CEO of Actua Receives Honorary Doctorate in Science from Concordia University

Ottawa, Ontario - June 3, 2020

Today, Graham Carr, President of Concordia University announced that Jennifer Flanagan, President and CEO of Actua is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science from Concordia University.

“The expertise and accomplishments of our new honorary doctorates reflect the breadth of Concordia’s academic mission and our vision of what a next-generation university can be,” said Graham Carr, President and Vice-Chancellor of Concordia. “What our honorees all share is an extraordinary dedication to serving society. They are an inspiration not just for Concordia’s Class of 2020, but for all Canadians. They remind us, especially in a time of global health emergency, about the power of ideas as a force for good in the world, and of how much we should value creativity, science, innovation, social engagement, civic outreach and principled investigation.”

Although not able to address the graduating students in person, Ms. Flanagan was able to deliver a message by video.

It is an honour to be recognized by such an innovative and established Canadian institution like Concordia.

- Jennifer Flanagan

“Concordia’s class of 2020 are graduating and entering the workforce at a pivotal time in the history of humanity. Our lives will be divided into pre-COVID times and post-COVID times, and more than ever, our world will need engineers, computer scientists, thinkers, and doers to help us reframe, and to build new and better societal structures. Today’s graduates will have an enormous amount of opportunity to better our world, and I have faith that you will do that.”

In her 25 years working in the STEM skill development field and leading Actua, Ms. Flanagan has helped bring computer science and engineering learning experiences to millions of underrepresented and underserved Canadian youth in every part of the country. Her stewardship and social enterprise model has attracted significant investments from companies such as Google, GE, Microsoft, RBC and Suncor, and from all levels of government.  Ms. Flanagan’s unapologetic approach to increase the diversity of STEM and specifically provide thousands of girls and Indigenous youth with opportunities was a significant factor in this award.

“Actua is thrilled to see Jennifer recognized for what our team, Actua network members and partners know well – that she is a force for change and progress in the field of youth STEM education,” said Susan Holt, Chair of the Actua Board of Directors. “Her leadership has been instrumental in the positive impact Actua has on more than 300,000 youth across Canada each year.  On behalf of Actua’s Board of Directors, I want to express my gratitude to Concordia University for this acknowledgment of Jennifer’s contributions to science education in our country.”

About Actua

Actua is Canada’s largest  science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) youth outreach network representing over 40 university and college based members. Each year, Actua’s growing network of member organizations reach over 300,000 young Canadians in 500 communities nationwide. Actua focuses on the engagement of underrepresented youth through specialized programs for Indigenous youth, girls and young women, at-risk youth and youth living in Northern and remote communities. Its national InSTEM program reaches over 35,000 Indigenous youth per year in over 200 Indigenous communities. Actua’s major funding partners include: Government of Canada, Google Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, RBC Foundation, Suncor Energy Foundation, TD, Microsoft Canada, Finning Canada, Imperial, Toyota Canada Foundation, GE Canada, Mastercard, CIRA and Lockheed Martin Canada. For more information about Actua, visit

Contact Information

Kristina Martin, Director of Communications, Actua
111 Murray Street, Ottawa ON K1N 5M5
Tel: (613) 234 4137 Fax: 613 234 4779