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Madam Chancellor, on the recommendation of the Senate of the University of Guelph, it is a great honour to present to you the candidate

Quentin William Johnson

for the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

An advocate and consultant for a world-wide flour fortification program, Quentin Johnson has established programs that have either directly or indirectly improved the lives of nearly thirty percent of the world’s population. Over the past thirteen years he has been involved in the introduction of micronutrient food fortification in more than eighty one countries, and his efforts in many of the poorest countries in the world have dramatically advanced the health of countless women and children.

Mr. Johnson received his professional training in milling and baking in Great Britain. In 1998, he decided to use his experience to create a consulting firm that could improve the lives of people around the world. Since then he has acted as an expert consultant with a range of United Nations agencies, national donor aid agencies and various non-governmental organizations to promote the use of flour fortification to combat the serious nutritional deficiencies found in many developing countries. Though his work is not without personal risk, Mr. Johnson has never doubted its critical importance. The introduction of iron, folic acid, and vitamin A in the diet of the general population has resulted in major declines in the rates of birth defects and premature deaths.

Throughout his career, Quentin Johnson has demonstrated his leadership in his passionate campaign to help create local competencies within economically marginalized populations to better their lives on a sustainable basis. His effort towards engagement of flour millers, in particular, has been a key ingredient for sustainability of the project. He has worked tirelessly to convince senior officials of the need and benefits of adopting flour fortification.  Mr. Johnson also assisted in the actual implementation of the fortification efforts at the local level, demonstrating an impressive degree of cultural sensitivity and innovation. His technical rigor combined with a vision and passion for his work, along with experience and credibility in both the public and private sectors, have allowed him to gain the trust of all parties involved in his work.

More recently, Mr. Johnson has been the Coordinator of the Technical Training and Support Group of the Flour Fortification Initiative, an international network of private sector industry, public sector and civil sectors promoting flour fortification worldwide.

His international dedication and accomplishments symbolize this university’s commitment to internationalism, and a belief that individual leadership grounded in scientific knowledge can truly make a difference in the global community.

Millions of people are living healthier lives because of Quentin Johnson’s work.  For his passion and commitment to improving the well-being of the world it is my great honor, Madam Chancellor to ask you to confer upon Quentin Johnson the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. 

Read Convocation Address given 24th February 2011


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