Clark is the recipient of numerous recognitions and awards, including the YWCA Women of Distinction Award, in recognition of her work in the anti-bullying movement. In November, 2018 she was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN). She has also been inducted into the WXN Hall of Fame.
Clark holds an Honourary Doctorate from Sookmyung University in Seoul, Korea. Founded in 1906, Sookmyung is dedicated to women’s education.
Clark was born on October 29, 1965, in Burnaby, British Columbia. She is the daughter of Mavis Audrey (née Bain) and Jim Clark. Her mother was a marriage and family therapist in Vancouver. Her father was a teacher and ran three-times for BC’s Legislative Assembly when Clark was a young child.
Clark graduated from Burnaby South Senior Secondary and went on to attend Simon Fraser University (SFU), the Sorbonne in France and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where she majored in political science and religious studies.
Clark was a key figure in the re-birth of the BC Liberal Party in 1991, and worked as a researcher in Victoria for the new BC Liberal caucus prior to moving to Ottawa to serve as the Liberal Party of Canada’s youth director and then the Western Canada political advisor to the federal Minister of Transport.
Clark’s first election victory came in 1996, when she moved back home and was elected MLA for the riding of Port Moody-Burnaby Mountain. Throughout her five years as member of the Legislative Assembly, she served as the Official Opposition critic for the Environment, Children and Families and for the Public Service.
A tireless critic of the BC-NDP government, Clark also served as campaign co-chair for the BC Liberals for the 2001 election campaign, where the party won 77 of 79 seats in the Legislative Assembly. Clark received the second highest vote margin in the province, winning her Port Moody-Westwood seat with 75% of the vote. Following the election, Premier Gordon Campbell appointed Clark Minister of Education and Deputy Premier.
Shortly after that election, Clark gave birth to her son and only child, Hamish Marissen-Clark, with her then-husband Mark Marissen. This was the second time in Canadian history that a woman gave birth while serving as a cabinet minister.
Clark resigned from cabinet in 2005 to spend more time with her family, and went on to become a media personality and commentator. She hosted The Christy Clark Show on weekday afternoons on CKNW 980 AM in Vancouver. She also wrote weekly columns for the Vancouver Province and the Vancouver Sun newspapers during the 2005 provincial election, and provided election analysis for Global BC and CTV News Channel during the 2006 federal election.
In late 2010, Clark left her media career to seek the leadership of the BC Liberal Party.
- Senior Advisor to the internationally recognized law firm, Bennett Jones LLP
- Founding Visionary, The Prosperity Project
- Director, Constellation Brands
- Chair, Board of Directors, Roots of Empathy
- Chair, Canadian National Railway Vancouver Community Board
- Co-chair, Founding Advisory Board, Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University
- Board Director, Shaw Communications Inc., one of Canada’s four largest telecommunications companies
- Board Director, Recipe Unlimited Corporation, owner of Canada’s most iconic restaurant brands
- Advisor, ThoughtWire Corp., an organization focused on advancing the Canadian technology sector
- Associate Member, the InterAction Council, founded in 1983 by Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda, helping to bring former world leaders together to focus on the long term structural factors driving the global agenda.