Ratna Omidvar, adjunct professor and founding executive director at Ryerson's global diversity exchange

Photo courtesy Ryerson University/Ryan Walker

Rye prof recommended new senator by Liberal government

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By Nicole Schmidt 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that he will recommend the appointment of seven new Senators to the Governor General. Among the recommendations is Ratna Omidvar, adjunct professor and founding executive director at Ryerson’s Global Diversity Exchange (GDX).

“I’m very proud and humbled by my appointment to the Canadian Senate today.  As executive director of Ryerson’s Global Diversity Exchange for the past two years, I’ve learned a lot about the rich diversity of our campus, city, province and country. I hope to bring these perspectives to Ottawa,” Omidvar said in an emailed statement.

GDX is a think-and-do tank on diversity, migration and inclusion that’s part of the Ted Rogers School of Management. Omidvar was previously the president of the Maytree foundation, where she played a role in efforts to promote the integration of immigrants. She is also chair of Lifeline Syria, a program created to support refugees coming to the region over the next two years.

Ratna was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2005 and became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011. In 2015 she was included on the Global Diversity List as one of the top 10 diversity champions internationally.

The new senators will be expected to contribute to the ultimate goal of ensuring “a high standard of integrity, collaboration, and non-partisanship,” according to the announcement on the Prime Minister of Canada’s website.

“The Senate appointments I have announced today will help advance the important objective to transform the Senate into a less partisan and more independent institution that can perform its fundamental roles in the legislative process more effectively,” Trudeau said in a release.

Chantal Petitclerc, a 14-time Paralympic gold medallist, and Murray Sinclair, a jurist who led the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into residential schools, were also recommended.

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