U of G Graduate Appointed to Senate


University of Guelph graduate Robert Black has been chosen by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to represent Ontario in the Senate.

“I am honoured and humbled to be selected by the Prime Minister and appointed by the Governor General to serve in the Senate,” said Black who was appointed Thursday.

His appointment was featured in the Globe and Mail Feb. 16 and on CBC News Feb. 15. 

Black received a bachelor of science in agriculture from the University of Guelph in 1985. 

A long-time resident of Wellington County in Ontario, Black has served as chief executive officer of the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) since 2010. He has also served as a councillor on the Wellington County council since being elected in 2014. 

Black worked for the Ontario public service for 15 years in positions with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. He was 4-H Ontario’s first executive director, general manager of the Ontario Soybean Growers and executive director of the Centre for Rural Leadership. He’s been involved with the 4-H youth organization for more than 40 years.

As a volunteer, Black has served in various organizations including the Wellington County Historical Society, the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame. 

Black obtained a bachelor of education from Queen’s University, and belongs to the International Association of Programs for Agricultural Leadership, which recognized his work at the ROI by awarding him the Outstanding Leadership Program Director award in 2013.

Black will join 23 others from Ontario and 105 in total from across Canada who will be appointed to the Senate in the coming days.

In this new role, he said, he will review legislation and engage in meaningful debate about issues that are of importance to Canadians. “I am looking forward, with the support of my family, mentors and many friends, to this new role within Canada’s parliamentary system, and to serving the people of Ontario and Canada.”