Ronald Deibert receives honorary degree from University of Guelph

Ronald Deibert, professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Munk School’s Citizen Lab, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws today at the University of Guelph’s 2019 Convocation Ceremony. Deibert also delivered the convocation address. This is Deibert’s first honorary doctorate.

“I wish Professor Deibert my most heartfelt congratulations for this thoroughly deserved recognition. He is the world’s leading scholar on cybersecurity, and, under his direction, the Munk School’s Citizen Lab is at the forefront of cybersecurity research,” says Randall Hansen, interim director of the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. “Professor Deibert’s work is both of the highest scholarly quality and driven by an abiding concern for individual rights and the sanctity of the private sphere. The world is, quite simply, a better place because of Ron Deibert.”

Deibert is an accomplished scholar and a lauded researcher in cybersecurity. In addition to his honorary degree from the University of Guelph, he has received numerous awards and accolades, including the University of Toronto’s Outstanding Teaching Award (2002), the Carolyn Tuohy Award for Public Policy (2010) and the Northrop Frye Distinguished Teaching and Research Award (2017). He has been listed as one of Esquire magazine’s “Best and Brightest” (2007), and in 2017, VICE named him one of their “Humans of the Year”. In 2013, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for “being among the first to recognize and take measure to mitigate growing threats to communications rights, openness and security worldwide.” He founded Citizen Lab in 2001.

Housed at the Munk School, Citizen Lab focuses on research, development, and high-level strategic policy and legal engagement at the intersection of information and communication technologies, human rights and global security. Their mission is to produce evidence-based research on cybersecurity issues that are associated with human rights concerns including digital espionage, targeted threats and internet censorship. Under Deibert’s direction, Citizen Lab conducts award-winning research that has been profiled in several major outlets including New York Times, Forbes, Vanity Fair and 60 Minutes. Some of their most notable reports include the Lab’s Reckless series, which tracks NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, and their work tracking disinformation campaigns on the web and social media.

“I am honoured to receive this award. But I feel the honour must also be given to the research group of which I am a part – the Citizen Lab,” says Deibert, of his honorary degree. “I do not work alone; I am part of a dedicated and very talented team and my accomplishments are theirs too.”