Prime Minister announces intention to recommend the appointment of GDX Executive Director Ratna Omidvar to the Senate of CanadaPublished on March 18, 2016
The Global Diversity Exchange is pleased to share today’s announcement of the Prime Minister’s intention to recommend the appointment of Ratna Omidvar, C.M., O.Ont., to the Senate of Canada. For the past thirty years, Ratna has been a tireless advocate for building a more inclusive Canada. Through her work, Ratna has established herself as one of Canada’s foremost experts on migration, diversity and inclusion. Ratna will make an important contribution to the work of the Senate, as an advocate and thought leader on advancing opportunities for Canadian citizens, residents, and newcomers to Canada.
“I’m very proud and humbled by today’s announcement. As Executive Director of Ryerson’s Global Diversity Exchange for the past two years, I’ve learned much about the rich diversity of our campus, city, province and country, and how we engage with the world through our diversity. I hope to bring these perspectives to Ottawa,” said Ratna Omidvar.
In her current role as founding Executive Director of the Global Diversity Exchange and Adjunct Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, she is dedicated to building a community of international leaders who see prosperity in migration. Previously, Ratna was the Executive Director and President of Maytree from 1998-2014, where she played a lead role in local, national and international efforts to promote the integration and inclusion of immigrants into the workforce and the community. During that time, she founded and led a number of initiatives including the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council and DiverseCity onBoard, both which have been successfully replicated both nationally and internationally.
Ratna is Chair of Lifeline Syria, a citizen-led initiative supporting residents of Toronto to privately sponsor 1,000 Syrian refugees and bring them to the region over the next two years. She also serves as a Director of the Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (CAMH), The Environics Institute, and Samara. Ratna is co-author of Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada (2015), and co-editor of Five Good Ideas: Practical Strategies for Non-Profit Success (2011).
Ratna was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2005 and became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011, with both honours recognizing her advocacy work on behalf of immigrants and her devotion to reducing inequality in Canada. In 2014, she received a rare honour bestowed upon Canadians by receiving the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of her contribution to the advancement of German-Canadian relations. Ratna received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from York University in 2012.
Ratna has also been recognized by Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, by being named as its Nation Builder of the Decade for Citizenship in 2010. She was named to the inaugural Global Diversity List sponsored by The Economist magazine in 2015, as one of the Top 10 Diversity Champions worldwide. In 2016, CivicAction honoured her with their Lifetime Achievement Award for Civic Leadership in the Greater Toronto Area.
The announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office is available at http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/03/18/prime-minister-announces-intention-recommend-appointment-seven-new-senators