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Hershell Elliot Ezrin (b. 1947) is a former diplomat, political advisor, and senior corporate executive. With his background in both provincial and federal politics and later involvement in the corporate sector, he is highly regarded for his expertise in strategic communication and public policy.
Ezrin was born in Toronto and attended the University of Toronto (Honours B.A., 1968). He later received his Masters in History and Economics from Carlton University (M.A. 1969) where his graduate work focused on developments within the Conservative Party of Canada. Following his studies, Ezrin joined the Department of External Affairs (1969) where he worked as a diplomat in offices including New Delhi, Los Angeles, and New York. As Canadian Consul in New York (1978-1981), Ezrin managed media relations with American and foreign press through the sovereignty debates and the 1980 Quebec referendum.
In 1981, Mr. Ezrin returned to Ottawa when seconded to the role of Executive Director of the Canadian Unity Information Office. The federal office managed communications around public policy and, in the period of Ezrin’s tenure, was focused on publicizing the Constitution Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. During this period he was also a member of the federal-provincial relations team within the Privy Council Office under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
Ezrin transitioned to Ontario provincial politics in 1982, accepting the position of Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition, David Peterson. Subsequent to the Liberal’s successful 1985 electoral campaign, in which Ezrin was responsible for policy and communications, he was appointed the Deputy Minister to the Premier and later, Senior Strategist for the following 1987 campaign.
Following his time in politics, Ezrin moved to the corporate sector accepting a position as Senior Vice-President with Molson Companies Limited (1988-1992). He subsequently worked with a number of businesses and organizations, including positions as President and CEO of Speedy Muffler Inc. (1995-1998), Chair and CEO of GPC Canada (1998-2003), and as founding CEO of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA, 2002-2010). He also served on the Board of Directors for corporations including Torstar, Suncor, SMK Speedy and Private Mortgage Insurers (PMI).
Ezrin currently serves as Senior Counsel with Global Public Affairs and Managing Director of Ezrin Communications. He also teaches at Seneca College and Ryerson University in Toronto.
Throughout his career, Ezrin has also volunteered on numerous committees and boards including the Public Policy Forum of Canada, Canadian Journalism Foundation, the Joint Community Relations Committee of Canadian Jewish Congress, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Foundation and as Chair of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In acknowledgment of Ezrin’s continued dedication to community and public life, he was presented with a HIPPY (Home Instruction of Parents of Pre-school Youngsters) Award in 2011.
Hershell Ezrin is married to Dr. Sharyn Salsberg Ezrin, a psychologist and author, and has two daughters and two grandchildren.