Robert Rae, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York
Before his appointment by the Government of Canada, Mr. Rae served as Canada’s special envoy on humanitarian and refugee issues, continuing the important work that he began in 2017 as Canada’s special envoy to Myanmar while also addressing other pressing humanitarian and refugee issues around the world.
The former premier of Ontario and former interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Mr. Rae was elected 11 times to federal and provincial parliaments between 1978 and 2013. He stepped down as a member of Parliament in 2013 to return to legal practice and, in particular, to work with Indigenous communities and continue his work in education, governance and human rights. His passion for social justice dates back to his early days in student politics and community service.
Before his appointment as permanent representative, Mr. Rae was senior counsel at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP. In addition to his legal practice, he taught at the University of Toronto in the School of Public Policy and Governance, in the Faculty of Law and at Massey College and Victoria University, and he was a fellow of the Forum of Federations, Massey College and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. He has also worked as a mediator and arbitrator with ADR Chambers. A former partner at Goodmans LLP, Mr. Rae led the restructuring of the Canadian Red Cross and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and chaired the board of the Royal Conservatory of Music. He is the author of 5 books and a number of government reports.
Mr. Rae is a privy councillor, a companion of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of Ontario and has numerous awards and honorary degrees from institutions in Canada and around the world. He received his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern History from the University of Toronto and a Master of Philosophy degree as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, and graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
Along with music, reading and writing, he loves tennis, golf and fishing. He is married to Arlene Perly Rae. They have 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren.
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