the Minister of Health and Long-term Care and to the Minister of Energy.
After graduating with distinction with her Juris Doctor from the University of Western Ontario, Laurel clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada for Madam Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé. Laurel then practiced as a commercial and civil litigation lawyer with three leading Canadian law firms until her election to government in 2003.
Laurel is actively engaged in a number of national organizations and currently volunteers with and serves on the boards of the International Women’s Forum – Atlantic, Prince’s Trust of Canada, the Prosperity Project, and the Public Policy Forum of Canada. Laurel has been an active champion for women, diversity equity and inclusion. She is the Founder leader and mentor with YWCA Women’s Leadership Collaborative, as well as a mentor with the WXN Wisdom Program. She has previously served as a Board Member of Mount Saint Vincent University and on the Conseil des Gouverneur of the Université de Moncton. Laurel lives in Halifax with her husband and twin teenaged sons.