Chima Nkemdirim, Age: 43
Influential because: He’s the face of a new Calgary – and could soon be elected to represent it
It’s been more than 45 years since a federal Liberal was elected in Calgary, but if things go according to plan – that is, the plan of Liberal Party insiders – Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s chief of staff and longtime friend, Chima Nkemdirim, will end that drought in 2015. Nkemdirim hasn’t confirmed that he’s running for the party yet, but it’s not hard to see why the Liberals want him. Before entering politics, he made partner at the law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain, worked as an instructor at the University of Calgary’s faculty of law and was recognized for his contributions to the legal community with a QC designation in 2011. And in addition to guiding Nenshi to a highly improbable win in Calgary’s 2010 mayoral election and far more probable re-election in 2013, he also steered Liberal MLA Kent Hehr’s first successful campaign and was a founding member of the Alberta Party. Now, it seems, it’s his turn.