A native of Invermere, British Columbia, he graduated from The University of British Columbia in 1957 with a second class standing in mining engineering. For over thirty years, Alexander Laird worked for Placer Dome Inc.
In 1957, he was an assistant geologist for Northwest Explorations Ltd. (KENNCO), Vancouver. In November 1957, he worked as a mining engineer for Western Nickel Ltd. in Hope, British Columbia. He was a field engineer for Granby Mines Co. Ltd in Allenby, British Columbia, and in March 1960, he was the mine engineer for Mastodon Zinc Mines Ltd in Revelstoke, British Columbia.
Joining the Placer Dome Development Group in November 1960, he continued working in British Columbia's mining industry until June 1968 when he became resident manager of the Marcopper Mining Corporation in the Philippines. In 1971, he returned to Vancouver to become the senior mining engineer, operations. January 1974 marked the beginning of his American stint with the company. He was the mine manager of the McDermitt Mine in Nevada until 1977 when he was appointed manager of mines for Placer Amex Inc. in San Francisco. His world-hopping continued in 1981, when he was appointed general manager of Kidstone Gold Mines Ltd. in Sydney, Australia.
Returning to Canada in 1985, he held numerous positions in the company including manager of design and communication, vice-president, project developments and senior vice-president, project developments before assuming the title of senior vice-president in 1995.
A CIM member since 1958, Mr. Laird is also a member of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers and the Philippine Society of Mining, Metallurgical and Geological Engineers.
Mr. Laird has also served as a director of the Nevada Mining Association and the Mining Association of British Columbia.