Skip navigation

Honorary Degree Recipients

Carleton University will be awarding seven honorary doctorates to members of the wider Carleton community during Convocation in June 2023.

Katharine B. Stevenson

Black and white portrait of Katharine B. Stevenson.Kate Stevenson will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 9:00 a.m. ceremony on Monday, June 12, “in recognition of a distinguished career as a corporate director and for extensive service to the health and education sectors.”

Kate Stevenson has served in leadership roles on numerous public company and not-for-profit boards in Canada and the U.S. over the past two decades. Previously, she was a financial executive in the telecommunications and banking sectors.

She is currently chair of the Board of Directors of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and serves on the boards of Open Text Corporation and Capital Power Corporation. Formerly, she served on corporate boards in the aerospace, pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.

Stevenson’s service to her community currently is centered on her directorship on the board of Unity Health, a Toronto based hospital network providing compassionate care to all in need. She also has extensive experience in the field of education, having served on the boards of the University of Guelph and Bishop Strachan School in Toronto.

A graduate of Harvard University and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, Stevenson has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. She passionately supports girls and women pursuing their dreams, contributing to a better world.

Gray Merriam, BSA, PhD, DSc, Professor Emeritus

Portrait of Gray Merriam.Gray Merriam will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 3:30 p.m. ceremony on Monday, June 12, “in recognition of outstanding contributions to establishing and promoting the field of Landscape Ecology through teaching, research and outreach.”

Gray Merriam is a professor emeritus at Carleton University. He taught and directed graduate students in the fields of population and landscape ecology and nurtured academic affiliations in Poland, Sweden, France, the Netherlands and the U.S.

In addition to publishing about 100 peer-reviewed research papers in international journals, chapters in research reviews and numerous other scientific reports, he has co-authored several books on the ecosystem.

Merriam was president of the International Association for Landscape Ecology, and on the editorial board of the journal Landscape Ecology. He directed the Landscape Ecology Research Laboratory, the Environmental Science Program, the Department of Biology and the Ottawa-Carleton Institute of Biology at Carleton University.

He has received honours from the U.S. Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology and the International Association for Landscape Ecology. He has honorary degrees from the University of Moncton and is a recipient of a Latornell Conservation Pioneer Award.

In retirement, Merriam has tried to apply his ecological knowledge to the landscapes where he lives. He was the founding president of the Friends of the Salmon River, past chair of the Frontenac Stewardship Council and is ecological advisor to The Kennebec Lake Association. He was named Green Cottager across Canada by Cottage Life Magazine in 2009.

Janice Charette

Portrait of Janice Charette.Janice Charette will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 9:00 a.m. ceremony on Tuesday, June 13, “in recognition of outstanding dedication and distinguished service to Canadians as Clerk of the Privy Council, diplomat and humanitarian.”

Janice Charette became the Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet for the second time in May 2022. She previously held several senior leadership positions in the public service, including High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy Minister for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Deputy Minister for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Associate Deputy Minister for Health Canada and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet and Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Charette attended Carleton University, where she received a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and she was granted an honorary doctorate from Kingston University, United Kingdom. In March 2021, Charette received the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. The designation represents a commitment to excellence in the boardroom and the highest standards of leadership.

Liban Abokor

Portrait of Liban Abokor.Liban Abokor will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 3:30 p.m. ceremony on Tuesday, June 13, “in recognition of leadership in making philanthropy more justice-oriented and better prepared to serve Black communities.”

Liban Abokor is an accomplished non-profit executive who guides organizations in creating data-driven, evidence-based interventions and programs as the Founder and Managing Director of Reimagine LABS. Moreover, he co-authored the report Unfunded: Black Communities Overlooked by Canadian Philanthropy and co-founded the Foundation for Black Communities, which successfully raised over $200 million towards an endowment supporting Black-led non-profits.

Currently, Abokor serves on the boards of the Samara Centre for Democracy and the Foundation for Black Communities and has served on several others, including the Catherine Donnelly Foundation and Laidlaw Foundation. Additionally, he is a Fellow at Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration, where he shares his knowledge and expertise in non-profit management, philanthropy, social innovation and community development.

Ibrahim Gedeon

Portrait of Ibrahim Gedeon.Ibrahim Gedeon will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 12:30 p.m. ceremony on Wednesday, June 14, “in recognition of a distinguished career in the Canadian and international telecommunications and engineering industries.”

Ibrahim Gedeon has built a career in telecommunications by combining insight and skill as an applied scientist with a collaborative approach to leadership. As Chief Technology Officer for TELUS, a leading telecommunications company in Canada, he is responsible for innovation, technology development and strategy. Under Ibrahim’s leadership, the TELUS broadband network has been independently awarded as one of the best in the world.

Gedeon is a passionate collaborator with industry partners to advance social capital and purpose. He serves on the boards of the Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada, the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions and the Institute for Communication Technology Management. In addition to his industry leadership roles, he is a fellow of both the IEEE and the Canadian Academy of Engineering, recognition for significant contributions to the field of engineering. He has been awarded many accolades for his leadership and industry contributions, and is deeply passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion and early career growth. He is also a frequent executive sponsor of Women in STEM events across the company, nationally and on a global level.

Gedeon holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the American University of Beirut, a master’s in Electronics Engineering from Carleton University and an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of British Columbia. He is passionate about supporting engaged, high-performing teams to innovate and move technology forward.

Vikas Swarup

Portrait of Vikas Swarup.Vikas Swarup will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 9:00 a.m. ceremony on Friday, June 16, “in recognition of a distinguished career as both a high-ranking diplomat and award winning author of fiction.”

Vikas Swarup is a novelist and former diplomat. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1986 and served in diplomatic assignments in Ankara, Washington DC, Addis Ababa, London and Pretoria.  Most recently, he was Consul General in Osaka-Kobe (2009-2013), India’s foreign office spokesperson (2015-2017), High Commissioner to Canada (2017-2019) and Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs (2019-2021).

Swarup is also the author of three bestselling novels, Q&A (adapted as the multiple Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire), Six Suspects (adapted as The Great Indian Murder on Disney/Hulu) and The Accidental Apprentice. His books have been translated into 47 international languages.

Swarup has been a jury member for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize and the 33rd Cairo International Film Festival.

He has written for numerous prestigious international publications such as TIME, Newsweek, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Financial Times, DNA, Outlook and Liberation. He has also hosted Diplomatic Dispatch, a popular weekly program on foreign affairs for India’s parliamentary channel.

Swarup is the recipient of honorary doctorates from the University of South Africa in Pretoria, Concordia University in Montreal and the University of Guelph.

Barbara Dumont-Hill

Portrait of Barbara Dumont-Hill.Barbara Dumont-Hill will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at the 12:30 p.m. ceremony on Friday, June 16, “in recognition of her outstanding contributions as an advisor and community volunteer working to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples.”

Barbara Dumont-Hill was born on the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Reserve as the tenth of 13 children born to courageous Algonquin parents descended from a long line of Anishinabeg. She is Turtle Clan and has been following the red road for over 35 years.

Dumont-Hill’s path has inspired her to honour and empower Indigenous women and youth. She has worked with local and national organizations and institutions and spent two years as an Elder adviser to the Canadian Department of Justice legal team working with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

At Carleton, Dumont-Hill is a knowledge-keeper with the Ojigkawanong Centre, providing personal supports to students and faculty.

She continues to promote reconciliation by facilitating Blanket Exercises that teach true Canadian Indigenous history and deepens her culture by studying her language, drumming and singing songs that honour her ancestors.