Simon Fraser University

SFU honours Mossadiq Umedaly with honorary degree

Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.4323/3210

May 30, 2008
Mossadiq Umedaly, chairman of B.C. Hydro, and chairman of Xantrex Technology Inc., will be among six recipients of an honorary degree from Simon Fraser University during Spring Convocation June 3 - 6.

Umedaly, who will be honored during the June 3 ceremony (beginning at 2:30 p.m.) is an innovator and leader - as former Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Ballard Power Systems, the world's leading fuel cell company, and later, as CEO of Xantrex (1999 - 2003) - two of the most well-known technology companies in B.C.

He transformed Xantrex from a small niche player to a world leader in advanced power electronics. Under his leadership the company's revenue grew from US$10 million in 1998 to an estimated US$284 million (analyst estimates) for 2008.

In 2004, at the request of Premier Gordon Campbell, Umedaly led an initiative to create a vision for sustainable British Columbia, and was later appointed to lead the Alternative Energy and Power Technology Task Force. The government has since adopted most of the recommendations contained in the report in the Province's Clean Air Initiatives and Energy Plan.
As part of the initiative Umedaly formed and chaired the Power Technology Alliance, recently incorporated into the B.C. Technology Industry Association to bring B.C. power technology companies together to effect policy change and build a sustainable power technology cluster in the province.

Umedaly came to Canada from Uganda in 1970 as a university student and later, as a refugee. Giving back to the community has always played an important role in his endeavours and has been directed to such organizations as the Aga Khan Foundation, the B.C. Cancer Agency, Focus International, the Uganda Clubfoot Project and the Canadian Network for International Surgery.

• Honorary degrees will also be conferred on UBC researcher Nelly Auersperg, Coast Salish artist Susan Point, writer William Gibson, Mental Health Commission chair Michael Kirby and Man in Motion Rick Hansen. (Backgrounders on each are available).

Digital photo available

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