On November 21, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Governor General has appointed Rear-Admiral Rebecca Patterson, CHE, as an independent senator to fill vacancies for Ontario.
Rear-Admiral Patterson is a Defence Champion for Women, a Canadian Armed Forces leader, and the first person with a military nursing background to lead at the rank of Flag (General) Officer.
After training as a registered nurse, Rear-Admiral Patterson held various leadership roles within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Currently serving as Director General, Culture Change, Chief Professional Conduct and Culture, she coordinates the whole-of-Defence policy approach to support Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. The role further authorizes her to support departmental efforts to eliminate harmful behaviors, transform culture, and re-establish public trust in the institution. Rear-Admiral Patterson held many positions in the past such as Commander for the Canadian Forces Health Services Group, Director General for Professional Military Conduct, and Deputy Commander for Operation HONOUR. She also has international military deployment experience in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
In 2018, Rear-Admiral Patterson was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Military Merit. Her accolades include the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal, the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in Health Sciences for Ontario College Graduates, and the Niagara College Canada Distinguished Alumni Award. Fast forward to 2021, she was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society in recognition of her contributions to aiding seniors in long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and empowering women to overcome barriers.
Rear-Admiral Patterson remains an active member of the Canadian College of Health Leaders, the College of Nurses of Ontario, and the Royal Canadian Medical Service Association. She is a founding and current director of Soldiers Helping Soldiers, and a past board member of the Health Standards Organization. She holds a Diploma in Nursing from Niagara College of Canada and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Ottawa where she graduated summa cum laude.