Marie Rajic

2008 Top 40 Under 40.

Executive director, regional affairs for Alberta
Federal Conservative Government

Age: 36

As kids, Marie Rajic and her brother were dragged around in the backseat of their father’s car, while dad pounded Tory campaign signs into Calgary lawns. Ever since then, Rajic has had a keen interest in federal politics; in fact, three decades later, she’s a political junkie and policy wonk. “It’s all work and no play, but you know, I love it,” Rajic says of her job: the Conservative’s most senior ministerial staff member in Alberta.

For the most part, Rajic advises and briefs Calgary MP Jim Prentice (the government’s No. 2 man) and all other MPs who visit or live in Alberta, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She also works closely with Alberta ministers and MPs to co-ordinate policies and programs.

A testament to how well connected Rajic is to Canada’s political world is the “Political Wall of Fame” in her downtown Calgary office. It’s a political shrine of a dozen pictures of Rajic standing beside her favourite politicians. There’s Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach, another of Mayor Dave Bronconnier, her graduation picture with former Manitoba premier Gary Filman and one with Prentice, who signed the photograph: “Marie,
you are the best boss I have ever had.” “Everyone tells me I’m bossy,” she says. “Even my friends.” Rajic admits she is domineering; even a tad pushy. She likes being that way. “I get things done,” she says.

Born and raised in Calgary, armed with two master’s degrees from the University of Manitoba, Rajic speaks four languages: English, Croatian, Polish and French. As the director of SAIT’S government relations department, she developed a $300-million business plan and lobby strategy. When the Conservatives became the ruling government, Prentice wooed her. “I think history will show that this is one of the most successful minority governments our country has ever had.”


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