Mayer Award Recipients

2019 Dr. Jean Mayer Award Recipients

Paul Collier

Sir Paul Collier, CBE, is a is professor of economics and public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, where he is also a professorial fellow at St. Antony’s College. Previously, he was professor of economics and director of the Center for the Study of African Economies, Oxford, until September 2012. From 1998 to 2003, he took a leave during which he directed the World Bank’s research develop- ment department. Collier is currently a visiting professor at Sciences Po. He was awarded a knighthood in 2014 and a CBE in 2008 for services to scholarship and development. In 2013, he won the A.Sk Prize for Public Policy in Social Science. His current research is on harnessing natural resources for development, urbanization, the economics of AIDS, and the economics and social psychology of culture. He has written a number of books, including most recently Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century.

Miroslav Lajčák

The Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, between September 2017 and September 2018, H. E. Miroslav Lajčák served as the President of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. He is also serving his fourth term as the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Mr. Lajčák has dedicated his professional life to diplomatic service, representing both the Slovak Re- public and the international community. He joined the foreign service in 1988 and has held various diplomatic positions since, including Slovak Ambassador to Japan, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Albania and Executive Assistant to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Balkans. A key gure in the mediation of the post-con ict crises in the Western Balkans, Mr. Lajčák negotiated, organized and supervised on behalf of the European Union the 2006 referendum on the independence of Montenegro. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Lajčák served as High Representative of the International Community and European Union Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Between 2010 and 2012, he helped to shape the newly formed diplomatic service of the European Union, the European External Action Service, as its Manag- ing Director for Europe and Central Asia. From April 2012 to March 2016, Mr. Lajčák served as Slovakia’s Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and was reappointed for his third and fourth term as the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Mr. Lajčák is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations and has a law degree from the Comenius University in Bratislava. He has received several state honors, including the Order of the Yugoslav Star, 1st Class (2005, the Order of Honor of the Republic of Moldova (2014), and the Order of the Montenegrin Great Star (2016).

Ratna Omidvar

Ratna Omidvar is an internationally recognized voice on migration, diversity and inclusion. She came to Canada from Iran in 1981 and her own experiences of displacement, integration and citizen engagement have been the foundation of her work. In April 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed Ms. Omidvar to the Senate of Canada as an independent Senator representing Ontario. As a member of the Senate’s Independent Senators Group she holds a leadership position as the Scroll Manager. Senator Omidvar is the founding Executive Director and currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Global Diversity Exchange (GDX), Ryerson University. GDX is a think-and-do tank on diversity, migration and inclusion that connects local experience and ideas with global networks. It is dedicated to building a community of international leaders who see prosperity in migration. Previously, Senator Omidvar was the President of Maytree, where she played a lead role in local, national and international efforts to promote the integration of immigrants. Senator Omidvar serves as a Councilor on the World Refugee Council and 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. Senator 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 ve 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-Pro t Success (2011). Senator Omidvar received an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws, from Ryerson University in 2018 and from York University in 2012. Senator Omidvar was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2005 and became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011, with both honors recognizing her advocacy work on behalf of immigrants and devotion to reducing inequality in Canada. In 2014, she 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. Senator 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. She was named to the inaugural Global Diversity List sponsored by The Economist magazine in 2015, as one of the Top 10 Diversity Champions worldwide. In 2016, she also received Lifetime Achievement Awards from CivicAction and the Canadian Urban Institute, honoring her strong commitment to civic leadership and city building.