Ian Smillie, the chair of the board of directors of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) International, was honored on May 20, 2012 with the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, by Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts at the University’s 108th commencement exercises.
The citation spoke of Smillie’s work in international development, and more specifically of his work “as a leading architect of the campaign against the blood diamond trade, and a man of deep moral courage and unwavering principle.” Smillie’s work helped to create the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which the citation acknowledged, “You have been a bane to those who put greed above human rights.”
It went on to say, “Your life’s work has been an inspiration to those who seek justice in the diamond industry, and more broadly, to those who seek a just solution to development and trade.”
The citation concluded by stating, “Mr. Smillie, you were deservedly appointed to the order of Canada in 2003, Canada’s highest civilian honor. For many around the world, and for the Clark Community, you are a hero.”
Founded in 1887 as the first all-graduate institution in the U.S., Clark University is a renowned liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale.