Akaash Maharaj

Senior Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
Headshot of Akaash Maharaj


Main bio

Akaash Maharaj is Ambassador-at-Large for the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC). He represents the international alliance of democratically‑elected legislators in its work combating corruption, strengthening good government, and upholding the rule of law. GOPAC has sixty‑two national chapters, and is present in every region of the world. 

In addition to his overall responsibilities, Maharaj leads GOPAC’s project on international prosecution of Crimes Against Humanity, its work on reconciliation in post-conflict states, and its efforts to strengthen integrity in the global sport system. 

The United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration selected him to speak for the world’s legislators in the General Assembly Chamber, on bringing kleptocrats to justice. 

A noted contributor to international debate, his articles have appeared in newspapers in every populated continent.  He was a broadcast essayist with TV Ontario’s The Agenda, and Maclean’s magazine named him as one of Canada’s 50 “most well known and respected personalities.” 

As a Director of Nature Canada, he focuses on helping bring Canada and other states into compliance with their commitments under global treaties on biodiversity and climate change. 

Earlier in his career, Maharaj was a triple gold medallist at the International Championships of Equestrian Skill-at-Arms. He subsequently led the overall Canadian Equestrian Team and federation as CEO, to the team’s most successful Olympics and Paralympics of all time. He remains a Director of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. 

Maharaj earned his MA from Oxford University in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and was the first overseas student elected President of the student government in the history of the 900‑year‑old University.  He completed further studies at the Sorbonne Université and the United Nations University. He is a Governor and Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a Governor of Massey College, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

He has been decorated twice in Canada’s national honours, for his work on peace in the Middle East and for services to integrity in international sport.  He was also commissioned a Kentucky Colonel, the state’s highest honour, for his contributions to global affairs. 

An active volunteer, Maharaj has taught adult literacy, has served as a director on a range of international development and local community boards, and has been particularly involved with UNICEF’s efforts on childhood and maternal welfare. He is fluent in English and French. 

Updated July 2023