Honorary doctorates are awarded for substantial contributions made by the recipient to the University of Ottawa, to their profession, or to society at large. An honorary doctorate acknowledges that the recipient deserves to be recognized for their unsurpassed abilities due to life's learning and experiences. The honorary doctorate is conferred to the recipient at Convocation by the Chancellor of the University, Calin Rovinescu.
This spring, seven visionary leaders will be awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Ottawa in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to their respective fields. They include:
Faculty of Law: Chief Justice Richard Wagner
Chief Justice Wagner was called to the Quebec Bar in 1980 and practiced law until being appointed to the Quebec Superior Court in 2004. He argued cases before all the Quebec courts and quasi-judicial tribunals, as well as before the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada. He was elected First Councillor of the Bar of Montréal for 2000-2001 before being elected Bâtonnier of the Bar of Montréal for 2001-2002. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on October 5, 2012 and appointed Chief Justice of Canada, December 18, 2017.
Faculty of Arts: internationally known author Amin Maalouf
Amin Maalouf was born in Lebanon in 1949, into a family of teachers. After studying economics and sociology he worked as a reporter, covering many events around the world, such as the fall of the Ethiopian monarchy in 1974 and the last battle of Saigon in 1975. In 1984, he devoted himself to writing and publishing novels, essays and opera librettos. In 2011, the author of The Rock of Tanios, winner of le Prix Goncourt, was elected to L’Académie française to sit in seat 29, replacing the late Claude Lévi-Strauss.
Faculty of Health Sciences: Dina Brooks, leader in cardiorespiratory rehabilitation
Brooks is recognized internationally as a leader in cardiorespiratory rehabilitation and held a Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation and COPD. Dina Brooks has received many honors, including a Queen’s Jubilee Medal for the impact of her research on the lives of individuals with lung disease, a Fellowship in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences the highest honor that recognizes international leadership, academic performance and scientific creativity and the Enid Graham Award (highest honor in Canadian Physiotherapy Association).
Telfer’s School of Management: Canada Goose’s Dani Reiss
As the President and CEO, and Chairman of the Board at Canada Goose, Dani Reiss has transformed the small outerwear manufacturer, founded by his grandfather in 1957, into a highly coveted performance luxury brand that is known and loved around the world. His passion for bringing Canada to the world has fueled the brand’s journey from the Canadian north to the streets of Toronto, New York, Tokyo, London, Paris, and Beijing to name a few. An unwavering advocate for Made-in-Canada manufacturing, Mr. Reiss has often been recognized for his passion, authenticity and global vision. In 2016, he was awarded the Order of Canada for his entrepreneurial success and charitable work in Canadian Arctic communities and received Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award in 2008.
Faculty of Engineering: Telecom trailblazer Veena Rawat
Veena Rawat is President and CEO of Expert Strategies International, a technological consulting firm that advises national and international clients on telecommunication policies and regulations. She spent 28 years working for the federal government where she held a variety of executive positions, managing programs related to radio frequency spectrum wireless and satellite communication services. In 2011, she was named VP and Ambassador to ITU for Blackberry and in 2014; she was President of the Communications Research Centre, the only Canadian federal government research lab conducting R&D in all communications technologies. Rawat became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2014.
Faculty of Education: Roger Paul, Francophonie leader
Roger Paul has worked tirelessly for the protection and development of Ontario's and Canada's Francophonie. A young teacher in Timmins, he joined the Franco-Ontarian Teachers Association. Upon his return to Ottawa, he was given a leadership role in a school and when French-language school boards were created and in 2009, he assumed leadership of the National Federation of Francophone School Boards (FNCSF) and the National Cluster of Directorates General Education (RNDGÉ), positions he held for almost a decade. Paul’s resilience was a catalyst in ensuring a strengthened and growing French-language education not only in Eastern Ontario, but from coast to coast-to-coast.
Faculty of Science: Dianne Newman, molecular microbiologist
Dianne Newman is a molecular microbiologist and is a professor in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering and the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at California Institute of Technology. In 1999, Newman was named one of the Top Innovators under 35 by the MIT Technological Review and she joined the faculty at the California Institute of Technology in 2000. Her laboratory at Caltech is interested in the co-evolution of life and Earth. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying molecular mechanisms that underlie ancient forms of metabolism. Dr. Newman was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in April 2019.
Faculty of Medicine: Dr. Frances A. Shepherd, OC, OOnt, MD, FRCPC, LLD (Hon)
Dr Shepherd has designed and led more than 100 clinical trials over the past three decades and her studies have changed treatment and outcomes for patients with lung cancer at a global level. She sits on numerous national and international lung cancer advisory boards, and chairs and/or sits on several Data and Safety Monitoring Boards for international lung cancer trials. She has mentored more than 45 post-doctoral research fellows from around the world, many of whom now hold senior academic positions in their home countries. She has authored or co-authored more than 550 peer-reviewed publications and 35 book chapters.
* Dr Shepherd received her Honorary Doctorate at the Faculty of Medicine's Convocation Ceremony on May 17th *