The Honourable Bob Rae, P.C., C.C., O.Ont., Q.C., former Premier of Ontario, and former interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, was born in 1948, in Ottawa. Mr. Rae received his Honours Bachelor of Arts in Modern History in 1969 from the University of Toronto, a Master of Philosophy as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in 1971, and graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1977.
Mr. Rae’s passion for social justice dates back to his early days in student politics and community service. Between 1978 and 2013, he was elected 11 times to federal and provincial parliaments, and served as the Premier of Ontario from 1990 to 1995.
Returning to the practice of law in 1996 as a partner at Goodmans LLP, Mr. Rae led the restructuring of the Canadian Red Cross, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and also chaired the board of the Royal Conservatory of Music. He also wrote Lessons to be Learned on the Air India bombing, and Ontario: A Leader in Learning, a study of the higher education system for the Government of Ontario.
Mr. Rae 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. He currently serves as senior counsel at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP.
In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Rae is a Fellow of the Forum of Federations, Massey College, and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. He teaches at the University of Toronto in the School of Public Policy and Governance, the Faculty of Law, Massey College, and Victoria University. He is also a mediator and arbitrator with ADR Chambers. He is the author of five books.
In October 2017, Mr. Rae was appointed as Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar. In this role, he engaged in diplomatic efforts to address the crisis in the country’s Rakhine State and wrote the report Tell Them We’re Human in 2018. In March 2020, he was named Canada’s Special Envoy on Humanitarian and Refugee Issues to continue the important work he started as Special Envoy to Myanmar, while also addressing other pressing humanitarian and refugee issues around the world.
Bob Rae is a Privy Councillor, a Companion of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, and has numerous awards and honorary degrees from institutions in Canada and around the world.
Along with music, reading, and writing, he loves tennis, golf, and fishing. He is married to Arlene Perly Rae. They have three daughters and five grandchildren and live in Toronto.