Shawn Barber is a public servant, diplomat and former Canadian Ambassador. Shawn was born in Toronto and grew up in a working-class, union family in Mississauga where he learned the values that have shaped his life – equality, fairness, and the struggle for justice for ordinary people.
Shawn came to Ottawa in the 1980s to work for the NDP caucus under the leadership of Ed Broadbent. Several years later he left to join the Foreign Service. As a diplomat, Shawn has represented Canada abroad in Zimbabwe, the Middle East, as the Head of the Canadian Office in post-war Kosovo, and most recently as the Canadian Ambassador to Mozambique, Malawi and Swaziland. He also served for a short time with the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He currently serves as the Director of International Migration Projects at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Shawn is actively engaged in the Centretown Citizens Community Association as the Vice-Chair of the Planning Committee. He has fought developers at the Ontario Municipal Board on behalf of his neighbourhood and he volunteers on the Advocacy Committee of the Centretown Community Health Centre, with the Ontario chapter of the Sierra Club, and as a minor hockey coach in Ottawa-Centre.
Shawn is married to Valerie Percival, who teaches at Carleton University, and together they have two little boys, Owen and Theo.