As the head of Indigenous Equity & Inclusion at BMO Financial Group since 2019, Kona is responsible for recruiting, retaining and developing Indigenous talent at the bank. Originally from La Ronge, in northern Saskatchewan, and a proud Cree Métis woman, she has lived, worked and studied in more than a dozen countries across four continents over the last twenty years.
Kona received her executive Master of Business Administration from St. Gallen University in Switzerland and Rotman School of Management in Toronto where she graduated as class valedictorian in 2013 after studying in China, India, Brazil, Hungary and Switzerland. In 2014, she joined BMO as Senior Advisor and then Director for Inclusion, People Strategies and Insights – a role she maintained until assuming her current title.
Kona has consulted for Indigenous Works on Indigenous inclusion policies for international corporations. She has also advised Google, Walmart, Bank of America, and numerous other Fortune 500 companies on diversity and inclusion strategies while serving as Vice President, External Affairs for the White House Project based in New York City and Washington DC.
Kona is appointed to act as the first Secretary of the Indigenous Advisory Council (IAC). The Secretary will, among other things: serve as the principal point of contact for IAC members, including the Co-Chairs; maintain a list of action items arising from each meeting; and serve as the main source of governance expertise to the IAC.