Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Tim Gitzel has held appointments as first vice-president of the Saskatchewan Mining Association, and as a member of the boards of directors of SaskEnergy Corporation and the Royal University Hospital Foundation. In 1990 Gitzel joined the Saskatoon law firm of MacPherson Leslie and Tyerman, where he served as an associate lawyer for two years. In 1992–93 he served as ministerial assistant to Dwayne Lingenfelter, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Economic Development for Saskatchewan. He then joined COGEMA Resources Inc. (part of the French AREVA group, a world leader in uranium mining, with major operations in northern Saskatchewan) as counsel in 1994, and was appointed a director of the corporation in 1995. He was appointed senior vice-president and corporate counsel in 1997, and assumed the role of president and CEO in September 2001. In June 2004 he was appointed executive vice-president of the Mining Business Unit in charge of AREVA's worldwide mining operations, including those in Saskatchewan, and is now chairman of COGEMA Resource's board of directors. He moved to Paris, France, as part of a restructuring of the AREVA group.