(Saskatoon, SK) Omnis Institute co-founder Dr. Alaa Murabit has been named a Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) Award recipient by Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada. The official ceremony will take place in the coming year. Earlier this month Dr. Murabit was honoured as one of Canada’s “Women of Impact” and as one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence.
Dr. Murabit, born and raised in Saskatoon, SK, becomes the first civilian from Saskatchewan to be awarded the Meritorious Service Cross and joins only 161 Canadian civilians who have been recognized. The prestigious decoration has been awarded to recognize Dr. Murabit’s leadership in women’s inclusion, particularly in conflict resolution, peacebuilding and security. “Dr. Murabit is a leader in every sense of the word—helping to shift paradigms and push conversations in an important way,” says Charlie Clark, Mayor of Saskatoon. “She is someone who understands that by building people up we can break down the walls that too often divide us. She motivates and challenges us to find the courage within ourselves to do the right thing.”
Dr. Murabit is a medical doctor, one of 17 Global Sustainable Development Goal Advocates appointed by the UN Secretary General, and the youngest UN High-Level Commissioner on Health Employment & Economic Growth. Amina Mohamed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations said of Dr. Murabit “[she] brings energy, passion, and a fierce commitment to building an equal, just, and peaceful world to her role as an SDG Advocate. Her bold leadership is inspirational; she is at the forefront of the next generation believing in and creating a better future.”
Dr. Murabit views challenges through a unique lens; she's shaped national and global security, health, education and economic policies which impact billions. She serves as a board member for The Malala Fund, International Alert, Malaria No More and Women’s March Global, and is a respected thought leader on how female empowerment and inclusion lies at the heart of the solutions for a sustainable, peaceful and prosperous world.
Dr. Murabit has also been recognized as the 2018 Nelson Mandela Changemaker by the Nelson Mandela Family and Foundation, the International TrustWoman Hero by the New York Times, a Forbes 30 Under 30, Canadian 30x30, and a the youngest Harvard Law Woman Inspiring Change.
In 2016 Dr. Murabit became the Executive Director of inclusive security firm Phase Minus 1. Chair and Managing Director of Phase Minus 1 and former Commander, US Pacific Command, Lieutenant General Daniel Leaf said “I asked Alaa to become the Executive Director of Phase Minus 1 in 2017 because she is THE most influential leader on Inclusive Security I have ever known. She has consummate knowledge, unbridled commitment, and a unique ability to go from concept to reality regardless of obstacles.”
In 2016 Dr. Murabit also co-founded The Omnis Institute, an organisation committed to challenging critical global issues through the empowerment of emerging local leaders. “I’ve worked with Alaa for over 5 years; I have seen her go from giving speeches to thousands of people to spending weeks with local leaders in remote communities with the same authenticity, commitment and above all, generosity,” said Christina Myers, co-founder of the Omnis Institute, “Alaa is always remembered, wherever she goes, for her ability to inspire with her intelligence, incredible stories and expertise.”
At 21 Alaa founded The Voice of Libyan Women championing women’s participation in peace processes and conflict mediation and her TED Talk, released in July 2015, “What my religion really says about women” was selected as the TED Talk of the Day and one of four moving TED Talks you should watch right now by The New York Times.
The Meritorious Service Decorations were created by Queen Elizabeth II to recognize Canadians for exceptional deeds that bring honour to our country. The cross was originally created in 1984 for members of the military. In 1991, a medal was added to the military division, and both the cross and medal were introduced for civilians to recognize “a deed or an activity that has been performed in an outstandingly professional manner, or with uncommonly high standards; the activity is often innovative, sets an example for others to follow, improves the quality of life of a community and brings considerable benefit or honour to Canada.” Recipients are entitled to place the letters “M.S.C.” following their name.
The decoration itself is described as “a silver Greek cross, ends splayed and convexed, bearing the Royal Crown: on one side appears a maple leaf within a circle and a laurel wreath between the arms, and on the other appears the Royal Cypher, and within a double circle the inscription MERITORIOUS SERVICE MÉRITOIRE.”