Yonah Martin (born April 11, 1965) is a Conservative Senator from British Columbia. She was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on January 2009, and is the first Canadian of Korean descent to serve in the Senate of Canada and the first Korean-Canadian Parliamentarian in Canadian history. Appointed Deputy Government Whip in the Senate, June 2011. In 2013 September, she was appointed Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate. Yonah Martin graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1987; earned a Master of Education in 1996; and enjoyed a 21-year career as an educator right up until her Senate appointment in 2009.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Yonah Martin immigrated to Canada with her family in 1972, settling in Vancouver. With deep roots in both Korean and Canadian heritage, she became a community activist and voice of authority for the new generation of Canadians of Korean descent. Inspired by her Canadian-born daughter and immigrant parents, and with a desire to "bridge communities", she co-founded a non-profit organization, the C3 Society (www.c3society.org) in 2003.
Yonah Martin currently serves on several international, national and regional organizations; and champions projects and initiatives that are close to her heart. One of her top priorities is to advocate for and serve veterans of the Korean War to the best of her ability. She is Honorary Patron of the HMCS Haida Association (http://jproc.ca/haida/) and Historica Dominion's The Memory Project: Stories of the Korean War; (http://www.thememoryproject.com/) and has championed various projects and initiatives for Canada's Korean War veterans and their families. Yonah Martin is equally passionate about mentoring youth and young adults. She is a mentor and adviser of the Executive Mentorship Program of UBC’s Sauder School of Business; and has mentored young leaders across Canada to pursue their goals and develop their leadership potential.
In recognition of her community service in the Tri-Cities region of BC, Yonah Martin was awarded the 2004 Spirit of Community Award for Cultural Harmony. She was awarded the Order of Civil Merit Moran Medal in 2009 by the President of the Republic of Korea for her leadership and outstanding work in national development towards the enhancement of the rights of overseas Koreans. And in 2012, Speaker Noel Kinsella presented her with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal on behalf of Governor General David Johnston.
She has been married to Doug Martin since 1990, and they are proud parents of a daughter.