The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell is the 29th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. As the representative of His Majesty The King, Ms. Dowdeswell carries out constitutional and ceremonial duties and facilitates healthy citizen and community engagement.
Ms. Dowdeswell has served the public interest at all orders of government and in the private sector. She contributed globally as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. In Canada her diverse portfolios ranged from education and culture to environment and the management of complex public enquiries. She was the founding president and CEO of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, and later the president and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies. She has served on the boards of Canadian and international corporate and non-profit organizations.
Since taking office in late 2014, Ms. Dowdeswell has challenged Ontarians to think deeply about their role not just as residents of a province, but as global citizens. Building resilience and sustainability through inclusive economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, and social cohesion, as well as safeguarding democracy, has been the focus of her mandate.
Ms. Dowdeswell has a bachelor of science in home economics and teaching certificate from the University of Saskatchewan and a master of science in behavioural sciences from Utah State University. She is an officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, and the recipient of numerous distinctions and fellowships. She holds 12 honorary doctorates.
Ms. Dowdeswell has received the following honours:
- Officer of the Order of Canada (2012), postnominal letters: OC
- Dame of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (2015)
- Member of the Order of Ontario (2014), postnominal letters: OOnt
- Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012)
- The Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Nova Scotia)