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Calgary elects first woman mayor

Dr. Jyoti Gondek has a PhD in urban sociology and is a former director of the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary
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Calgary's new mayor, Jyoti Gondek. |Submitted

Dr. Jyoti Gondek is Calgary's new mayor, the first woman ever elected to the position.

Gondek, who served as Ward 3 councillor for four years, took about 45 per cent of the mayoral votes cast, or 172,314 ballots, according to overnight results from the October 18 election. She polled well ahead of the next strongest candidate, Jeromy Farkas, who earned about 30 per cent of the vote.

Gondek replaces Naheed Nenshi, who had been Calgary’s mayor for 11 years.

Gondek has a real estate and urban studies background.

At the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, she worked as an adjunct assistant professor until the election and also served as director of the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies from 2014 to 2017. The vision of the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies is to be a “catalyst for the development of real estate industry professionals and a leading centre of excellence for real estate studies.”

"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 in her victory speech.

 “Before entering politics, Jyoti was a bold leader in education and research focused on city building.  We are very happy to share her brilliance with all Calgarians,” said Haskayne Dean Jim Dewald.

With a PhD in urban sociology, Gondek studied and taught about the impacts of urbanization, access to affordable housing and child care, the role of community associations, and the well being of seniors.