Born — Jan. 25, 1963. Age 49.
Educated — BA in political science and economics from Carleton University; Bachelor of Education from Queen's University.
Private career — After university, served as an aid worker in Nicaragua. Returned to Ottawa to become an elementary school teacher. Executive member of Ottawa-Carleton Elementary Teachers' Federation.
Political Career — Ran unsuccessfully against former leader and party icon Ed Broadbent in 2004 for NDP nomination in Ottawa Centre. Won the nomination in 2005, after Broadbent retired. Won election to the House of Commons in 2006. Re-elected 2008 and 2011.
Personal life — Married, two children.
For the record — "For me, it's about engaging with people who are presently members of the party and people who aren't. My strength, if you will, is grassroots and that's why I got involved in politics."