Peter Biro '78, Alumni of Distinction Award Recipient 2022

Peter Biro is both an intellectual and a person of action whose varied pursuits exemplify TFS’ mission to develop multilingual critical thinkers who celebrate difference, transcend borders and strive for the betterment of humankind.
Peter is the Founder of SECTION 1,,  a democracy and civics think tank dedicated to studying and combatting the scourge of democratic backsliding in liberal democracies. Through this work he engages students, teachers, scholars, politicians, jurists, activists, and citizens of all ages and all stages of life. Peter’s vision is a civil society in which every citizen is imbued with a sense of civic duty to come to the defence of the fundamentals of liberal constitutional democracy and in which civics education prepares every student for a life of “heroic citizenship.”
If that sounds familiar to TFS alumni and students, it’s no coincidence: Peter credits Harry Giles’ bold and ambitious vision of a genuinely liberal education for every student with instilling in him a strong sense of civic duty. “It was at TFS that I was first exposed to some of the great writers, the major thinkers, and most consequentially, to the insight that complex problems are best understood and addressed through interdisciplinary inquiry.”
In addition to his Section 1 commitment, Peter is a human rights and litigation lawyer,  the CEO of Newcon Optik, Chair Emeritus and Past Chair of the Jane Goodall Institute, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He lends his expertise and passion to numerous social and environmental causes ranging from animal rights and wildlife conservation to battling police corruption in major urban centres. Peter is also a writer, occasional songwriter, and a regular visitor to TFS to engage with our students. He is the editor of Constitutional Democracy Under Stress: A Time For Heroic Citizenship, and of the forthcoming volume, The Notwithstanding Clause at 40: Canadian Constitutional Democracy at a Crossroads.
As is evident to anyone who knows him, Peter is highly motivated in all of his pursuits. He is a lifelong mentor to many, an avid tennis player, outdoorsman, dog lover and family man.