Four esteemed Carleton University community members have been named to the Order of Canada. Recognized for their remarkable contributions to Canadian society and humanity, these individuals stand as proud examples of the Carleton community’s collective commitment to fostering meaningful change.  

Insignia for the Order of Canada is displayed on a wooden surface

Order of Canada insignia

Firdaus Kharas, alumnus (Master of Arts, International Affairs, 1980 and Honorary Doctorate, 2015), was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for advancing social change through human-centred media as a social entrepreneur, humanitarian and mass communications media producer.” 

Kharas is a distinguished social innovator, speaker, director, and humanitarian. In 1995, he established Chocolate Moose Media with the mission of crafting human-centered mass communications on a global-scale. Since then, Kharas has helped numerous clients, including governments, educators, businesses, and international organizations, in addressing critical issues. His impactful work spans a range of global challenges, from promoting solar energy and combating domestic violence, racism, and sexual harassment to advocating for the rights of women and children.  

Noella Maria Milne, alumna (Bachelor of Arts, Law, 1983), was named a Member of the Order of Canada for “her volunteer leadership and commitment to community service, particularly to initiatives supporting education, women and youth.” 

Milne is a senior partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP where she practices corporate real estate. Beyond her legal career, Milne has she has been a driving force for women and youth initiatives. She has served in leaderships roles for numerous organizations including the UNICEF Canada, St. Michaels Hospital, Canadian Club, the George Brown College Foundation, and the Children’s Aid Foundation where she spearheaded a ground-breaking initiative that has enabled thousands of low-income youth to attend college and university. Her numerous awards include the YWCA Women of Distinction, the Order of Ontario, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. As chancellor of George Brown College, Milne leads the Chancellor’s Mentorship Initiative, where she connects industry leaders with students.  

Nikita (Nik) James Nanos, former chair and member of Carleton’s Board of Governors (2014 to 2022), was named a Member of the Order of Canada for “his committed leadership in the market research and public opinion industry.” 

Nanos is the chief data scientist and founder of Nanos Research, serving as the pollster for major media outlets like CTV News, The Globe & Mail, and Bloomberg News Canada. He holds key leadership positions at Atlantik Bruecke Canada, Woodrow Wilson Center, the University of Ottawa’s Positive Energy Advisory Board, and Char Technology. Nanos is one of the 24 Honorary Captains in the Royal Canadian Navy, and in 2018 published his book Age of Voter Rage. In 2023, Nanos was appointed an adjunct research professor at Carleton’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, where he also launched the Commander of Royal Canadian Navy Scholarship and the Indigenous Enriched Support Program School Mentorship Fund.  

André Picard, alumnus (Bachelor of Journalism, 1987 and Honorary Doctorate, 2017), was named a Member of the Order of Canada for “his dedication to advancing public health understanding and practices in Canada as a leading health journalist and bestselling author.” 

Picard is a leading Canadian health and public policy commentator and the author of five best-selling books. He has been a health reporter and columnist with the Globe and Mail since 1987. An eight-time National Newspaper Awards nominee and Michener Award winner, Picard is celebrated for his dedication to public service journalism. Recognized as Canada’s first “Public Health Hero” and a “Champion of Mental Health,” he also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Picard has received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Toronto and University of British Columbia, where he is also appointed as an Asper Visiting Professor. In 2020, Picard was awarded the Owen Adams Award of Honour, the highest Canadian Medical Association award for a non-physician. 

Canada's 30th Governor General Mary Simon

Canada’s 30th Governor General Mary Simon

On Dec. 28, 2023, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, announced 78 new appointments to the Order of Canada. 

About the Order of Canada 

Established in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth, the Order of Canada is the pillar of the Canadian honours system. Becoming a member recognizes outstanding contributions at the local or regional level or in a special field of activity. The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest civilian honours with three levels of appointment: companion, officer and member. 

Carleton Newsroom

Friday, January 5, 2024 in
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