Jenni Byrne

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Jenni Byrne
Co-Deputy Chief of Staff, Prime Minister's Office
Incumbent
Assumed office
August 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Ray Novak
Director of Political Operations, Conservative Party of Canada
In office
2009 – August 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Doug Finley
Succeeded by Fred DeLorey
Personal details
Born 1977
Political party Conservative Party of Canada
Profession Political Advisor

Jenni Byrne is a political advisor for the Conservative Party of Canada and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She has been called "the most powerful woman in Ottawa"[1] and "the other woman" behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper.[2]

Political career[edit]

Byrne became involved in politics at age 16, when she joined the Reform Party. Byrne eventually became the President of the student Reform Party Club at the University of Ottawa. In a media interview, Byrne cited her concerns over debt reduction and tax cuts and how they were more important to her generation than to her parents' generation: “It’s great for them to say don’t cut here or there, but they won’t be the ones affected by (the debt). They’re in their late 40s and they will probably still benefit from government programs. But Canada looks like a bleak place for me by the time I’m their age.”[3]

Bryne has been called Prime Minister Harper's "single best political organizer," a life-long Harper advisor who believed in the party during its darkest days.[2] She is also known for her tenacity and possesses "a single-minded unwillingness to put up with people screwing around."

In 2009, she became the Director of Political Operations for the Conservative Party of Canada following the appointment of Doug Finley to the Senate of Canada.[2]

Byrne was the deputy national campaign manager in the 2006, 2008, and 2011 federal elections, serving under Doug Finley. Between elections, Byrne served in several roles in the Prime Minister's Office, including advisor to Chief of Staff Ian Brodie and Director of Issues Management, and at the headquarters of the Conservative Party of Canada.

In the 2011 campaign she was promoted to national campaign manager due to the ill health of the Doug Finley. Byrne's responsibilities were overseeing the day-to-day operations of what The Hill Times called "one the most efficient, richest, and iron-disciplined campaign machines in Canadian political history."[4]

Robocalls allegations[edit]

In the aftermath of the Canadian federal election, 2011, it was alleged that fraudulent phone calls had deliberately misled voters as a form of vote suppression in Guelph and other ridings. When campaign worker Andrew Prescott was to be interviewed by Elections Canada, Byrne advised him to wait for legal advice before speaking to them.[5] Michael Sona was eventually charged and convicted of electoral fraud.

Return to Prime Minister's Office[edit]

In August 2013, Byrne left her job as the Conservative Director of Political Operations and returned to the Prime Minister's Office as co-Deputy Chief of Staff.

Campaign manager for 2015 election[edit]

In October 2014 the Conservative Party announced that Bryne would lead the campaign in the 42nd Canadian federal election.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Education[edit]

Byrne attended Georgian College and the University of Ottawa, where she organized campus clubs for the Reform Party of Canada.

Family[edit]

Byrne is not married and does not have children. She previously dated Pierre Poilievre.[2]

References[edit]