Carleton University today conferred a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on social entrepreneur Firdaus Kharas in recognition of his innovative contributions to the advancement of public health and children’s rights in a global context.
Kharas was honoured during Convocation for students in Carleton’s Sprott School of Business and Faculty of Engineering and Design, some of the 3,345 undergraduates and graduate students receiving their degrees over four days of ceremonies.
“You are armed with a very good higher education,” Kharas told the graduating class. “It doesn’t matter what you studied, you have the power to make change. This is your time.”
Kharas creates media designed to educate, entertain and change societal and individual behavior to better the human condition. He is a specialist in creating animated shorts, especially on human rights and disease prevention. His work has been versioned into 100 languages, used in 150 countries and has been attributed to positively influencing millions of lives.
“His campaigns for children’s rights, ending domestic violence and malaria prevention have been astounding in their effect,” said Dane Rowlands, director of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. “Commentators have credited him and his innovative campaigns with saving the lives of millions of people.”
Previous to his work in media, Kharas was the executive director of the United Nations Association in Canada, policy adviser (Immigration and Refugee Affairs) to the Minister of Immigration and assistant deputy chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board.
He has been named one of the world’s 50 Most Talented Social Innovators and has been recognized 70 times, including with a Peabody Award, the ReelWorld Trailblazer Award and the United Nations Peace Medal.
He has degrees and certificates from seven universities, including a Master of Arts from Carleton University.
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