Marianne Ryan
Influential because: She’s a great role model

When Marianne Ryan was named the deputy commissioner of RCMP’s “K” division, its Alberta arm, the RCMP veteran had been with the police force since 1982. Ryan, now the commanding officer of the RCMP in Alberta, is the first woman to command the RCMP in the province as well as the first openly gay commanding officer. “I’m very proud of who I am and who my partner is and I’m especially proud to be the commanding officer of Alberta,” said Ryan following the formal change-of-command ceremony held in Edmonton last January.

Alberta Ombudsman Peter Hourihan has known Ryan since she was a constable with the Proceeds of Crime unit in Winnipeg in the mid-’90s, and says she has succeeded thanks to her strength, charisma and clear-headedness. “She truly gives people confidence in the RCMP,” he says, something that’s dearly needed given that the public’s trust in the RCMP and its senior leadership in particular has dwindled in the past decade.

“Marianne has been in a number of trying circumstances and very challenging positions here in Alberta and in British Columbia and Manitoba. Each and every time she comes through, she leaves the place in much better shape than when she got there,” says Hourihan. “She leaves people thinking much higher of the RCMP and of leaders in the RCMP.”

Ryan has not only improved the national police force’s reputation in the province, but has also been an inspiration to other women in the RCMP in Alberta. Since her promotion, she says several women have approached her about joining the RCMP. “Women [in the RCMP] certainly see her as an absolute role model,” says Hourihan. “To be clear, I think all members see her as a role model.”