Chima Nkemdirim is a born and raised Calgarian who is passionate about building strong communities through local action and good government. He currently serves as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Calgary, a position he accepted after managing Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s successful 2010 election campaign. Prior to that, Chima was a partner at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (now Dentons LLP), one of Canada’s largest law firms, in the Capital Markets practice group. His legal practice focused on helping clients navigate Canada’s complex securities regulatory system and assisting them with equity and debt financings and mergers and acquisitions.
Chima attended bilingual schools in both Canada’s official languages. After graduating from William Aberhart High School, he earned a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Calgary. He studied law at the University of Ottawa and was called to the Alberta bar in 1998. While practicing law, Chima served on the Advisory Committee of the Alberta Securities Commission and was an instructor at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law.
He has long been active in municipal, provincial, and federal politics. In addition to managing Mayor Nenshi’s successful election campaign (a role he resumed for the 2013 Calgary municipal election), he also managed Kent Hehr’s first successful campaign to be elected to the Alberta legislature. Chima is a founding member of the renewed Alberta Party and is a former Chair of the Better Calgary Campaign, a non-partisan public advocacy group dedicated to transforming Calgary into a more vibrant, diverse, and sustainable community. Recently, Chima co-chaired the National Policy Convention of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Chima is also an active member of the community and volunteers his time with a variety of political, philanthropic and cultural organizations. Chima is currently Chair of the Calgary Foundation’s Arts and Heritage Grants Advisory Committee and a member of the Calgary Foundation’s Signature Grants Advisory Committee and Grants Committee. He is also a member of the board of directors of Alberta Theatre Projects.
In 2011, Chima was appointed as Queen’s Council by the Government of Alberta for his contributions to the legal profession and the community. In 2012, Chima received the Queen Elizabeth Ii Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canada