Cardinal Silvano M. Tomasi, C.S., titular Archbishop of Asolo, Apostolic Nuncio, Special Delegate to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta (S.M.O.M.), was born on 12 October 1940 in Casoni di Mussolente, diocese of Treviso, Italy. He was educated in Italy and the United States, where he studied theology and was ordained a priest of the religious Congregation of the Missionaries of Saint Charles – Scalabrinians on 31 May 1965. He received a degree in social science and a doctorate in sociology from Fordham University in New York. He was an assistant professor of sociology at New York City University and at the New School of Social Research (1970-1974). As founding director of the Center for Migration Studies, he established and edited the quarterly International Migration Review. He served as provincial superior of his religious congregation.
From 1983 to 1987, he served as the first Director of the Office of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees (PCMR) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
From the end of 1989 until June 1996 he was Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.
On 27 June 1996 he was appointed titular Archbishop of Cercinia and Apostolic Nuncio to Ethiopia, Eritrea and Observer at the African Union.
On 24 April 1999 he was appointed titular Archbishop of Asolo and on 23 December 2000 he was also appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Djibouti.
On 10 June 2003 he was appointed the Holy See’s Permanent Observer at the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, and Permanent Observer at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), an office he held until 13 February 2016.
On 9 April 2016 Pope Francis appointed him a member of the former Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, now the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
On 1 November 2020 Pope Francis appointed him as special delegate to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta (S.M.O.M.).
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 28 November 2020, of the Deaconry of San Nicola in Carcere.