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About the AER

Sheila O'Brien

Sheila O'Brien


Sheila O’Brien is a business advisor and corporate director with 35 years of experience in the oil, gas, pipeline, and petrochemical sectors in Canada, the United States, and Europe, having worked for NOVA Corporation, Petro-Canada, Pan-Arctic Oil, and Amoco. Most recently, she spent 13 years as a member of the executive leadership team at NOVA Chemicals, where, in her capacity as senior vice president, she was responsible for human resources, investor relations, public relations, government affairs, and administrative services.

Ms. O’Brien’s past board experience includes directorships at Gildan Activewear, CFM Majestic, Skye Resources, TransForce, Advantage Oil and Gas, MaRS, and PPP Canada. She has extensive experience in both corporate governance and board-level human resources and compensation.

Ms. O’Brien has served as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Faculty of Commerce & Business Administration at the University of British Columbia and the Alberta Foundation for Environmental Excellence Honorary Council. She has been a member of the executive committee of the Conference Board of Canada and the Council of Human Resource Executives, and of the boards of directors of the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, the C. D. Howe Institute, and the Public Policy Forum. Ms. O’Brien has devoted much of her volunteer service to the advancement of women, human rights, education, and health and welfare, and has served as a commissioner with the Canadian Human Rights Commission and on the boards of directors of the YWCA, Grace Women’s Wellness Foundation, Foothills Hospital Foundation, Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta Status of Women Action Committee, Alberta College of Art and Design, Theatre Calgary, and the Alberta Theatre Projects Foundation, among others. She is the co-founder and co-chair of the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking.

Ms. O’Brien’s work has been recognized through her receipt of the Women of Distinction award and a Citation for Citizenship – Government of Canada Award for community leadership. In February 1999, she was invested as a member of the Order of Canada—the country’s highest honour. She is the author of three books on the future and potential of western Canada, published in her role as executive-in-residence at the Canada West Foundation.