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(4 votes)


Profession: Government Relations
Age: 35 • Years in Wood Buffalo: 2

35-year-old Jay Telegdi is the Government Relations Manager at the McMurray Métis, an aboriginal rights-bearing organization that advocates for the advancement and protection of Métis rights in north east Alberta.

Born in Detmold, West Germany, and raised on a farm in West Gwillimbury, Ontario, Jay has made political activism his career.

With over 15 years of experience in community organizing, he has recently brought these skills to the Rural Coalition, which successfully lobbied the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo for the construction of the $50-million Conklin Multiplex, and a third party review of the 1995 amalgamation agreement - two projects that will dramatically enhance the lives of rural residents of the RMWB.

As a dual US-citizen, Jay served as the head of the International Delegation of Volunteers for the 2012 Obama Presidential re-election campaign. He also serves an an international elections monitor for CANADEM, Canada’s diplomatic reserve corps.

Jay is most proud of the role he played during the wildfire evacuation, where he served as Incident Commander for the Métis Nation of Alberta, making sure that the Métis citizens of the RMWB were safe and supported.

Think Jay’s biggest passion is politics? Turns out it’s actually perfume, dancing, a proud feminist...promoting women’s rights. He is also very proud of the fact that he does this all while living with bipolar disorder; he believes it has given him the unique perspective and empathy required to advocate on behalf of people whose voices are typically excluded.

Because of Jay’s commitment to advancing and protecting Métis rights in our region, and his passion for enhancing the lives of our residents, Jay is the perfect addition to YMM’s Top 50 Under 50.

IN HIS OWN WORDS: “At my grandmother’s funeral, her last request was that in lieu of flowers, each of us reconcile with any friends we may have grown apart from due to an argument. She said that life was too short, and that everyone deserves forgiveness. This is sometimes really hard, but you have to listen to your grandma.”