Rob Black was the Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Ontario Institute (ROI). He is a speaker, trainer and workshop leader and has worked in the rural, agricultural and leadership arenas for much of his working career.
Rob was also Ward 5 Representative on Wellington County Council. He is a Past President of the Canadian 4-H Council, the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Association, and the Wellington County Historical Society. He is a Past Executive Director of The Centre for Rural Leadership; General Manager of the Ontario Soybean Growers; and worked with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food for 15 years. Rob was also Manager of the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, a $50 million provincial research initiative with the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology.
In 2012, in recognition of Rob’s significant contributions to 4-H across Canada over many years, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2013, Rob was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Program Director Award from the International Association of Programs for Agricultural Leadership (IAPAL). And in 2016, Rob was made an Honourary Member of the Canadian 4-H Council.
Rob attended the University of Guelph and received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Queen’s University, Kingston where he received his Bachelor of Education. He readily admits that he wouldn’t be where he is today, but for his early involvement in 4-H and other leadership development opportunities.
Rob was appointed to the Senate of Canada on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, after being selected by the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments. He was sworn-in on February 27, 2018. Rob is a Member of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry and the Charitable Sector (Special) Committee.
Rob and his wife Julie live north of Fergus and have four grown children and one grandson.