UW psychology professor appointed to the Order of Canada


Geoffrey Fong, a professor in the Department of Psychology cross-appointed to the School of Public Health Sciences at UW, has been appointed to be an officer of the Order of Canada. 

The Order of Canada recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society for outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the country. 

As the founder and chief principal investigator of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC project), Fong leads a team of over 150 researchers across 31 countries. He received recognition for his research on improving risk messaging on tobacco products and for his role in reducing the global tobacco epidemic.

 “I am humbled and honoured to receive this recognition, which I think of more as a tribute to our extraordinary research team at the University of Waterloo and our global research team, who have worked tirelessly to use our research to combat the number one preventable cause of death in Canada and the world,” Fong said in a press release.

His work examines the effectiveness of tobacco control policies of the first-ever World Health Organization treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which calls upon Canada and 180 other countries to implement measures such as large graphic warnings, smoke-free laws, higher tobacco taxes, anti-smoking campaigns and limits on advertising and packaging.

Fong’s accomplishments were acknowledged by Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor of UW. “Geoffrey Fong’s work has resulted in many lives being saved around the world by demonstrating the significant role government policies play in reducing health risks,” Goel said in a press release.

Fong is the recipient of the Governor General’s Innovation Award and has distinctions from the Canadian Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the World Health Organization. In addition to being a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Association for Psychological Science, he is also a Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher and has received Waterloo’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary May Simon, Governor General of Canada, announced 135 new appointments to the Order of Canada on Dec. 29, 2021.

Rick Haldenby, a professor and former director of the UW School of Architecture, was appointed to be a member of the Order of Canada in the same announcement as Fong.

Fong and Haldenby will receive their insignias at a ceremony at Rideau Hall.