Oct. 20, 2021

Calgary elects first woman mayor: Dr. Jyoti Gondek

Alumna brings passion for urban policy and citizen well-being to new role
Dr. Jyoti Gondek
Jyoti Gondek University of Calgary Archives

Calgarians awoke this morning to the exciting news they had decisively elected their first woman mayor: Dr. Jyoti Gondek, MA’03, PhD’14.

Gondek, a University of Calgary alumna who served as Ward 3 councillor for four years, garnered about 45 per cent of the mayoral votes cast or 172,314 ballots, according to overnight results. She polled well ahead of the next strongest candidate, Jeromy Farkas, BA’17, who earned about 30 per cent of the votes cast.

"My heart is full at the thought of how much love and support I have received, not only from the day I announced, but all the way up to today," Gondek said late Monday in her victory speech.

Gondek brings years of experience in academia, consulting, and public service to her role as mayor.

At the Haskayne School of Business, Gondek worked as an adjunct assistant professor until the election and also served as director of the new Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies from 2014 to 2017 before being elected to city council.  

“Congratulations to Calgary’s new mayor, Jyoti Gondek. Before entering politics, Jyoti was a bold leader in education and research focused on city building. We continue to miss her vibrant nature and enthusiastic energy, but we are very happy to share her brilliance with all Calgarians,” said Haskayne Dean Jim Dewald.

With a PhD in sociology, Gondek studied and taught subjects she is passionate about such as the impacts of urbanization, access to affordable housing and child care, the role of community associations, and the well-being of the growing population of seniors. Her earlier career roles include consultant, marketing manager, and policy analyst.

Other UCalgary alumni elected Monday to local government roles:

  • City council: Ward 3 - Jasmine Mian, MSc’15, MPP’20; Ward 6 - Richard Pootmans, MBA’97; Ward 9 - Gian-Carlo Carra, BA’99, MEDes’05
  • Public school trustee: Wards 1 and 2 - Dana Downey, BEd’20
  • Separate school trustee: Wards 1, 2 and Cochrane - Myra D’Souza, BA’87; Wards 6 and 8 - Lory Lovinelli, BEd’93, acclaimed; Wards 13 and 14 - Mary Martin, BN’83, acclaimed