The Hon. Ratna Omidvar

The Hon. Ratna Omidvar

Senator for Ontario
Senate of Canada

Ratna Omidvar is Senator for Ontario, The Senate of Canada. Senator Omidvar is an internationally recognized voice on migration, diversity and inclusion. In April 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed her to the Senate of Canada as an independent Senator representing Ontario. As a member of the Senate's Independent Senators Group, Ratna holds a leadership position as the Scroll Manager. She is also the Deputy Chair of the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector.

Ratna is the founding Executive Director at the Global Diversity Exchange (GDX) and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University. GDX is a think-and-do tank on diversity, migration and inclusion that connects local experience and ideas with global networks. Ratna serves as a Councillor on the World Refugee Council and she is also a director at the Environics Institute, and Samara Canada and is the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council's Chair Emerita. She was formerly the Co-Chair of the Global Future Council on Migration hosted by the World Economic Forum and the Chair of Lifeline Syria.

Rathna is co-author of the book 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.

Senator Omidvar 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 devotion to reducing inequality in Canada. In 2014, Ratna 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.