WHY HE’S TOP 40: He knows how to find neutral ground to get disparate parties working toward common goals.
KEY TO SUCCESS: Recognizing that being a facilitator of different interests is not just useful — it’s a crucially important function in solving problems.
Ask Logan Mardhani-Bayne what the future has in store, and he just laughs. “To be honest,” he says, “I’ve kind of given up projecting my career.” That’s probably a smart move.
A history major, he spent his first two years after university at City Hall, as the executive assistant to Coun. Amarjeet Sohi. He found pleasure in the complex give-and-take of political negotiation.
Then, last year, at 25, he was hired as managing director of Health Technology Assessment international (HTAi), a non-profit organization based out of Edmonton’s Institute of Health Economics. In the face of aging populations and rising costs, when every cent counts, HTAi’s mission is to get its 1,300 members, from 59 countries, to develop health-care policies based on transparent and evidence-based science.
Mardhani-Bayne acts as a conduit between groups, governmental or corporate, that otherwise might not be in close contact. There might not appear to be much overlap between those two positions, but he says that both require humility, diplomacy and, above all, pragmatism.
“I’ve always been interested in challenges around public governance, but especially questions of priority setting,” he says. “How do we balance competing interests in the community [involving] public and private sectors?” It’s a question he brought to a Brazil summit, where he liaised with 14 Latin American health ministries interested in adopting progressive policies.
To this end, he’s most proud of a partnership he helped finalize with the World Health Organization, which set up HTAi-led workshops with far-off countries such as Jordan and Zimbabwe, while also giving his organization a globally recognized endorsement.
With his eye on the world, he keeps his mind on his roots. Purely for his own interest, he’s working towards a master’s degree, specializing in the history of Edmonton.
“Chipping away,” at the courses he says, with the private smile of a man who’s happy to have too much on his plate.