Ratna Omidvar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ratna Omidvar

Senator Ratna Omidvar.png
Senator from Ontario
Assumed office
March 18, 2016
Nominated by Justin Trudeau
Appointed by David Johnston
Personal details
Born (1949-11-05) November 5, 1949 (age 69)
Punjab, India
Political party Independent Senators Group
Occupation Executive director, professor

Ratna Omidvar CM OOnt (born November 5, 1949) is a Canadian politician and academic, who was named to the Senate of Canada to represent Ontario on March 18, 2016.[1]

Early life and academic career

Originally from Amritsar, India, she was educated at the University of Delhi.[2] Later moving to Canada, she became executive director of the Maytree Foundation, a charitable organization to combat poverty in Canada, before departing in 2014 to found the Global Diversity Exchange at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University[2] where she is currently a distinguished visiting professor.

Omidvar is the current co-chair of the Global Future Council on Migration hosted by the World Economic Forum. She is also a director at the Environics Institute, and Samara Canada. She is the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council’s chair emerita and was formerly the chair of Lifeline Syria.

Omidvar is co-author of Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada (2015), an Open Book Toronto best book of 2015 and one of the Toronto Star's top five good reads from Word on the Street. She is also a contributor to The Harper Factor (2016) and co-editor of Five Good Ideas: Practical Strategies for Non-Profit Success (2011).


Omidvar was named to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to represent Ontario on March 18, 2016, joining the Independent Senators Group.[1]

In October 2018, Omidvar introduced a motion to strip Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary Canadian citizenship over her government's actions in the Rohingya conflict. Passed unanimously, the measure stripped Suu Kyi of the honour, since the House of Commons had passed a similar measure earlier in the month.[3]


Omidvar was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2005 and became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011,[4] with both honours recognizing her advocacy work on behalf of immigrants and devotion to reducing inequality in Canada. She also received an honorary doctorate in laws York University in 2012. In 2014, Omidvar received 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.

Omidvar 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. In 2016, CivicAction awarded her with their Lifetime Achievement Award for Civic Leadership in the Greater Toronto Area.


  1. ^ a b "Trudeau to appoint seven new senators". The Globe and Mail, March 18, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "A fighter for immigration, inclusion and diversity". The Globe and Mail, April 17, 2015.
  3. ^ Curry, Bill (October 2, 2018). "Senate votes unanimously to strip Aung San Suu Kyi's honorary Canadian citizenship". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  4. ^ "Ratna Omidvar, Toronto expert on diversity, to sit as independent senator". CBC News, March 18, 2016.

External links

  • Ratna Omidvar – Parliament of Canada biography
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ratna_Omidvar&oldid=862334767"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratna_Omidvar
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Ratna Omidvar"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA