Mediator & Arbitrator, Sosa & Associates, Barristers & Solicitors (Family Law), Toronto, ON. Born: Trinidad & Tobago.
Tom Sosa has had a long and distinguished career in academia, public service and community service. He was the first Black person to be appointed to the highest civil service rank in the Province of Ontario. He served as Deputy Minister of Energy and Skills Development from 1989 to 1993. After his retirement from public service and academia in 1998, he joined his son’s family law firm, Sosa & Associates, as a mediator and arbitrator.
Tom began his professional life in 1964 at Ryerson University as a faculty member, holding a number of senior academic administrative positions during his 25 years there. He served as Vice President from 1977 to 1989 and was, at that time, the first Black person to hold a senior academic administrative position at a Canadian university. From 1987-1989, he was appointed as a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the governing body of lawyers in Ontario, and served under both liberal and conservative federal governments as Chair, The Canada Employment & Immigration Advisory Council (1981-1986).
In addition, he has made significant contributions in community service. Tom has been, among other things, a Boy Scout Leader, a soccer coach and administrator, a Grade One soccer referee, a steelband administrator, a mentor of disadvantaged youths, and the Chair of the Senate and School Council at both a traditional secondary school and an alternative high school in Toronto.
Awards: Including, the Consul General (Trinidad & Tobago) Diaspora Award for excellence in community service and academia (2009); Leadership Excellence Award for Headstart Project, University of Texas @ Austin & The Board of Governors at Centennial College (based on an initiative in an “at risk” neighbourhood in Toronto to encourage children to succeed by taking an early interest in career opportunities, 1998); African Canadian Achievement Award for education and community service (1998); the Chaconia Gold Medal, Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (the 2nd highest national award of the Republic awarded for education and community service (1983); Islander Publications Award for Outstanding Contribution to Toronto’s Black Community (1975); the Province of Ontario Award for outstanding leadership to the black community in Toronto (1973).
Affiliations: Vice President, Centennial College (1993-98); Chair, Canada Employment and Immigration Advisory Council (1981-86); Director, Canadian Labour Market and Productivity Centre (1984-89); Director, Ontario Training Corporation (1988-89); Director, Progress Career Planning Centre (1993-98); Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Canada; Canadian Bar Association – ADR Section; Society for Conflict Resolution in Ontario.
Community: Afropan Steelband; YMCA Black Achievers Program; Co-Chair, School Council, Subway Academy One Alternative School; West Rouge Community Association; West Indies United Soccer Club; Boy Scouts of Canada; Chair, Senate, Victoria Park Secondary School; Ontario Soccer Referees Association.
Works: Papers include: “A Balance between Professional & Private life”, Law Society Call to the Bar Address (1990); “Women’s Access to Non-Traditional Occupations” (1992); “Collaborative Leadership” (1986).
Reviewed in: Local & national publication, Who’s Who in Toronto: A Celebration of this City, 150th anniversary edition (1984).
Education: Registered Practitioner in ADR, Stitt Feld Handy Houston ADR & Faculty of Law, University of Windsor (1997-1998); Educational Management, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University (1986); Certificate, Management & Organizational Development, Graduate School of Business, University of Michigan (1981); Master of Education, Higher Education, University of Toronto, (1977); Master, Bachelor of Arts/Honors, University of Manitoba (1963); Bachelor of Arts, University of Winnipeg (1961).
Favourite book? Why I Am a Catholic by Garry Willis.
Favourite quote? My world becomes intelligible for me through caring and being cared for…as I become responsible for the growth and actualization of others.” – Milton Mayeroff