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Concordia’s fall 2023 honorary doctorates are champions of sustainability and inclusivity

The diverse group of honorands represents innovation in agriculture, sustainable investment and aerospace engineering
November 2, 2023

Three distinguished individuals will cross the convocation stage at Montreal’s Place des Arts this fall to receive their honorary Concordia doctorate degrees. The recipients will join graduates from across the university at the upcoming ceremonies on November 28.

Edward Rosenthal, Anita Marangoly George and Farah Alibay will be recognized for their distinct contributions in each of their fields. Rosenthal and George are both leaders in sustainability — the former in agriculture, and the latter in investments. Alibay will be recognized as a champion of inclusivity in aerospace engineering.

Concordia’s fall convocation: the honorands

Smiling woman with short, silver hair, wearing a white shirt and red cardigan and scarf

Anita Marangoly George — executive and leader

For visionary leadership in sustainable investment

Anita Marangoly George is a distinguished business executive, celebrated for her visionary investments in sustainable infrastructure around the world. Driven by her belief that access to energy, clean water and sanitation are human rights, in 2022 she co-founded Edhina Capital, a sustainability fund for climate change solutions in India.

From 2016 to 2021, George gained widespread recognition for her investing acumen in emerging markets while in two senior leadership positions at Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec. The Caisse is Canada’s second-largest pension fund with $400 billion in assets.

Previously, George held numerous roles of increasing responsibility over 22 years with the World Bank Group and its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation.

Highly sought-after for her wide-ranging knowledge and leadership skills, George sits on the boards of Tata Sons, First Solar USA and Piramal Enterprises. She has strong ties to Canada as well, serving on the boards of Pearson College UWC in British Columbia and the Indo-Canadian Business Chambers, where she was president from 2020 to 2022.

She is also an advisor for the International Solar Alliance, the Berkeley Center’s India Energy Transition Center, and the Chandrakanta Kesavan Energy Policy and Climate Solutions Center at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.

At every stage of her career, George has been a committed advocate for gender parity across all walks of life. She continues this work as a member of the Advisory Council for Women in Private Equity and Venture Capital (WinPE), and a board member on the Livelihood Recovery and Resilience Fund of the Self-Employed Women’s Association and for TalentNomics, a not-for-profit that empowers women through training and mentoring.

Anita Marangoly George will address the John Molson School of Business graduating class on Tuesday, November 28, at 8 p.m.

Smiling man with smoothed back short, dark hair, wearing a dark suit and blue tie

Edward Rosenthal — entrepreneur and philanthropist

For ethical, future-focused innovation in agriculture

Ed Rosenthal, BA 74, is a shining example of how out-of-this-world business success and environmentally minded innovation can go hand in hand.

Rosenthal is a graduate of Sir George Williams University, one of Concordia’s founding institutions. With his wife Betty, he founded Florikan ESA (Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture) in 1982, which grew out of the couple’s garage into a thriving agriculture firm in Sarasota, Florida.

Over the next 40 years, the company earned more than a dozen major awards for ethical business practice, product innovation, job creation and environmental leadership.

Through Florikan, Rosenthal invented Controlled Release Fertilizer (CRF), a game-changing technology that allows growers to set the exact timing for nutrients to be released onto plants, regardless of external conditions such as cold, heat or even a lack of gravity. In a significant recognition of the technology, CRF received the 2004 National Most Innovative New Product Award from NSPE National Society of Professional Engineers in America.

Rosenthal’s groundbreaking innovations caught the attention of NASA, which helped develop several new versions of the product through its Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program. In 2013, after years of collaborative research, the Space Plant Biology Program at the Kennedy Space Center selected Florikan CRF as the exclusive fertilizer used to grow vegetables on the International Space Station.

In 2017, the Space Foundation inducted Rosenthal into the Space Technology Hall of Fame.

The Rosenthals established the Rosenthal Roots Family Foundation in 2019, which has provided generous support for numerous arts, academic and environmental organizations. In recent years, the foundation has focused its funding on educational and sustainability projects with the Hershorin Schiff Community Day School, a private Jewish day school in Sarasota serving children of all faiths.

Edward Rosenthal will address the Faculty of Arts and Science graduating class on Tuesday, November 28, at 10 a.m.

Smiling woman with long, dark brown and red hair, wearing a black top Photo: © Krystel V. Morin

Farah Alibay ­— aerospace engineer and science communicator

For being an inspirational role model in aerospace engineering

Farah Alibay is a trailblazing aerospace engineer who works tirelessly to make STEM fields more inclusive.

In 2014, Alibay joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as part of the Mars 2020 mission. Her work on the Perseverance Rover, which landed on the Red Planet in February 2021, and the Ingenuity Helicopter, which accomplished the first controlled flight on another planet in April 2021, garnered widespread media attention.

She recently published her first book, Mon année martienne (My Martian Year), recounting the frenetic months leading up to these historic missions. Since 2022, she has served as the engineer in charge of flight systems for SPHEREx, an infrared telescope expected to launch in 2025.

The daughter of immigrants from Madagascar, Alibay is deeply aware of the need for role models of diverse backgrounds in engineering. In this spirit, she has become a passionate science communicator. 

Through her frequent media and public-speaking appearances, she encourages women and members of equity-deserving groups to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Alibay’s scientific achievements, inspirational outreach work and selfless volunteerism have earned a growing list of prizes and awards. Recent accolades include the Médaille de l’Assemblée nationale du gouvernement du Québec (2021), being named Personality of the Year 2021 by Le Devoir, an honorary degree from the Université du Québec en Outaouais (2022) and an appointment as a Commander of the Ordre de Montréal (2023).

Farah Alibay
will address the 
Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science graduating class on Tuesday, November 28, at 3 p.m.

For more information, visit
Concordia’s Graduation and Convocation website.



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