Corita Harty

Director, Commissioner of Official Languages, Ottawa, ON. Born: Kingston, Jamaica.

Corita Harty has worked as an Executive with the Federal Government since 1997. She has over 20 years experience in multiculturalism, official languages and international relations, as well as expertise in training and development, particularly in partnerships and project development.

Career: Former Director of Pardons and Clemency, Public Safety Portfolio, Regional Director of Human Resources (2007-2009), Health Canada (1999-2007); Executive Advisor, Public Service Commission (1997-2008); Visiting Executive, Foreign Affairs (1995-96); occupied a number of positions with Canadian Heritage, Parks Canada.

Other: Corita is the founding President of the National Council of Visible Minorities in the Federal Public Service (NCVM), which was created in 1998 to assist government employees from diverse ethno-cultural groups to achieve employment equity and equal opportunity for promotions and senior positions. Early in her career, she worked as a Policy and Program Officer with the Deptartment of Multiculturalism to assist national ethnocultural organizations with facilitating the contributions of ethnocultural groups to Canada. During this time, she was a catalyst for the establishment of the National Association of Black Educators in Canada to support the academic achievement of Black students in Canada.

Honours: NCMV Service Excellence Award on 10 year anniversary (2009); Deputy Minister Team Excellence Award (2007); Ontario Federal Council Excellence in Collaboration Award for Embracing Change (2003); Deputy Minister Award for Excellence in Diversity Management.

Education: Master of Education, Administration (1993); Bachelor of Education (1985); Bachelor of Arts French & German (1983), Ottawa University.

Heroes/role models: Rosa Parks, Julius Isaacs, Barack Obama.

Motto: “Be the Change you want in the World: Mahatma Ghandi.

Favourite book? Barack Obama’s, The Audacity of Hope, because sometimes making a difference requires “not waiting your turn”, but rising to the needs of the moment.

Favourite quote? “The area where we are the greatest is in the area in which we inspire, encourage and connect with another human being.” – Maya Angelou

Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? At one time, it was to represent this great country abroad. Now, I aspire more modestly to being a Black Sarah Richardson and bringing a sense of serenity and joy to folks just by physically changing the environment they come home to everyday.

Who inspires you? My aunts – all 10 of them for their commitment to their children, amazing adaptability and indomitable spirits.

Why do you do what you do? A deep commitment to advancing inclusion, respect and support for cultural and linguistic values of Canada.