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Isabel Metcalfe: Public Affairs Counsel

As an International Election Observer, Displaced Persons Camp, Azerbaijan, 2003

  • Second busiest lobbyist in Ottawa, 2014 Maclean's Power Issue
  • Member, City of Ottawa 2017 Committee, 2015 - current
  • Member, Citizens’ Council, Ministry of Health & Long Term Care, Ontario, 2015 - current
  • Member, Advisory Board, the Canadian Centre for Progressive Policy, Ottawa, 2014 - current
  • Chair, Famous 5 Ottawa, 1999–current
  • International Election Observer & Trainer, 2002 – current (Lebanon, Albania, Ukraine, Azerbaijan)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Ontario Trillium Foundation, 2004–2010
  • Juror, Governor General’s Persons’ Case Awards, 1998–2003
  • Chair, Community Advisory Committee, The Ottawa Hospital, 1999–2003
  • Member, Board of Trustees, The Ottawa Hospital, 1998–2001
  • Member, Board of Trustees, The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, 1988–1998
  • Founding Director, Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, 1994-2000
  • Secretary, Hong Kong Canada Business Association, 1992 - 1997


  • Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012
  • Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002
  • Leading Women Building Communities Award, Province of Ontario, 2010
  • Ontario Volunteer Service Awards, Province of Ontario, 2010
  • Judy LaMarsh Woman of Distinction, 1988


Isabel Metcalfe has over four decades of experience at the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government.  She has worked with and for NGOs, public and private institutions and on partnership development. She started her career on Parliament Hill as a Tour Guide and then spent a decade working for Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau, John Turner and Jean Chrétien.

In 1992 she returned to Carleton University to complete her degree, graduating as a  mother of three children.  Working as a program co-ordinator for the Year of the Family, Canada 125 and the Spicer Commission, she developed an expertise in partnership development and an affinity for the voluntary sector.

In 1995, Isabel became the Vice President of Government Relations for the Canadian Film & Television Production Association and in 2000 she established her own consulting business developing expertise in the cultural sector, on Indigenous issues and with the labour movement.

Election Night, Lviv, Ukraine, October 2015

Election Night, Lviv, Ukraine, October 2015

A long time champion for more women in public life, Isabel has twice sough public office (House of Commons, City of Ottawa) and plays an active role in her community. She can work effectively with large and small organizations, having been a Trustee of two public hospitals, a member of the Board of Directors to two provincial agencies and Secretary of a business organization.

Consistently committed to her community, in 2012 she was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work supporting more women in public life and in 2002 she received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for work with Famous 5 Ottawa and a host of voluntary activities.


As international election observer, Ukraine, 2010

As international election observer, Ukraine, 2010

Isabel is known for her deep public affairs knowledge, extensive community work and a reputation for energetic hustle, achieving real results, effectively, efficiently and economically.

She’s currently a member of the City of Ottawa 2017 Committee and Chair of Famous 5 Ottawa and was recently highlighted in Ottawa Life Magazine as a top influencer in the Capital.